The West Wing S01E06: Mr Willis of Ohio

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Finally the anthemic opening score has been bedded down by Snuffy Waldren: the show no longer begins like an ad or ends like a cartoon filler.
With the other elements of the show hitting their stride a couple of episodes back, this is now the package I remember expecting for each episode.

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The West Wing: S01E05: The Crackpots and These Women

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Probably my least favourite episode of the first season, this one just didn’t inspire me. Maybe because the script tried too hard to expose all the characters as noble at heart.

First by warming to the Big Block of Cheese Day lunacy of Leo pairing each of them off to consider proposals they all know will never see the light of day. Awwww Shucks.

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The West Wing S01E04: Five Votes Down

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There was something refreshing about the exercise of power illustrated in this episode, particularly since it was not shown as honourable or ethical. Getting votes has never had anything to do with the right thing to do. I particular enjoyed the exchange between Leo and black caucus leader Mark Richardson (played by Thom Barry). Richardson dressed him down for taking the black vote for granted in passing a gun control bill that is a joke, as Richardson points out in a sharp, succinct little speech:

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The West Wing S01E03: A Proportional Response

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Charlie

For the longest time I thought that the addition of Charlie (Dulé Hill) was merely a belated and unseemly addition of a token black guy to the cast for a show supposedly taking place in Washington – a city with a pretty high African American population. But now I’m not so sure. Unless overt racism was even more pronounced in the later 1990s than now, with Jim Crow racists in the ascendant once more in the Republican Party.

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The West Wing S01E02: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

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The Sam-slept-with-a-prostitute subplot introduced in the first episode is fleshed out a little more, in what I always thought was a rather juvenile fashion. Why would Seaborn embarrass someone he’s keen on in front of a crowd? Was that really considered acceptable behaviour in the later 1990s? It made the character seem politically more naïve than an operative like him should have been.

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