Friday, April 07, 2006

Comments and Recaps of "West Wing" Episode "Election Day" Part 1 (Courant Link fixed)

This episode reaired on Bravo Monday night at 8PM ET for any viewers who missed it due to weather conditions (e.g. the WBIR channel in Tennesee)

From TV Squad.

From Roger Catlin at the Hartford Courant
From the Acron Beacon Journal

From the Pioneer Press:
" "The West Wing" (7 p.m. Sunday, NBC): The political drama's most recent episode had Rep. Matt Santos and Sen. Arnold Vinick battling it out in the polls for the title of president of the United States and featured no less than three mentions of Dakota County. In the well-researched scenes regarding election results, there was plenty of talk about the exit polls in Dakota County (known for its Republican leanings) and the historically Democratic stronghold of the 4th and 5th congressional districts."

From Slate:
""It was bound to happen sometime." That's what Donna said to Josh on a recent episode of The West Wing when they finally—finally—kissed, after nearly seven years of flirty banter. In that episode, Josh and Donna enjoyed a slapdash, almost unintentional, smooch, inspired by the happy news that the presidential candidate they work for was polling well. Then, in Sunday's episode, when it became apparent that everyone else in the campaign had paired up around them, Josh and Donna had sex. Twice.

Donna was right, of course—it was inevitable that the two of them would eventually consummate their relationship. The spacey-but-shrewd, willowy blonde played by Janel Moloney has always been sweet on her boss, Josh, the gifted, sarcastic White House strategist played by Bradley Whitford, despite the fact that his hair is terrible even by D.C. standards. And though Josh has at times been dismissive of Donna's professional ambitions, and even of Donna herself, it has often seemed that he loves her, too—especially when he sat distraught by her hospital bedside after she was nearly killed in Gaza in the Season 5 finale.

Because this is prime time, however, it was also inevitable that the courtship would take ages. Television hates nothing more than a happy couple. Elaborate mating rituals and thwarted love seem to make better viewing than the comfortable routines of life à deux. Still, seven years? Is it possible that Josh and Donna have set some kind of record?
And even Josh and Donna have occasionally been outdone. On Frasier, for example, the effete Niles pined after Daphne for a full seven years. During most of that time, his efforts to pursue her were so pathetic that she didn't even notice; it was Frasier who finally blabbed.
Today, as slow-motion courtships proliferate onscreen—see the Kate-Jack-Sawyer triangle on Lost, Jim and Pam on The Office, Grissom and Sara on CSI—it's important to remember that we're living in the Moonlighting era. Almost 20 years after the Bruce Willis-Cybill Shepherd detective series ended, it is Moonlighting's post-coital flameout that keeps the Joshes and Donnas of the world fully clothed.
What to do? Most viewers still want the couple to end up together; we just don't want to watch them be together. You can see why the writers might resort to a temporary breakup—one that endures for about as long as the Gilmore Girls runs and then gets resolved by the series finale. If they do, I'll play along. The marriage plot remains a tried-and-true narrative thread, and in Victorian novels it never bothers me when a seemingly unworkable relationship is miraculously, happily tied up in the final pages. If these lengthy hindrances and postponements are simply the television equivalent, then I'm willing to believe Donna, Rachel, Carrie and every other Jane Eyre-inspired sister when she finally tells me—right at the end—"Reader, I married him.""

From USA Today's Popcandy.

From TV Guide.

Discuss the episode at Television Without Pity, in the Josh & Donna thread, or in the Josh/Donna Talk Group.

This week's episode of NBC's The West Wing included the casual revelation that one of the minor characters who has been on the series in the last few weeks is a lesbian. In "Election Day - Part 1", the staffers on the Santos campaign all enjoyed a drink together on the last night before election day, and then gradually paired off to hook up. The last woman to leave walked over to the bar, kissed her girlfriend, and off they go. It was a complete non-event, and that was the best part.

As one reader wrote in praise of the episode, "It made her no better or worse at her job, it wasn't the subject of any scandal, it just so happened she was a lesbian. It was nice." Couldn't have said it better myself."

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