Saturday, April 21, 2007

What's Next?

My wife and I have been watching The West Wing ever since I bought her Season 1 on DVD a few years ago when we were still dating. Well, she was actually watching it long before I bought her the DVD set, which is why I got it for her in the first place. At first I was a little wary of the show. It's Hollywood, after all, and I figured I could predict the show from the start: Republicans = bad, Democrats = Good.

Turns out I was pretty far off the mark.

We finished the final episode of the show two nights ago, and through all seven seasons I have been thoroughly impressed with the sheer quality of the writing, the intelligence of the characters, the focus on all kinds of issues, the lengthy plots revolving around little more than governmental procedures, and the relatively nice balance between liberal and conservative viewpoints (In the show, President Bartlet is a catholic and attends mass regularly, and often quotes scripture to his cabinet members). Sure, President Bartlet and his staff are Democrats, but both sides are treated with respect and the Republicans are shown to be intelligent, and no viewpoint is ever portrayed as wrong, just different. And both are flawed in many ways. In fact, the entire seventh season was about a presidential campaign involving a young Democrat against a seasoned Republican, and both were treated simply as humans, not as good or evil.

What has also struck me about The West Wing is the things it is not and does not do. It is not a show about sex or sexual relationships. In fact, it is one of the cleanest shows I have ever seen, moreso than even Star Trek (no form-fitting onesies here, folks, just lots of pantsuits). The show focuses on politics and the political process, with some of the most unique and compelling characters ever written. Certainly the characters have personal lives, which are also explored, but the show never panders to the lowest common denominator of entertainment such as can easily be found on any number of other programs.

Anyway, if you seriously want some excellent entertainment, go watch it.

In other news, I ordered Final Cut Express last night, and it should be here by the end of next week. I'm anxious to start working on some video projects as well as our wedding video, which currently exists as several gigabytes of unedited DV footage on my external drive. It's also going to be in the mid-70's today, so you can count on a walk through the park, fo sho. Schwing!

ps. right after i published this post, i thought of a much better title for it, so i changed it. why? because i can.

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