Thank God NBC put the West Wing on after Ed, that's all that I can say.
This spring and summer I've really been hooked by Ed. My parents love the show, for a while this winter every week that I spoke to my parents my Mom would mention Ed. And my parents are not hooked on many shows. The liked Northern Exposure. They were into Due South. They watched Picket Fences. Oh, and 60 Minutes. (But honestly who doesn't like 60 Minutes, when they catch some dumb-ass in a lie and then they're waiting for him with a camera crew in the parking lot at his workplace, then he agrees to an interview, which is just a shade below retarded because who on earth that has ever done anything wrong would subject themselves to a interview on 60 Minutes? Jesus, you fools!)
Anyway, my parents have smart tastes in TV and film, and don't suffer poor writing lightly, so I should have listened to them and watched the show from day one. But honestly, I didn't think it would last. (I submit example 'a' - the track record my parents have for favorite shows. I rest my case, your honor.)
And then it got too big. Everywhere I turned I saw Ed's goofy mug - including the NBC building in Burbank. Imagine that - a six story Ed looking down at you, with the caption "wEDnesday". Usually that spot is reserved for people I hate, including (but not limited to) Will and Grace, The Weakest Link, and Jay Leno. (His caption was "Night Howl". Who writes those captions and may we club them? Please?)
But I watched Ed one night, and everything changed. The characters are all so fun and likeable, well, except for that Warren kid (why is he on the show, may I ask?) and Johnny Bluejeans there, Michael Ian Black, the manager of the bowling alley (why is he on the planet?)
But Ed is a great guy, Dr. Burton is fun, Molly is a hoot and Carol Vessey ... right there a reason human beings should be cloned. I'd mail order her any day, and twice on Wednesday. Coincidentally, I remember her from such roles as Noah Wyle's girlfriend on ER and Happy's girlfriend in Happy Gilmore.
But now onto why I am so very glad that the West Wing follows Ed. See, at 9 pm on Wednesday after watching Ed and his triumphs, I want to move back to Maine and, if possible, buy a bowling alley. Seriously. I was thinking the one on Route 302 in Raymond there, where I used to have my birthday parties as a kid (I always wanted a pool party like Daniel, but somehow that doesn't see feasible in Maine at the end of March!)
Think of it, I'm like Ed - nice guy, moved away, don't really have the wife cheating on me thing, but you know, I could move home. Plus there's no real Carol Vessey in my life, sadly, so we'd have to clone her. But besides that, I think I could be Ed. Oh, yeah, I don't really have the lawyer thing down, either. But I could be a freelance script coordinator / production assistant. That might work.
Then, after Ed, the West Wing comes on. Another show that I should have been watching from day one, but didn't. Especially since it won nine Emmy Awards last year, the most ever won by a series in a single season.
I have no excuse.
But now I'm into it. It's got a great cast, Martin Sheen as the President, Rob Lowe as the Deputy Communications Director, John Spencer (FBI Director Womack from "The Rock") as the Chief of Staff, Bradley Whitford (the bad-guy Eric from Billy Madison) as Deputy Chief of Staff, Tim Matheson as the Vice President, and formerly Moira Kelly (voice of adult Nala in The Lion King) as a Media Director. Oh, there are some other folks thrown in there, too, including the neighbor's wife from American Beauty and Richard Schiff who I don't really remember from anything but is a great actor, too.
I won't go on and on how great the writing is, and how amazing the dynamic between all of the characters are, and how funny the show really is, because no doubt you've heard it all before. And if you haven't, well, go look for reviews and articles about it after you finish reading this.
What I will say is that I'm bummed that I never got into the world of politics after watching this show.
Everything's a crisis, nothing's routine, you can rely on your co-workers because they're the best at what they do, your boss is kind and compassionate and the most powerful man in the world (and doesn't he seem more like the President with a capital "P" than George W. Bush does?)
Then, my head all aswirl from trying to figure out how to afford the Raymond bowling alley on a freelance PA salary, I think I should just pack my bags and move to Washington, DC and work at the White House.
And then it hits me, that's the White House.
The. White. House.
And I go to bed every Wednesday night a tired little puppy, because in my head I've been to Raymond, Maine to Washington, DC and back.
So for now I just sit and soak in these two classic shows. And thank NBC for putting them on back to back.
Last Updated on: August 22, 2001
© 2001-2004 Joshua Paul Edwards
Edited for television.