Late to the Presidential party

The cast of The West WingI spent years reading about how great it was and now, almost 10 years after the start, I’ve finally got into The West Wing.

I’ve been meaning to watch it for what feels like ages, but hadn’t managed to buy any of the series. Then I discovered that my dad and step-mum own the 1st two series on VHS, so I took my chance.

When it first hit the screens in the UK, I just missed it. It was pre-Sky+, so series linking wasn’t invented and I just didn’t manage to catch it, in spite of all the plaudits it received.

As the show continued, it just seemed more and more of a daunting task to try and start watching something that was so clearly established and demanded to be seen from the beginning.

Anyway, it is of course a work of genius, as anyone who’s seen it knows. The characters are so well-rounded and within two episodes I was hooked. I’m not even finding the dialogue too tough to keep up with – maybe things have moved on since 1999.

What makes it more of a delight is that I’m watching on video – a bit of an anachronism in today’s world, but one that heightens my enjoyment because it makes it look older. I don’t understand why this works, but somehow it does.

The other thing that’s been such a surprise is some of the lesser cast members who I’ve since come to love in totally different roles and not realised that they were part of TWW: Lisa Edelstein who is currently Hugh Laurie’s nemesis, Cuddy, in House; Elizabeth Moss, now widely recognised as Peggy Olson in Mad Men, plays Martin Sheen’s daughter Zoey; and Dulé Hill, Martin Sheen’s aide Charlie, is one of the leads, Gus, in Psych.

Thank goodness I’ve still got 6 and a half series still to enjoy!

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