I really, deeply suspect that this will be the last post I make on The West Wing, because...well, I'm near the end of season 3, which means that right around the corner is season 4, which marks the departure of both Rob Lowe and Aaron Sorkin (it doesn't escape my notice that in my 32nd year, after successfully resisting the charms of Rob, Demi, Ally, and Judd* in the mid-80s, I've become the kind of person who can be affected by the presence or absence of Rob Lowe on my tv) -- actually, scratch that ... I think Sorkin left during season 5 ...anyway, apparently there was a precipitous drop in quality sometime after season 4, so I fully expected that my newfound and intense fascination with this show would evaporate just as soon as it had condensed. But at the moment, I'm still 'bout it, 'bout it. I even took the colossal misstep of heading over to the forums at Television Without Pity today, which rarely ends well. I mean, Aaron Sorkin can testify to that himself: he got into it with a former TWW writer there, as well as some more dedicated viewers, and the result was the episode I just watched, " The U.S. Poet Laureate." I'm not going to bother recapping this episode here -- if you're interested, go 'head over to TWoP and dig around in the archives. I'm not recreating Shack's work here -- but I do want to say that...actually, I don't know what I want to say. I think I was going to make a point linking the [imminent] [ostensible] [worrying] decline in quality at The West Wing to the [long-elapsed] [verifiable] [infuriating] freefall in quality over at TWoP, but now, I don't remember why I was going to bother.
I just feel bad about it, I guess. I was an old school DamnHellAssKing fan from way back, and although some of the sites on that ring were wack as they come, some were fucking amazing and they are still going strong, and still regular reads. I don't love Sars nearly as much as I used to, but I think that bitch is fierce and I love that Tomato Nation is still out there. Pamie has also clearly lost her cotdam mind, but as the author of "It Puts the Lotion in the Basket," I'm going to have to give her a pass. I still love Wendy/poundy. I agree that Terribly Happy was better when it was a journal, but I'll read anything that Omar writes, so I'm cool with the blog. And Fametracker? The much-vaunted, notorious, cutting Fametracker -- man, I registered at FT back in 2001 (it doesn't sound so long ago, but when I think of the number of generations I saw come and go on the fora there, it honestly blows my mind) while I was still living in London. You can't tell me nothing about Fametracker, man. I was up in there every day, and I told everybody I knew about it. And then, at some point, when "snark" (and you know what? Give me a fucking break on that word, please. It's moronic and unctuous and it seems to be used almost exclusively by the fuckwits who furiously fling the most absurdly delusional "commentary" around with the moral certainty that hey, it's Television Without Pity: snark is what we do. Give.Me.A.Fucking.Break. And yes, I'm aware that I just typed that in a stereotypical TWoP-stylee. Ah, there's a sort of bitter and juvenile irony in that. I guess. But still. Give.Me.A.Fucking.Break) and a hypercritical cacophony started to drown out the, you know, actual funny people, I just gave up on FT. I was wooed back for awhile, and then the forums imploded (it occurs to me that there's a whole segment of the population that never waded into the FT forums; I actually was one of those people for the first couple of years I was a regular reader of the site. But the forums were the lifeblood of FT. Wing and Co. might not have believed that to be the case, but there was a massive deflation of numbers after the forums went quiet. I think that the numbers are back up, but that's entirely due to the enduring popularity of TWoP --remember when TWoP was Mighty Big TV? Remember that, kids?? ) and I decamped to a kind of [unofficial] sister site and none of this means anything except that I can feel the change coming in The West Wing, just like there was a change over at my beloved Fametracker, and just like there was a change at that former outpost of wit, TWoP, and it makes me sad.
Seriously, people. Check out one of the Rachael Ray discussions over there. Tell me those crackerjacks aren't crazy.