The Show That Made DC Cool

Presidential Seal 7 years and countless episodes, The West Wing comes to an end tonight. When I moved to DC in 2000, this show was in its second season. I was working a job that only someone fresh out of college would take, after I’d watched the dot-conomy destruct and take my stock options with it. Living here was a chore. I only saw the city in dribs and drabs between my long commutes and endless herculean tasks. I’d get a bleary glimpse of that which makes this city like no other and be sent back home, my wallet empty and my feet dragging. Once a week I’d get a picture that would allow me to go back into the city for another week, my sanity retrieved from the gutter.

Though I cannot quote it verbatim, and I have seen it just the once, there is a moment on the show that I come back to mentally. Toby, Josh and Sam are standing in the Oval Office, and after a long and taxing day, they relate to each other and say “I serve at the pleasure of the President.” Which is a reminder both that all our lives are infinitely less interesting than those who work in certain circles, but also that their lives are just as fragile.

So we bid a fond farewell to the Bartlet White House tonight, and with it the show that made life in this town look cool, wonderful, and always interesting. It’s nice to believe that all the people making policies and working in government in this town are as good as that show made them out to be.

We’ll miss you, Jed, Charlie, CJ, Toby, Josh, Donna, Will, Leo, Mrs. Landingham, Zoe and all the others whose names scrolled by far too quickly on the credits tonight.

Seal courtesy of Wikipedia’s article on the Seal of the President.

2 Comments so far

  1. Jenn L (unregistered) on May 14th, 2006 @ 11:53 pm

    I remember being in Dublin a few years ago and mentioning to someone that I lived in DC, and their first very enthusiastic reaction was “West Wing!! Is life in DC really like on the show?”

    Having never watched it, I didn’t know what to say. But it was neat that the city’s rep was extended so glamorously across the world thanks to the show.

  2. BAV (unregistered) on May 15th, 2006 @ 7:00 pm

    I watched The West Wing pretty much religiously for its entire run. It was an intelligent, inspiring show, and there aren’t many of those on TV. I’ll miss it.

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