It’s good to be back.
I would simply love to tell you that my absence can be explained away by vacations, lottery wins and exotic hours spent with countless beautiful women, but it would be far more honest to say that I’ve done next to nothing but watch The West Wing for the entirety of the last month. That said, I am getting through it at a rather impressive speed that should allow me to reach my previously announced (and might I add ambitious) declaration.
It is odd firing through a show this fast, seeing as I really should have been watching it when it initially aired (I haven’t watched this much TV since I sat through the entirety of Day 1 of 24 in one day). Television has very much held a distant second place in my life over the last several years due to my excessive (slash obsessive) film watching, and other shows (most obviously The Sopranos and The Wire, amongst others) have taken back seats with the boot wide open and no seatbelts.
It is no doubt ironic then that my West Wing bingeing has consequently resulted in my film watching batting average plummeting. I have managed to squeeze in maybe a dozen films in the past month, an undoubted, though explainable, embarrassment for me.
Here are some interesting things I have learned in the last month:
- Das Boot is too long, but the ending is just about worth it
- Three viewings is enough for Capturing the Friedmans
- Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC is literally a paint by numbers how-to-make-a-basic-Hollywood-blockbuster, but there is almost fun to be found in its utter continent-shifting nonsense
- On a fourth (fifth?) viewing, Potemkin is still as brilliant as it always was, even the fifth part didn’t cause the usual fit of yawning
- Superbad hit a little too close to home a little too often
- Ten deserved a second shot
- Administering heroin to policemen will improve their crime-fighting capabilities – it’s easy to see now why Chaplin got blacklisted
- Watching Local Hero and the Season 2 finale of The West Wing ‘Two Cathedrals’ in close proximity will cause a Mark Knopfler overload that will make it literally impossible to get his music out of your head and remind you why teenaged you used to freaking love Dire Straits
More thoughts on The West Wing will follow. For the record I should be finishing Season 4 tomorrow night, and am currently averaging four episodes a night.
When this is all over, I may need some help moving on.