well may we say god save the president, because nothing will save the senate majority leader

Sumana came over last night for risotto and a new episode of The West Wing. It was the first time I’d watched the show since ER veteran John Wells took over from Sorkin. Many changes: Jeremy from Sports Night is now working for the VP; Chandler Bing is a lawyer; the First Lady has a wicked haircut that makes her look more awesome than ever (when I grow up, I want to be Stockard Channing – I’m too short to be Allison Janney, unfortunately); and Toby’s complex and rounded character has been excised and replaced with a tendency to an upward inflection at the end of each impassioned speech.

The show will be hereinafter referred to as The West Emergency Wing Room. There’s still great pleasure in the way CJ’s suits hang from her designer clavicles, and the episode’s moral ambiguity was acceptably morally ambiguous. But the old seasons, now in syndication, routinely choke me up in a way John Wells can never do. Sorkin may be a sentimental, manipulative, sappy git, but by God the man can write.

Anyway. There were interesting historical parallels between the cliffhanger and the shocking and unconstitutional sacking of the Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam twenty-eight years ago last Tuesday (yes, in case anyone was wondering, rage is being fully maintained over here). The risotto was perfection, and Sumana’s ginger snaps were so gingery that they burned, they burned. We made plans to do it again next week.

“I can’t wait to see how the budget crisis turns out!” I said. “Oh my God, I really just said that, didn’t I?”

“It’s okay,” said Sumana, patting my shoulder reassuringly, “all West Wing fans say something like that sooner or later.”

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