If you know The West Wing, you know the episode and if you know the episode you know why it’s coming up today. And The Atlantic was remembered it yesterday too, arguing in this post that the reason why The West Wing, and that episode in particular, was effective – at the time and still now – is because it portrayed “politics as a game”, a sporting event, treating “politics as a sport, and it revels in the moral promise that athletic events make to viewers: Sports, after all—like an election itself—feature clear winners, and clear losers”. I can see that point. And, certainly, I can see why that might be the point for many, given that in real life, rarely can we agree on the winners and the losers, from Team Clinton to Team Trump to Team Jolie to Team Aniston to Team Angelina to Team Brad.
For me, though, Game On, and The West Wing overall, was never about the game. To me, it was always about the players, the team. Getting the president to the podium after the first lady cuts off his tie is the best scene in that episode. All Josh can manage is a high-pitched “WHY?” when told that the tie was cut off. CJ commenting that “No one’s done camera test on this” is both hilariously astute and hilariously futile. Sam adjusting the president’s tie from behind is exactly the way a trainer might be prepping a fighter when he’s walks out from the tunnel into the ring. And then when they safely deliver the president to the stage, we don’t see them again until they strut, like a team, all purposeful and important, into the press area to watch on the monitors. The West Wing did this a lot – showing the team show up somewhere all together – and those kinds of shots were always teamwork porn for me, like the way it’s always sexy seeing athletes arrive to the arena together, in their suits, with their headphones on, staggered perhaps, but always in the same stride. They have arrived – to work. And watching people work, to me, is sexy. Which is why while Game On always gets the glory, it doesn’t hold up without the “debate camp” episodes. I need to give more love to debate camp. F-ck, I want to GO to debate camp.
One last note though about Game On – right before she cuts off his tie, there’s a moment when Mrs Bartlet tells the president, “We’ll do mushy later” and that she loves him so much (at the 0:33 mark of the video below) and the camera cuts to CJ and Toby who turn their backs, not wanting to intrude on a moment of intimacy. It reminds me of one of my favourite photos of Michelle and Barack Obama in an elevator, taken at the 2009 Inaugural Ball. It’s a photo of two people who clearly adore each other… but look at all those Secret Service agents lined up against the wall, their expressions as they try to disappear!
Yours in gossip,
PS. Programming note: my eye, you remember my eye? The eye that got pregnant with a stye? I have to see a surgeon about that today and, hopefully, will be having it removed. The procedure is happening at 945am ET. A few posts have been prepared in advance to roll out while I’m there. Apologies for any inconvenience and interruption this may cause. If all goes well, I’ll be back as soon as I can to keep blogging.
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As IFFFFF Adele would have time for Pippa Middleton! (Dlisted)
Liam Hemsworth surfing for my birthday (Just Jared)
Guillaume Canet defends Marion Cotillard (Cele|bitchy)
Britney is REALLY tanned (The Superficial)
I can’t stop laughing at this (Hollywood Tuna)
Great dress on Daisy Ridley (Go Fug Yourself)
Jared Leto obviously doesn’t have a billionaire funding his lawsuit. Maybe he’ll find one. (Jezebel)
As you know, several celebrity weeklies missed the Brange breakup on their covers because Angelina Jolie decided to let the Emmys breathe before dropping the news that she filed for divorce. PEOPLE’s original cover last week was about Michael Strahan which, unfortunately for him, nobody gave a sh-t about. Full Story
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All four Cambridges are in Canada right now on a royal tour of our country’s west coast. Will and Kate will be homebasing in Victoria with day trips here and there while Big G and Charlotte hang back at Government House. Kate wore a white and red Alexander McQueen on Sunday – one of her best outfits in a long time – and the two visited Sheway, a pregnancy outreach program, but the big story from their trip so far is how Big G, unlike the rest of the world, had no time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Full Story
While the Cambridges are in Canada, Princess Eugenie is entertaining Marky Mark and his funky bunch for tea at Buckingham Palace. Went to Buckingham palace today and had tea w/ Princess Eugenie. 👑Thank you so much!! Full Story
TheStewartofNY/ Splash News
Andrew Toth/ Paul Archuleta/ JB Lacroix/ Michael Tullberg/ Getty Images
If ever a movie needed to be rated R, it’s When the Bough Breaks, the evil-surrogate “thriller” from Screen Gems, the latest in what has become their annual fall tradition of releasing a bad genre movie aimed at black audiences (see also: The Perfect Guy, No Good Deed). I like the idea of a studio deciding that they are going to make the effort every year to put out a movie for an under-served audience, but f*cking hell I wish they’d try a little harder to make a good one. Full Story