West Wing
The Black Vera Wang

Episode Report Card
Shack: B | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Never Look a Gift Moose in the Mouth

Toby heads back up to the offices and meets with three men and a woman, who are waiting for him in a conference room. You know they're television executives of some sort because Toby opens by suggesting they consider a new awards show where, as soon as the winner's name is called, the four losers are dropped through trap doors under their seats. He thinks that would be good television. I don't know. I think the losers' valiant attempts not to look bitter contain plenty of entertainment value. Toby does what Bruno asked, and apologizes for the skyboxes, promising better arrangements next time. FYI, they're talking about the Democratic National Convention, which becomes clear as they're chatting. The executives ask questions about getting access to important staffers for interviews and other boring details. Eventually, one executive -- who is balding and a bit wizened and doesn't look like anybody more famous so I can't think of a nickname for him -- asks him about programming. Toby whines about calling it "programming," then explains what he has planned for their big dog-and-pony show: "real" people reading planks from the party's platform (no robots at this convention!); the Harlem Boys' Choir singing the national anthem; and several panels about medical issues. The network executive looks bored, and interrupts to tell Toby that they're all thinking of cutting back coverage. Toby points out that they only covered the conventions for two hours a night last year, and wonders how much further they can cut back. The executive says, "One hour." Toby laughs, thinking it's ridiculous for them only to cover the convention for one hour per evening. But he's got it wrong. The executive is suggesting one hour of coverage, period. Just the acceptance speeches. Toby says, "One of these times, you guys are going to come in here and say that, and it's going to be true." The executive endeavors to look like this is that time.

Elsewhere, POTUS and Leo are pedeconferencing their way toward the situation room. Jed is talking about some sort of theater event for Catholic charities to which he's dragging Leo, apparently against Leo's will. It's a special production of all of the Shakespeare plays about all the King Henrys involved in the War of the Roses. I'd have to be dragged to something like that, too. Sorry. Leo whines about having to go. POTUS responds, "You know why? Because the Royal National Company's got all the King Henrys up there, and I'm still number one at the box office." Jed's barely been onscreen for a minute, and I already don't know what he's talking about. He really is turning into an intellectual version of Ronald Reagan, responding to everybody's comments and questions with a quip or an anecdote that has only the most tangential relationship to the subject at hand, if any. Leo drolly observes, "I love my job when you're like this." Nonsensical? If you say so. Jed asks Leo which Plantagenet Jed reminds Leo of, but fortunately they arrive at the situation room before Leo can answer and I'm put in the situation where I have to actually do any research about it. If this were a more interesting conversation, I might have bothered, but it's not worth it.

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West Wing

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