West Wing
Things Fall Apart

Episode Report Card
LTG: B | Grade It Now!
Stop Slouching! Stand Up Straight!

Bingo Bob is sitting in a hotel room, watching the Republican Convention on television. On screen, Congressman Gibson of Michigan is giving a speech attacking the Bartlet administration's handling of the economy. One of the best things about this episode is how well they nailed the look and sound of these convention speeches. Speakers at political conventions have adopted a style that you rarely see in other political contexts, and never outside of politics. It generally involves stretching a metaphor until it screams, usually accompanied by either a single line repeated periodically, or a call-and-response with the audience. (And if you're Al Gore in 1992, all three.) Politicians on this show often give great speeches, but they rarely sound like real politicians when they do so. But these convention speeches are spot-on. Donna knocks on the door to let Bingo Bob know that the governor is there to see him. Bob tells her to let him in, and Governor Bundy enters the room. After some chit-chat, Bob and Bundy sit down to talk. Bob tells Bundy that he thinks it's crucial that, after the first ballot at the Democratic convention, people come together around a consensus nominee. Bundy and I both think that's pretty unlikely. Russell thinks that the right ticket could create consensus. Bundy points out that there's press speculation that Bob will offer the Veep spot to Santos. Russell agrees that it would make sense, but also thinks they need to think about regional balance. Which is code for having someone from the northeast on the ticket, since Russell is from Colorado. Bundy thinks that Pennsylvania could be in play because Vinick is popular there. From what I read in the forums, Vinick is pretty popular everywhere. Bob tells Bundy that he wants to do everything he can to make sure the state sticks with the Dems. They leave that hanging in the air while Bob gets a drink for Bundy. On the television, Governor Reed of Ohio has taken the podium. He's punctuating his speech with cries of "eight is enough."

Josh is watching the same speech as he sits at the bar of a hotel. Will walks up behind him. They critique the speech, Josh accusing the speaker of "boiling [his] message down to the title of a bad TV show." Will cautions Josh against criticizing the show -- apparently, he had a crush on the mom: "She seemed knowing." Josh points out that she had eight kids, and Will thinks she may not have been too knowing about birth control. So wait, did Will have a crush on Diana Hyland, the original mother who only appeared in four episodes before dying of cancer, or did he have a crush on Betty Buckley, who was the stepmother? And now all the other recappers are going to mock me for knowing so much about the show. (By the way, I just checked the IMDb entry on the show, and the eight kids have only three acting credits between them since 1989. Mark Hamill was lucky he dodged that bullet.) Josh claims that he hasn't really been watching the speeches.

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West Wing




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