Last September, when season 5 of The West Wing debuted, I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand it because Aaron Sorkin, the guy who created the show and wrote 98 percent of all four previous seasons, had left the show. Sorkin is the master at turning words and dialog in to rhythmic music. Season 5 was a great departure from what I'd grown to love. So, I didn't watch it beyond the first two episodes. <br><br>I am a fan of the show, however, and I still TiVo'd every episode, rolled them off on to video tape and put them with the rest of my WW collection on the shelf. <br><br>Last week, just for the heck of it, I pulled the first season 5 tape off the shelf and threw it in the VCR. Thought I'd at least see what I missed. What I discovered was surprising. If The West Wing debuted now, with the current staff of writers, actors and story lines, and never a Sorkin influence, it would be a hit. It still very much deals with that inner workings of the White House and now, even more, with Capitol Hill. I guess what I'm saying is the show seems more real now. Sorkin's West Wing was magical. John Wells West Wing is more gritty and I gave up on it too soon. <br><br>I had to let go of the fact Sorkin was gone to really start appreciating the show for what it is now. It's still really good and I wasn't giving it a chance. <br><br>If you missed any of last season, Bravo starts in with season 5 reruns on Monday August 30.<br><br>****************<br><br>[color:red]VOTE for President George W. Bush on November 2, 2004</font color=red>
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Yeah, I thought season five really improved about half-way through. They quit trying to imitate Sorkin and found their own voice. I don't think it's as good as before but it's still better than most dramas on TV. I've always appreciated that they don't shy away from complex issues and, despite a leftward lean, do try to present both side of the argument, usually without turning their opponents in charicatures. But it was fun watching CJ Cregg rip into Jay Mohr's O'Reilly/Matthews/whoever-clone.<br><br>
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