Just watched the final episode of the West Wing. In contrast to the pilot episode, this was a let down and had no great lines. Remember the Lincolnisque lines with which Bartlett characterizes those Cuban refugees who braved a storm and came to America:
With the clothes on their back, they came through a storm. Those who didn’t die want a better life for their children. …. Talk about being impressive.
Given the ER-ification of the West Wing under John Wells, I am glad that the series ended. Still, we all enjoyed watching a President, even a fictional one, who read a book.
In that spirit, here is a tidbit that some of you might enjoy. In the final episode, among Bartlett’s personal belongings being packed up in the oval office was a book by Michel Foucault. In fact, it was the only book that was shown in today’s episode. Outside of the academy, all things French are resented in America. And the real West Wing seems to show no interest in the written word, as it continues to obsess over who Americans might be talking to. So seeing Foucault even in a fictional West Wing made me feel hopeful.
Soon, on the many moments and episodes that I really liked and watched many, many times.
Postscript: I didn’t get a good look at the book Bartlett was presumably reading but Nation reports that book was indeed ‘SOCIETY MUST BE DEFENDED‘. How apt!
For the West Wing nuts, Westwingnews offers a pretty good wrapup.