The West Wing

Women Should Be Next on Aaron Sorkin’s Apology List

In a rare moment of humility this week, Aaron Sorkin apologized… sort of. He said a few words to journalists who do the kind of work he portrays on The Newsroom, in an attempt to smooth over any misunderstandings about how he portrays their profession. … Read More

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The Ethics of Loyalty: ‘Game of Thrones” Startlingly Contemporary Moral Compass

The massive popularity of Game of Thrones is something of an outlier in the field of what we might call Quality TV. Much of the 21st-century television renaissance has involved shows that have, in various ways, held up a mirror to what’s going on in post-millennial America: it doesn’t take a genius to draw a line between the subprime mortgage fiasco and TV’s constant narrative theme of a trapdoor opening under an average, middle-class life (Breaking Bad, Weeds, Orange Is the New Black, innumerable zombie shows), while the rise and rise of the antihero seems to parallel a widespread sense of moral ambiguity, a feeling that the world isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. In this context, an epic sword-and-sorcery drama — one that is, let’s be honest, a giant soap opera with lots of death and inventive swearing — seems somewhat out of place. Why is it so popular? You might argue that it’s pure escapism, but I think the answer is more nuanced than that. … Read More

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Should ‘Community’ Stay In Session — Or Is It Time to Graduate?

For the past 12 weeks, in this space, Flavorwire has recapped the abbreviated, delayed, and frequently problematic fourth season of NBC’s Community. As you certainly all know by now, the third year of the often brilliant series concluded with the abrupt sacking of creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, whose distinctive, idiosyncratic sensibility gave the show much of its voice, and whose comic genius was reportedly matched only by his inability to suffer suits gladly. The transition to new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio was certain to be bumpy, and it was. But now that Community‘s senior year has come to a close, it’s worth asking: should the show carry on, or is it time to send the Greendale crew (and the gifted actors who play them) out into the Real World? … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. After facing the ire of many professional musicians, Amanda Palmer has announced that she’ll now pay the volunteer string, brass, and saxophone players who have been joining her on stage with money — not just “beer, hugs, merch, free tickets, and love.” [via ArtsBeat]

2. Best Coast is opening for Green Day… Read More

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Watch a Supercut of Shockingly Similar Aaron Sorkinisms

If, for some reason, you continue watching The Newsroom and you come across a line you’re sure you’ve heard before, don’t assume it’s déjà vu. It’s more likely you really have already encountered it — in some other Aaron Sorkin TV show or movie. This fantastic seven-minute supercut, billed as “a tribute to the work of Aaron Sorkin: the recycled dialogue, recurring phrases, and familiar plot lines,” reveals just how often the renowned writer steals from himself, from catchphrases to dads with secret girlfriends to gay Jesus asides. Hear the cavalcade of “I’m really quite something”s, “I’m not other people”s, and “This isn’t happening”s below. … Read More

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Watch 'The West Wing' Cast Reunite in a Walk and Talk for a Good Cause

Perhaps it’s because we can’t help comparing HBO’s new comedy, Veep, to it, but The West Wing has been on our minds more than usual lately. So we’re pretty excited to see that Funny or Die has reunited the cast — yes, even Martin Sheen — for one more of its signature walk-and-talks. This new clip finds Allison Janney’s C.J. Cregg commandingly marching her quick-quipping staff down the hall to the Oval Office, where President Bartlet is primed to give yet another stirring, historically minded speech. Best of all, this reunion is for a good cause: The West Wing cast is promoting Every Body Walk!, a fitness initiative aimed at getting all Americans to spend half an hour a day walking. (Walk and talk, Every Body Walk! — see what they did there?) Watch the video after the jump. … Read More

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15 of the All-Time Most Powerful Women on TV

Veronica Mars is coming back to TV. Now, don’t get excited — there are no new episodes in the works. (Kristen Bell is 31 years old at this point, after all.) But this Sunday, fans will be able to stuff themselves with wisecracking teen-sleuth goodness as SOAPnet kicks off its syndication of the series with an 11-hour marathon. We’re so excited to see such a strong female character on television again that we’re celebrating by rounding up 15 of the all-time most powerful women on TV. From Mary Richards to Daenerys Targaryen, our picks are after the jump. Leave your additions in the comments. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. “I agreed to be a part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence. Unfortunately, that’s not what was happening in that clip. I understand my fans being upset by what they saw. But, if you’re a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an… Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we saw 50 things that we will never see in real life (a list that includes a chihuahua wearing double cheeseburgers for shoes and someone with a Mrs. Doubtfire tattoo) over on BuzzFeed. We enjoyed Mental Floss’ roundup of 11 outrageously obscure West Wing characters who resurfaced on… Read More

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Flavorpill’s Zagat-Style Guide to TV’s Best Thanksgiving Episodes

Thanksgiving is upon us, and it’s high time to enjoy all of our favorite yearly traditions: the turkey, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie, the awkward family encounters, pretending to care about football… and, most of all, that venerable standby of episodic television, the Thanksgiving show. As best as we can determine, the first weekly series to do a Thanksgiving-centered episode was The Burns and Allen Show, back in 1951; Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, Make Room for Daddy, and Mr. Peepers quickly followed suit, realizing that a Thanksgiving show offered plenty of fodder for conflict, resolution, and warm holiday cheer. We’ve selected ten of our favorite Thanksgiving episodes — and in the culinary spirit of the holiday, we present them in the ever-popular Zagat’s dining guide format, because why not? Check ‘em out after the jump and add your own in the comments. … Read More

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