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The West Wing: The Show that Got me Through Quarantine

 

I’m sure I speak for not only myself when I say that the main thing I wish we’d had during March through May was stability. For someone who was very sick for the first four weeks of March, it was an incredibly scary time. There I was, lying on my couch with an undiagnosed illness, surrounded by a world full of death and uncertainty.

I found solace in a show that I had previously watched in my AP United States History class: The West Wing. With seven seasons filled with 22 42-minute episodes, I had plenty of content to watch, and plenty of time to do it. 

The show centers around the fictional democratic president Josiah Bartlet and his team of White House senior staff members. Through seven seasons, you follow characters that you have created a connection with through the perils of running the United States government. While the show ended in May 2006, I would believe that some of the episodes had been filmed this year. The show tackles many important and still-relevant topics such as gun control, climate change and an increasingly bi-partisan country. 

No matter what side of the political spectrum you personally reside with, 2020 has been a chaotic year politically. It was so much easier to throw myself into this fictional political world than try to keep up with the real climate I was living in. There was a comfort in watching characters I trusted solve problems that I knew would never touch me. I could tell that this show was a huge form of escapism for me, a way to distract myself from things happening in the current world. 

However, a break from reality is not the only reason I recommend The West Wing. The main component of this show that I find to be so impressive is the writing behind it. The chief writer behind the first four seasons of The West Wing was the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin managed to write realistic dialogue between the characters, incredible speeches directed at the country and emotional monologues that still stick with me. I also believe the show always had an excellent way of ending their seasons. The seasons almost always ended on a cliffhanger, leaving you intrigued and wanting to continue. 

Above all, I recommend this show to all of you as an escape from the world we are currently facing. With political unrest, climactic turmoil and uncertainty within our health, The West Wing provides an addicting, realistic parallel world to our own. 

Emma Belica

Geneseo '24

Emma Belica is a sophomore at Geneseo, she's majoring in Biology and minoring in Environmental Studies. She loves reading, writing, yoga, and the outdoors. She is also very excited to be here :)
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