‘What’s a Congress?’

TV Short quote from Steven Moffat on the subject of The West Wing and how it's compelling even if you don't understand everything which is going on -- rather like the mythology in Doctor Who:
"I used to love, absolutely love the American show ‘West Wing.’ I never had a clue of what was going on in it because I didn’t understand anything about American politics. They all seemed to understand it, and that was fine by me. They’d walk very fast down long corridors and say really weak stuff and say, ‘We’ve got to do this with Congress and a thing.’ And I’d say, ‘What’s a Congress?’ Then they’d say, ‘We’ve done it. We’ve got an affidavit,’ or something. I’d say, ‘Aha, so relieved.’ ” That, I think, is the way ‘Doctor Who’ can work for anyone because it’s fun. If you don’t understand all of it, join the rest of the audience.”
Jeff Hook's article is titled "How “Doctor Who” is like “The West Wing”" and although we could make a list -- and if I wasn't developing a sore throat, snotty nose and sweating -- I would.

But the one I always point to the fact that like Doctor Who, The West Wing changed producers some way into its run and like Doctor Who, it's entirely possible to see the join, the moment when Aaron Sorkin gave way to John Wells, between seasons four and five, just like Davies's version of new Who gave way to Moffat.

The difference is of course that there wasn't the same drop in quality, or at least not quite.  But The West Wing did improve immeasurably later in Season Five and onwards when Sorkin's old writing team were given free reign again and the characters all started drifting back into character a bit.

I could offer my theory that Sorkin secretly wrote parts of The West Wing in these later seasons based using some of his storylines in oh so biographical Studio 60 as "evidence" but I can feel my joints starting to ache, so we'll save it for another time.  But just watch The Supremes (5.17).  It's classic Sorkin.

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