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 Post subject: Re: I Can't Believe No One's Made A Rank The Seasons Thread Yet
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:54 pm 
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I've still only watched two seasons, but I have to say that Two Cathedrals is pretty much in a league of its own.

S2 is pretty great, but the finale is the only episode that I've felt truly elevated the drama to optimistic Sorkin art. It's pretty much for this reason that I probably don't have much motivation to continue.

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 Post subject: Re: I Can't Believe No One's Made A Rank The Seasons Thread Yet
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:30 pm 
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Boscalyn wrote:
Ok, maybe deep isn't the right word. How about this: during the Sorkin years, ancillary characters would maybe have backgrounds but mostly existed to make points. During the Wells years, characters might make points, but they would distinctly feel like they existed beyond being emissaries of their political ideologies. It's kind of an extension of Wells caring more about the characters' personal lives, except Sorkin didn't give his ancillary characters any semblance of a personal life.

Yeah, that's more understandable.

I think you've touched upon one of the key differences between the Sorkin and Wells eras - and by extension, of Sorkin and Wells themselves. The first four seasons are very much "political drama," while the last three seasons are more "personal drama that involves politics."

Sorkin's TV track record has been very hit and miss, largely because of the way he writes - he likes to define his characters by their beliefs and aspirations. Sometimes this translates well (The West Wing), sometimes not (Studio 60).

Wells is more conventional in that he defines characters by their personal lives. ER is a personal drama that just happens to be set in a hospital. The supporting players aren't very memorable, but because of the show's more personal approach, they do manage to feel more human.

Boscalyn wrote:
The show does a much better world convincing me that the ancillary characters have a life outside of the White House once Wells takes over. (Ronna excepted, ha ha.)

I forgive Ronna's lack of depth simply because of the way the show calls itself out on it in "Election Day." (Bet you never knew The West Wing had a gay character!)

unkinhead wrote:
I've still only watched two seasons, but I have to say that Two Cathedrals is pretty much in a league of its own.

S2 is pretty great, but the finale is the only episode that I've felt truly elevated the drama to optimistic Sorkin art. It's pretty much for this reason that I probably don't have much motivation to continue.

Well, I can't really tell you that the show ever hits the heights of "Two Cathedrals" again. Although Sorkin comes close a couple of times in Season Three.

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