We are all watching West Wing

Has anyone else noticed that suddenly we are all watching West Wing? Everyone. Right now. Coworkers, my father, friends in other cities. I assume most of us discovered (or re-discovered) the show when Netflix added it to their line-up, and that their promotion of their own political drama, House of Cards, gave the old series another small boost-by-association.

Since we are all on the same page, I would like to float a little theory: West Wing and Star Trek: The Next Generation are exactly the same show, separated by about 350 years of galactic history. They aren’t just similar, they are the same.

Picard-BartletA dream-team of elite, liberal optimists guided by an endlessly inspiring (but very human) leader seek to defend justice and leave the world a better place. As committed to each other as they are the cause, they face danger courageously but almost always wrap things up in about 46 minutes with a dose of humor and slightly saccharine speeches about the grave responsibility of power and the nature of humanity. And I don’t know if there’s a term for the way a show resonates after the credits roll, but if this were a wine tasting, I would say that West Wing and TNG have the same mouthfeel.

TNG-WWSwap the Iraqis for the Romulans, the Prime Directive for the Constitution, and the White House for a Galaxy Class Starship, and I think you will find the shows are interchangeable. And I’m hooked.


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