History Headscratchers / TheWestWing

19th Mar '16 5:07:55 AM han090
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** If Ann Stark managed to get the quote, she has to have gotten the information from somewhere, so it would absolutely come back to bite her if for example Toby told another staff member about it, and that other staff member is her source.
15th Jan '16 2:01:43 PM laserviking42
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** After MIR suffered a docking collision, few of its sections were permanently depressurized, but the station went on fine for many more years until it was decommissioned for fairly unrelated reasons. A malfunction that threatened the entire station and disabled the aforementioned lifeboats should have been described less as an "oxygen leak" and more as a "prolonged encounter with a meteor shower".

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** After MIR suffered a docking collision, a few of its sections were permanently depressurized, but the station went on fine for many more years until it was decommissioned for fairly unrelated reasons. A malfunction that threatened the entire station and disabled the aforementioned lifeboats should have been described less as an "oxygen leak" and more as a "prolonged encounter with a meteor shower".
28th Nov '15 11:52:08 PM DoctorNemesis
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** It is perhaps worth noting that when Lionel is ranting and raving and waving his cricket bat threateningly, he is in fact heading towards ''Leo's'' office, not the President, which is where most of the ranting and ensuing conversation takes place. When he finally enters the Oval Office he is, if not exactly ''calm'', then hardly acting in a threatening or overtly aggressive manner. Also worth noting that Tribbey at no point ever threatens the President (he says "I will kill ''people'' today, Leo!" and never refers to the President in a violent or threatening manner). Which, granted, doesn't mean the issue goes away, but he's hardly acting like a complete maniac who needs to be taken down right this second around the President.
7th Sep '15 8:16:39 PM grey_eyed_reader
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***Bartlet's lack of memory of Kundu could also be a subtle reference to his MS. One of the many symptoms of MS is loss of short term memory... although the I could be attributing too much knowledge of the disease to the writers.
7th Jun '15 5:10:52 AM DoctorNemesis
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** Why ''wouldn't'' he think that? Leo's not that old, neither's his wife, and Sam and Leo aren't exactly people who spend a lot of time with their ''own'' families, let alone the families of their co-workers. Political campaigns and working in the White House aren't generally family environments (so the occasions for Sam to meet Mallory before then would be slim), Leo and Sam don't exactly hang out a lot personally or share a lot of personal information, and Leo's whole character is that he's a complete workaholic who has separated his work and family lives to such a degree that he gets divorced about four episodes into Season One. Since it's established that Sam barely knows Leo's wife, there's a equally good chance that he's never met Leo's daughter and knows only what little scraps of information Leo has revealed about her, which probably isn't that much beyond the fact of her existence. So when he hears that his boss's daughter's fourth-grade class is coming to the White House, he makes the assumption that many reasonable people might make about someone they've never met and know hardly anything about -- that Leo's daughter is a student in the class rather than the teacher.

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** Why ''wouldn't'' he think that? Leo's not that old, neither's his wife, and Sam and Leo aren't exactly people who spend a lot of time with their ''own'' families, let alone the families of their co-workers. Political campaigns and working in the White House aren't generally family environments (so the occasions for Sam to meet Mallory before then would be slim), Leo and Sam don't exactly hang out a lot personally or share a lot of personal information, and Leo's whole character is that he's a complete workaholic who has separated his work and family lives to such a degree that he gets divorced about four episodes into Season One. Since it's established that Sam barely knows Leo's wife, there's a equally good chance that he's never met Leo's daughter and knows only what little scraps of information Leo has revealed about her, which probably isn't that much beyond the fact of her existence. So when he hears that his boss's daughter's fourth-grade class is coming to the White House, he makes the assumption that many reasonable people might make about someone they've never met and know hardly anything about when given that information -- that Leo's daughter is a student in the class rather than the teacher.
7th Jun '15 5:07:49 AM DoctorNemesis
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** Why ''wouldn't'' he think that? Leo's not that old, neither's his wife, and Sam and Leo aren't exactly people who spend a lot of time with their ''own'' families, let alone the families of their co-workers. Political campaigns and working in the White House aren't generally family environments (so the occasions for Sam to meet Mallory before then would be slim), Leo and Sam don't exactly hang out a lot personally or share a lot of personal information, and Leo's whole character is that he's a complete workaholic who has separated his work and family lives to such a degree that he gets divorced about four episodes into Season One. Since it's established that Sam barely knows Leo's wife, there's a equally good chance that he's never met Leo's daughter and knows only what little scraps of information Leo has revealed about her, which probably isn't that much beyond the fact of her existence. So when he hears that his boss's daughter's fourth-grade class is coming to the White House, he makes the assumption that many reasonable people might make about someone they've never met and know hardly anything about -- that Leo's daughter is a student in the class rather than the teacher.
15th Jan '15 9:00:50 AM wrestlingdog909
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* Why would Sam think that Leo had a daughter young enough to be in elementary school in the pilot? If he'd worked for Leo since the campaign (which would have been at least two years), surely he would have noticed if Leo had a little girl running around? For that matter, wouldn't he have met or heard of Mallory at some point?
2nd Jul '14 5:08:55 AM DoctorNemesis
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* The whole character of Josh Lyman. More often than not, he's causing trouble for the Bartlet Administration, is overly confidant of how good he is, and doesn't ever seem capable at his job. If he didn't have his support staff helping him, he would keep on ruining things. And to top it all off, he acts as if he's some god among men, able to do things and get things done, when it's someone else who saves his bacon or calls in a favor to get the job done.
** Josh may make a lot of mistakes, but at the end of the day, his primary jobs are to staff the president, organise the white house staff's activities (Leo's job was more about handling the higher-level people, like Cabinet members, Senior Staff, etc), and beyond that, to liaise with congress. He was outstanding in the first two roles, and did a good job most of the time with the liaising (the primary exception being when he screwed up early in Season 5). Furthermore, Josh has shown himself to be incredibly politically astute... just as long as you never let him be seen in public. Most of his screwups were in side efforts (like meeting with certain people), and the real question isn't why he was kept on, but why he wasn't kept from those particular sorts of efforts. It's not like there weren't alternatives within the West Wing for those sorts of jobs.
** OP here:I remember this bit with this rich kid intern in season 5 or 6 who Josh Lyman constantly berated, and thought he was teaching things, but it ended up that the kid was the one doing Josh's job behind his back, and Josh Lyman just praises himself to the kid about how he, Josh Lyman, did that. It seems that talking to anyone he disagreed with, at all, whether in private or in public, would end badly, and someone else would have to do the dirty work for him. As for staffing, remember the Star Trek fan? And Josh Lyman's mistake about Star Trek with the moral speech on not bringing your personal affiliations, even non-political ones to the White House? And how in the same episode someone else in the staff was proud of their sports baseball cap? So that's two out of the three, I guess he at least organized the White House's activities.
*** This troper agrees with the OP: Josh was just way too smug for someone who causes so many mistakes. And his badgering that intern who was wearing the Franchise/StarTrek pin while he constantly talks about his love of the Mets just made him look petty and hypocritical. He's my least favorite character on the show (well, him and Will).
**** Josh was good at HIS job specifically. He tended to massively screw up given any job outside of the ones he was comfortable doing on a daily basis. There's a reason why he, the heir apparent, was NOT promoted into Leo's position as Chief of Staff. He's a great sidekick. A good person to have a few rungs down on the ladder; but not someone who has the capability to roll with a high pressure gig/shifting responsibilities. God help Santos...I almost wanted another season just to see Josh screw up massively as Chief of Staff without Donna to do half the work for him (plus a group of capable people working WITH him and not FOR him).
***** The fact that he wasn't promoted to Chief of Staff, though, seemed to be more so that he could go off and help with the Santos campaign (which he wouldn't have been able to do if he were tied down in such an important job with the administration) - Leo was trying to set him up to lead Santos's campaign/be Chief of Staff in the Santos administration, not snub him for any perceived incompetence.
****** Plus, maybe Leo thought that Josh wasn't ready for his job at the time of his heart attack while CJ was. Or, alternatively, he didn't think Josh should be Bartlet's chief of staff--he needed to establish a different relationship with another politician. Most of the reason that Bartlet and Leo work so well together is because of their past together--Josh needed to establish that kind of experience through a campaign with someone else (Santos.)
****** And yet, Santos does better each time he ignores Josh's advice. After a while, it seemed like he was hired so that Santos knew what course of action NOT to take.
13th Dec '13 7:44:52 PM nombretomado
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** As for why we didn't see a scar... well, we probably have to chalk this one up to real life pressures of production; considering how rare it was to see either Josh or Donna outside of anything but a smart suit (or, indeed, anything that would reveal scars on their chests), they probably either forgot all about it over time or decided that trying to remember exactly where Josh or Donna should have a scar on a consistent basis for what would only amount to a handful of shots that weren't expressly intended to show the character's injuries for plot reasons anyway (which in turn would have meant more time for the actors in make-up, which in turn would snowball into how much time they had to shoot the scene(s) in question) just meant more effort with little to show for it; in the latter case, they gambled that most people wouldn't notice anyway and the ones who did just shrug and let it go without it affecting their overall enjoyment. [See also: why Kate Beckett in ''{{Castle}}'' seems to have a magically reappearing/disappearing scar as well.]

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** As for why we didn't see a scar... well, we probably have to chalk this one up to real life pressures of production; considering how rare it was to see either Josh or Donna outside of anything but a smart suit (or, indeed, anything that would reveal scars on their chests), they probably either forgot all about it over time or decided that trying to remember exactly where Josh or Donna should have a scar on a consistent basis for what would only amount to a handful of shots that weren't expressly intended to show the character's injuries for plot reasons anyway (which in turn would have meant more time for the actors in make-up, which in turn would snowball into how much time they had to shoot the scene(s) in question) just meant more effort with little to show for it; in the latter case, they gambled that most people wouldn't notice anyway and the ones who did just shrug and let it go without it affecting their overall enjoyment. [See also: why Kate Beckett in ''{{Castle}}'' ''Series/{{Castle}}'' seems to have a magically reappearing/disappearing scar as well.]
26th Nov '13 6:50:26 PM jckgat
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* They failed Political Science forever. The last non-incumbent Democrat to succeed to the office of President of the United States was James Buchanan. In that same period of time, four non-incumbent Republicans became POTUS, Hayes, Garfield, Taft (formerly Secretary of War), and Hoover (formerly Secretary of Commerce). \\
As far as incumbents, two Democrats (Truman and LBJ) were Vice President or President before they succeeded to the office of President through national election, while 2 Republicans (Coolidge and H. Bush) did the same feat. Health problems prevented Arthur from running for a second term, TR at first decided not to run for a second term, but then changed his mind, tried, and lost, and Ford failed to secure a second term.
** 1. The West Wing operates on a pretty clear alternate timeline, since there are at least 4 presidents that don't exist in our world going back a couple decades. I'm pretty sure Lassiter was a Democrat, too, which makes the succession like Democrat Republican Democrat Democrat -- the political trends are very different. 2. Santos was originally going to ''lose'' the election. Then John Spencer died and the producers/writers decided it'd be way too depressing for show fans if Leo died ''and'' Santos lost the election; it would have been a complete DownerEnding. 3. The only reason in-show that Santos won, as cited time and time again, is because of the San Andreo accident and the fact that Vinick supported the building of the plant way the hell back in the 70's. Many, many characters on both sides say that without that one-in-a-million freak accident, Vinick would've won the election pretty well. So, it's less hubris and more the laws of making your audience not want to kill themselves.
** Actually, I did do my research. Originally Aaron Sorkin wanted the series centered on the Presidents Staff, not the President. The only time we should see the President is coming and going, and ideally without even seeing his face. However, over time, Martin Sheenís part got bigger and bigger. Yes, the West Wing was an alternate timeline, starting right after the Nixon administration.
** The earliest president depicted in the series was D. Wire Newman, a one term liberal democrat who was prone to criticizing other presidents, specifically Walken. In the real world you have Jimmy Carter, a one term liberal democrat who was prone to criticizing other presidents, nobody specifically but all in general. He was defeated by a two term Republican. They didnít come out and say that Republican Lassiter, but with the exception of Walken, he is the only Republican President mentioned. In series timeline Owen Lassiter is a Republican from California who towards the end of his life was infirm and tended to make rambling phone calls to the sitting President, in real life Ronald Reagan was a Republican from California who suffered from Alzheimerís in his final years. In series time line we have Josiah Bartlett a middle path Democrat who served two terms, in real life we have Bill Clinton a middle path Democrat who served two terms. Yes that last is thin, but backed up by admissions from Aaron Sorkin, John Wells, and Martin Sheen that Bartlett was based on a revisionist version of Bill Clinton. Yes, John Spencer did pass away with his death written into the series with Leo McGary passing away under similar circumstances. How much this effected the Santos vs Vinick election is both debatable and subjective. But more importantly it was also irrelevant, because that was in the planning stage. In the planning stages of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tom Selleck was suppose to play Indiana Jones, but that didnít happen either. In the end, Democratic President Bartlett was succeeded by Democratic Texas Congressman Matt Santos, who according to Producer Eli Attie was based on Barack Obama; or like I stated in my previous posting, a Democrat succeeded by a non-incumbent Democrat, which had not happened since Buchanan. Yes, it was supposed to be an alternate timeline, but not a vacuum as well.
*** And there hasn't been two consecutive two term presidents since 1824, but we just had two terms of Clinton and two terms of Bush. Just because a trend exists doesn't mean it can't be broken.
*** Also, none of them said that Bartlett was based on a "revisionist version of Bill Clinton". What they said was that Bartlett was what people ''wanted'' Clinton to be. In other words, Bartlett is intended to demonstrate what, in the writers' opinions, a president ''should'' be like, and none of the American presidents in recent history have lived up to that standard. And it is my opinion that they attempted to do something similar with Walken with his short stay, and would have done something similar with Vinick had he won (as they had intended).
*** Just adding to the above, as well as Reagan Lassiter appears to have a bit of a Nixon parallel going on as well (shady dealings while in office, obsessed with being seen as an elder statesman after leaving the Oval Office) and his funeral shares some similarities to Nixon's funeral if memory serves. They probably wanted to 'do' Nixon without using the real Nixon.
** There's a missing 2 years (between the Lassiter/Reagan and Bartlet/Clinton parallels), since the timeline of ''TheWestWing'' had elections in 2002 and 2006, and Bartlet's first election would have been in 1998 (real-world presidential elections are in '96, 2000, '04, and '08). So there's basically no analogue to the first president Bush, at least not one mentioned in the show.
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