Entertainment Weekly in the States was asking for your vote on who should be the next President of the United States: Jed Bartlet, Laura Roslin, David Palmer or Mackenzie Allen.
I say was because I thought I was pointing this out to you while there was still time to vote: maybe there is but now I go back to their page, I get neither a voting form nor a table of results. Hopefully your mileage will vary.
If not, let me tell you that when I looked earlier today, The West Wing’s Jed Bartlet was winning, I think he had 42% of the vote compared to 32% for his nearest rival. Can’t remember who that was. But running third at the time was Battlestar Galactica’s Laura Roslin and I voted for her.
I’m wondering if I did that because she’s a woman. I think it’s cringingly embarrassing that America has never had a woman President and that the UK’s only had one woman Prime Minister. But then I completely ignored Commander in Chief’s Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis). So maybe it’s that I never watched C-in-C, that David Palmer was President on 24 so long ago that I couldn’t remember his first name without looking him up. And that Roslin hasn’t let me down by being written by someone else after four seasons.
But C-in-C was an interesting example of what I think is quite a new phenomenon in US TV drama: the dizzying height and the dizzying fall, all done at speed. You’re used to shows dying, even especially being yanked off the air within a few episodes. But Commander in Chief came out like an instant hit – and then by the end of the first season, it was dying. Joan of Arcadia boomed into life and looked set for a long run which maybe it deserved but somehow nobody bothered tuning in for the second season.
I know that’s only two examples but I did have a third until this paragraph. Can’t fathom where my head was going. But is it too early to ask if long-running series have had their day?
Okay, well, I only asked. You can be quite cutting sometimes.
I think Jed Bartlet is going to win and it was a joy to read Aaron Sorkin’s account of a fictitious conversation between Bartlet and Obama. (You’re going to have to explain to me why I used the word fictitious there: when only one character in a conversation is real, it’s either fictitious or time to phone for help.) If you missed that, it was in The New York Times.
I write to you with a new monitor on my Mac. Just wanted to share that.