Saturday, 9 July 2011

Why the West Wing will always be the best TV show ever written.

I love all sorts of TV. Whether its Fawlty Towers, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, MASH, Grey's Anatomy, House or Boston Legal (and many, many others), I love anything that's well written, makes me laugh/cry/think. But one show will always be my favourite, hands down, and should anyone criticize it I feel the need to defend it as a lioness would defend her cub. There are two reasons for this.

The first is that, sometime during my A Levels, my oldest and one of my dearest friends recommended I watch it. It was on VHS in our sixth form library. Now, this girl is wise and wonderful, and I follow her recommendations. Some of which I love, some of which I don't. In this case, she had me hooked. But they only had the first season in the library. It took me a while to get the second season, and once I had any kind of earning potential, I bought all the others. It remains, to this day, the only TV series I have all the DVD's for. It's taken her nearly 10 years to watch them all. I had the joy of being in the same house as her as she finally caught up. Watching her facial expressions, hearing her squeal and gasp at certain points made up for the many years of me asking her "HAVE YOU WATCHED IT YET?" with exasperation.

The second reason is it is intrinsically a part of the beginning of my relationship with the boyfriend. It was the first year of university. Since October of that year I had been falling hard for this guy, with the amazing smile and wonderful eyes. I had never, ever felt this way about another person, and I had no clue how to proceed. I'd never been in a relationship, I was the ugly, awkward duckling at school. I gave the impression to many people that I was an ice queen of a snob who looked down on everyone. I had no idea of how to make friends properly, let alone show a guy I liked him. The wonderful people I lived with in university showed me how to make friends, brought me out of my shell. But I still had no way to proceed with this boy. And each month that went by, my feelings grew. I hid it well, when I told a housemate I liked another housemate, she went through all the other men in the house before finishing with the one I liked. I was getting to breaking point, desperate for him to show he liked me too. Then, one night, he came into the kitchen, along with another housemate who had a crush on me at the time (I had no clue, looking back now its obvious he did.)*. I was watching the season one finale of the West Wing. Which is one of the best cliffhanger endings I have ever seen. The boy turned to me and asked what happened, and can he see the next episode. I promptly said no. There's nothing I hate more than someone asking you questions about "Who's that? What are they talking about?" etc etc during episodes of my favourite show or film. I told him he would have to watch the first season from the start BEFORE watching the second season.

For the next month and a half, every night at about the same time each day, one of us would knock on the door of the others room. In the darkness we'd watch each episode, I would be secretly giddy with happiness at the fact I was spending time with the person I was slowly falling in love with. I was also giddy that he loved the show as much as I did. As the weeks went by, we would spend more and more time together. One night I fell asleep, curled cat like at the end of his bed. The next night I fell asleep next to him. And still, neither of us realized how the other felt. We ran out of West Wing episodes, but continued the tradition of watching something together at night. Finally, sometime in the early hours of February the 22nd, 2006, after I fell asleep while watching the Mummy, I woke up with one hell of a fright as he kissed me (strangely enough I fell asleep with Kiss The Girl from the Little Mermaid in my head). Remember, up till that time, I'd never been kissed. I panicked, apparently I nearly strangled him, I held onto him so tightly. We spend the entire night talking and kissing, neither of us going to sleep. He never actually asked me out...but five years on we're still together.

Those West Wing nights allowed our relationship to develop. It made us close friends before we became boyfriend and girlfriend. It meant that I've always felt completely at ease and able to be myself around him. And every time I hear Brother's in Arms, I'm swept back to that time, sitting in the dark, slowly falling in love. And that is why it is, and always shall be, the best show ever made.

*Looking back it's also obvious the boyfriend had a crush on me, too. I think I need some sort of alarm or something, because I've gotten into some very strange situations because of my clueless. More on that another day. Seriously strange, sometimes scary situations...

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