In today's unpredictable political world, we'd all like to think that the folks in charge are on our side. Okay, maybe it's a bit farfetched to think that they're all really out for the little guy, but it's the kind of dream The West Wing instilled in us for seven seasons. They may have been fictional characters, but the members of the Bartlet administration illustrated exactly what it meant to be a public servant.
Well, if you were thinking it was the perfect time for a The West Wing reunion, you're in good company. Allison Janney, known for playing CJ Cregg (among many other stellar, award-winning roles) feels that it's a great time to revisit the NBC show. In an interview with Variety, Janney said:
“Everyone wants to, but really, how could we do that? We’re all too old! [laughs] They could do it with a whole new cast, and Aaron should. I know everyone fell in love with our characters, and I love that, but it seems like ‘West Wing’ should be filled with young, idealistic, visionary people. Maybe, I don’t know, they could give us some other jobs in the White House.
“But gosh, it would be just a great time for ‘West Wing’ now, for whoever is disillusioned by what’s going on today. Those are the people you want working in Washington: People whose hearts are in the right place, people who reach across the aisle, people who want to do the right thing. It was a great show. I wish we could do it. Believe me, I wish we could.”
I, for one, would be happy to watch a new version of The West Wing if it had the same heart. I think most people, regardless of where they find themselves on the political spectrum, feel a bit left behind by the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric spouted by the people who are meant to represent us, by the policies that come forth to benefit a select few. The characters in the Bartlet administration weren't just "young, idealistic, [and] visionary"; they showed us exactly what it meant to be a public servant. They worked tirelessly to produce the fairest society for the most people. They passed on opportunities to advance themselves personally. They let their social lives and vacation plans fall by the wayside when their country called. They knew that they were privileged to serve their nation; it wasn't something they won. And, yeah, sometimes they failed. Sometimes they were human. But they always tried to do what was right.
We need a new example of what it means to truly serve your country. We need to see fictional people who care about the nation so we know what to require of the real people who should be doing the same. We NEED The West Wing in our lives.
So, Aaron Sorkin, we just have one question: What's next?
Even Lin-Manuel Miranda wants to know. Uh, maybe he's available? We'd watch that.