Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Catalogue of Slips

Although I love The West Wing, there are certain flaws that cannot be denied. For example, Sorkin et al didn't seem to watch their own show too faithfully, given the lack of consistency. I've catalogued a few glaring examples below.

Did Bartlet go the law school?

From episode 1.4, Five Votes Down...

Bartlet: You know, I had a civil procedure professor who said once, he said, “When the law is on your side, argue the law; and when the facts are on your side, argue the facts; when you don’t have the law on your side, when you don’t have the facts on your side, bang your fist on the defense table as loud as you can.”

From episode 2.19, Bad Moon Rising...

Bartlet: He looks down his nose at me because I'm not a lawyer.

Is Toby a lawyer?

From episode 1.5, And It's Surely To Their Credit [when Toby's in the room]...

LEO: He wanted to send a lawyer.
SAM: I'm a lawyer. Everybody in the room's a lawyer.

From episode 4.9, Artic Radar...

TOBY: Look...
WILL: I'm a lawyer.
TOBY: Good, 'cause they're never annoying.

From episode 4.17, Privateers...

TOBY: How come he knows about the rule?
JOSH: Everybody knows about that.
TOBY: Was something else on your mind that moment in law school when they taught that rule? Were you distracted by a bumblebee?

Should the White House raise the level of public debate?

From episode 1.19, Let Bartlet Be Bartlet...

Leo: We’re gonna lose some of these battles, and we might even lose the White House, but we’re not gonna be threatened by issues. We’re gonna put them front and center. We’re gonna raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy.

From episode 2.8, Shibboleth...

Leo: The post did not desperately need to be filled. Neither the economy nor national security nor infrastructure will collapse without an assistant secretary of primary and secondary education.
TOBY: It brings the problem front and center.
LEO: Great. And what prize do we get for that?
TOBY: Leo...
LEO: What prize do we get for bringing it front and center?

How old is Zoey Bartlet?

From episode 1.6, Mr. Willis of Ohio [before Zoey starts college]...

GUY AT BAR: Excuse . We’re just trying to buy the girl a drink, man.
CHARLIE: She’s 19 years old, man. You’d have to take her to Maryland.

From episode 2.19, Bad Moon Rising...

CHARLIE: When Zoey and Ellie went to college... When they went to college they would've had to fill out a health form.
LEO: What are you...?
CHARLIE: On the form, they ask for a number of things, including a complete family medical history.
LEO: God. Charlie...How did you know he was sick? How did you know that the President was sick? Charlie...
CHARLIE: Leo! If you're under 18 when you start as a freshman...if you're under 18, you need a parent's signature.

How knowledgable is CJ about basketball?

From episode 1.9, The Short List...

DANNY: I’m here because there’s a basketball team called the New York Knickerbockers who are playing in town tonight.
C.J.: I don’t have time for a little basketball game!
DANNY: Neither do I. Which is why we I thought could watch it in your office while I explain it to you in a patronizing manner, ‘cause I know it’s something women usually like.

From episode 2.17, The Stackhouse Filibuster...

JOSH: I'm going to Port Saint Lucie, which may not mean anything to you, but happens to be the spring training home of the...
C.J.: New York Jets. Yes, you've told me. Josh, you can watch basketball on T.V.
JOSH: Yes, except the New York Knicks are a basketball team, the New York Jets are a football team, and Port Saint Lucie is the spring training home of the New York...
C.J.: Mets! Yes, dammit, I'm inadequate.

And later...

TOBY: I got a basketball game on in my office if you want to come by.
C.J.: Is it the Jets and the Mets?
TOBY: It's the Nets and the Hawks. The Jets and the Mets?
C.J.: I know the teams. I'm joking when I do this. I'm joking when I do this.

From episode 6.10, Faith-Based Initiative...

Margaret: "What team does she play on? Washington abuzz with fresh allegations that a certain former Bartlet administration press secretary may have more than a passing interest in pursuing what many have described as 'a radical homosexual agenda.'" And it goes on...
CJ: To say what?
Margaret: That you played sports at Berkeley and that you were the first girl in Ohio prep history ever to dunk a basketball.

I just had to get these on the record somewhere.

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