“The West Wing” is a fictional TV show that seems to offer a great perspective to the inner workings of political processes. In its episode titled “The Short List,” it tackles the challenges of Supreme Court nominations and what could happen behind the scenes that the average person may never hear about.
In the episode, White House staff and President (played by Martin Sheen) think that they are certain about their nomination but are soon thrown a curveball when an old piece of writing from the nominee is uncovered. In order to determine the best course of action, during time winding down to pick a nominee, they choose to additionally interview someone they had not previously considered.
Overall, I think this episode gives a more in-depth look at a process that is mostly done behind closed doors. I found it interesting to see a possible way that a nomination could ensue with the public possibly never being aware of how close competition could be for the nomination pick.
I also liked how it showed the staff and President in a more casual light. Instead of seeming super different from the average person, I could see them in informal ways through their personalities, which makes these figures seem more like the average person.
Being able to see the characters interacting during what could be day-to-day events in the office made them seem more relatable. It also showed that even high-profile people go through challenges and make mistakes like the average person. I think that this brings the show down to earth and allows viewers to relate to the characters.
Even after finishing this episode, I continued to watch the next several because I enjoyed the storylines and found myself enjoying a casual take on the White House. While this is a fictional show, I have to imagine there are likely similar occurrences that happen in the real White House.
One thing I think makes the show enjoyable to watch is how the cast brought their characters to life. Throughout several episodes, there was a great deal of character development which is a big part of what makes a show interesting.
Overall, this episode was so interesting, keeping me entertained with its relatability factor, great character development and prompting my thought of the innerworkings of the White House and politics in general, in more depth.
Edited by Alivia Moore & Ryan Michaels