WEST WING REVISITED

Way back in September, I put a curse on The Big Bang Theory. It was unintentional, but I did, and I feel bad about it. I said the popular show had jumped the shark, and if you’ve been watching this season, you know I was right. There is quickly going to be a vacancy in the Thursday night 7:00 time slot. The network has even begun with an attempt to ease the shock. We can avoid withdrawal by tuning in to Young Sheldon. Maybe I shouldn’t feel so guilty, but I want to help. Helping, for my part, consists of making one excellent suggestion for a replacement.

The next big thing is a situation comedy about a functionally illiterate president who watches the A&E channel constantly. I see a Martin Sheen type, but with big hair, maybe a strawberry blond coiffure, and caterpillar eyebrows. He is surrounded by about a dozen sycophants played by well known stars. Think Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Rob Lowe, and John Spencer.

I see the president spending most of his time watching television, gathering news from shows like Pawn Stars, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Duck Dynasty. When staff members attempt to fill him in on current events around the world, he frustrates them by dozing off after a few minutes.

Every comedy show needs a running gag that can be relied on for repeat laughs. West Wing Revisited could count on situations where the president is unable to come up with logical support for his ideas. The scene would always be followed by the president having an overnight brainstorm and tweeting out a “your fat momma” rejoinder about three o’clock in the morning.

If the concept seems in bad taste, considering recent political history, remember what television has offered in the past.  In the late 1960’s, coinciding with the reign of Richard Nixon, we had a hit show called Hogan’s Heroes, which created comedy from the Nazis. Hitler was only twenty years gone, and still the television audience seemed to think a prisoner of war camp was hilarious.  And that was when television standards seemed relatively high.

Hogan’s Heroes was not alone in its tastelessness. About the same time, All In the Family was delighting the country with Archie Bunker and his narrow minded, crass comments about any and every minority.  We’ve seen this sort of racially charged nonsense before, just not in the Oval Office.

The world needs West Wing Revisited, if only for the therapeutic effect.  It might do us all good to see that stupidity and a fourth grade reading level can be as entertaining as it is scary.

…and kinda' stick your neck out.

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