As the US General Election approaches, I know a lot of people are feeling a lot of feelings about the state of the world, including fear, frustration, hope, and exhaustion. I thought it would be fun to recommend TV Shows based on how people are currently feeling.
Side note: Early voting has started in many states please vote if you are eligible to.
“Things can and should be better”
Madam Secretary (Netflix/CBS All Access)
West Wing (Netflix)
“Things are fine”
The 100 (Netflix/CW)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Snow Piercer (TNT)
“Why is everything so political?”
The Fosters (Prime Video/Hulu/Freeform)
Brooklyn 99 (Hulu/Peacock)
“Everything is political!”
Equal (HBO/HBO Max)
Dear White People (Netflix)
“Politicians are the problem”
The Politician (Netflix)
“I want to move to Canada”
Kim’s Convenience (Netflix)
Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
“I want to make a difference”
The Mayor (not currently on a streaming platform, but so good so keep an eye out)
West Wing is my favorite show of all time. I genuinely picked my major in college based off of this show. There are so many good episodes, in fact a majority of them are good. Here is my list of my 10 favorite episodes, because this was a hard choice I included some honorable mentions. If you’ve seen the show let me know your favorites.
“The Debate” Season 7 Episode 7
“La Palabra” Season 6 Episode 18
“In the Shadow of Two Gunmen Part 1 +2” Season 2 Episode 1 &2
“Dead Irish Writers” Season Season 3 Episode 15
“20 Hours in America Part 1 + 2” Season 4 Episode 1 & 2
The Final Countdown:
10. “Celestial Navigation” Season 1 Episode 15 — I really enjoy the formatting of the episodes where it is narrated in present and flashbacks. It has a lot of great humor with an emergency dental surgery and one of my favorite Toby moments with Mendoza.
9. “Liftoff” Season 6 Episode 4 — CJ’s first day. This was an episode where I felt empowered and felt like I was in it with her. Also, the introduction of a one Congressman Santos (aka America’s favorite Jimmy Smits)
8. “Ellie” Season 2 Episode 15 — One thing that really works about West Wing is that characters and administrations are not wholly good. Ellie highlights President Bartlett and the Bartlett administration’s flaws. I love this episode it is so heartfelt and highlights wonderful political issues from decimalization of marijuana, Social Security, censorship, and a family in the spotlight.
7. “Angel Maintenance” Season 4 Episode 19 — This is one of the only Will focused episodes I liked. It’s such a tight episode and I loved the humor of episode. It’s so tight and we got to explore dynamics like CJ and Will that we don’t normally get to see.
6. “Jefferson Lives” Season 5 Episode 3 – This was the episode that I knew Elizabeth Moss was going to have a long career. All the Bartlets’ and Charlie’s performances were wonderful. It was also such an interesting transition for our West Wing with Russell’s introduction and Donna becoming unsatisfied in her job. It stands out because it mixes the lingering effects of the kidnapping with the high stress of finding a VP.
5. “Election Night” Season 4 Episode 7 — This is such a funny and charming episode. As Bartlet is elected for a second term, Donna goes on a crusade for principal. A lot of Sam’s relationships are explored as he doesn’t want to admit a promise he had made. This was before we were stuck with Will forever and was still likable.
4. “In Excelsis Deo” Season 1 Episode 10 — This episode has some many wonderful shining moments. I think it highlights the heart of each character. Toby with the homeless vets. CJ and Danny. Sam and Josh breaking the lines for Leo. It defines the moral compass for a lot of our central characters in addition to the holidays.
3. “Two Cathedrals” Season 2 Episode 22 – Bartlett has told America the truth and we work our way to one of the best finales. It is a wonderful episode with Jed becoming Jed as a teen with the help of Mrs. Landingham. As well as one of the finest speeches in series with Bartlet’s rail to heavens.
2. “Memorial Day” Season 5 Episode 22 — Donna is my favorite character. I love the panic of one timeline mixed in with Donna’s trip to Gaza as she becomes more confident and comfortable with her new position. The information of what is really going on in Gaza versus the debates after catastrophe. I think I just like dual timeline episodes. Plus, Leo and Jed’s dynamic in this episode is *chef’s kiss*.
1. “Requiem” Season 7 Episode 18 — This is probably one of the most wonderful series finale episodes of all time (even though it’s 5 episodes before the end). Due to the funeral all the characters are brought completely together one last time to reflect. It’s a start contrast to see where everyone has ended up, but a beautiful performance by the full cast full of laughter and sorrow.
September was a pretty slow reading month for me. I had a lot going on at work as well as personally, following my move to a new apartment and a death in the family. However I did read 5 books, most of which I enjoyed (3 – 5 Star; 1 – 4 Star; 1 – 3 Star). Let me know if you’ve read any of these. I’m just sorting these by date finished.
Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Renni Edo Lodge (Non-fiction) – 5 Stars: I really enjoyed this book. It was passionate and the book was broken down by arguments people make to deny systematic racism.
The Pride of Chanur by C.J Cherryh (Science Fiction) – 3 stars: I feel incredibly neutral about this book which is bizarre for me. I probably wouldn’t have finished if not for book club. There is a crew of all-female cat-like people who take aboard a stranger. You may like if you are into very classic sci-fi.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (Non-fiction) – 4 stars: This is an incredibly important issue and should be required reading for most Americans. The reason it is 4 stars is that I personally had a harder time following the timelines.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (Magical Realism/Young Adult) – 5 Stars: After Leigh’s mother commits suicide Leigh knows nothing for certain except that her mother has turned into a bird. This is a highly emotional story but beautiful in the end.
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (Fantasy/Middle Grade) – 5 Stars: Alice Queensmeadow feels alone. This is a beautiful and whimsical story that also creeped me out more than I expected. Slight Alice in Wonderland retelling with actual magic and friendship.