Welp, now I’m older than Gina Toscano, so, yikes to that. (When I watched this the first time I was five years younger than Zoey.)
Ed and Larry! I’m still not totally sure which is which, but I think every show should have an Ed and Larry.
Boy, ethanol sure is scintillating, huh gang?
Josh, I will grant you that keycards used to be more fidgety, but get it together, man.
Oh, Donna. I love your strategy for getting Josh to notice you, which is to bug him to ask out every woman he meets in the apparent hope that he will date and break up with all of them and finally end up with you. Thanks for that, by the way, that really helped me in high school.
Wow, Josh is SO squirmy and dismissive of this major fundraiser who wants to discuss a bill banning gays in the military. Obviously we’re not perfect on gay rights yet but WOW, Josh can’t even make eye contact with this guy.
Josh’s hair is super-big in this episode. It is definitely full of secrets.
“They make guacamole right in front of you.” This is one of those things that is both adorably late-90s and probably really awesome.
Zoey is maybe not the most likable. Between the whole thing on the plane with Charlie about all the “hints” she’s given him about how to be a better boyfriend, and how pissy she is when Gina tries to, you know, put herself physically between Zoey and danger.
I feel like today this “development” gag would be “consulting” but maybe it’s a specific Hollywood thing.
Ok, but if Matt Perry is right there, who’s that one guy that comes to work with you in a few years?
This whole exchange between President Bartlet and Ted Marcus is kind of…bizarre. Like, President Bartlet is probably right that if he forced the gay rights debate front-and-center in early 2000, it would not go well. But also he really gets in the guy’s face and for a minute there is literally wagging a finger at him.
Plausibility: 8/10. Probably fine? Everything was the dumbest in the late ’90s/early 2000s.
CJ and Donna’s rundown of the entire skincare section of a department store, everything about gay rights (but that’s a yikes factor of the whole decade.)
Bonus Factors: Introduction of Gina, weird cameos from the Hoff and Jay Leno
Watchability: 9.5/10. The Sam/Toby/Josh/CJ plots—which are most of the episode—are pretty near flawless.
Plausibility: 7/10. Like I said, the business where Sam keeps saying that Mendoza “doesn’t drink” but doesn’t explain why until the end is pretty blatantly a plot device. Like, really, I feel like this would all happen on the phone. But whatever. I’ll allow it.
I feel like all the race stuff could be handled with a little more finesse.
Bonus Factors: Root canal, Josh’s press conference, Charlie’s wake-up call.
Sorry about that, everyone—should be fixed now. Thanks for alerting me!
And we’re back!
Hey y’all, thanks so much for following! I hope you’re enjoying the episode notes and extras. I’ll be out of commission for about a week, but never fear: we should start back up again by the end of next week. In the meantime, a question:
What’s your favorite episode of The West Wing? What moment from that episode makes it your favorite?
"More than 50% engage in ‘petting behavior’. That’s what I think it is, right?"
—“Take Out The Trash Day”, 1/26/00