Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Little Over-Emotional, Thanks, And You?

Maybe one of the best Christmas gifts I've ever gotten was the box set of "The West Wing" series. I am devouring it and it is as powerful and inspiring as it was the first time around.

Last night, I was watching one of the documentaries on the show, and they were talking about how Leo McGarry's character came to New Hampshire to see Jed Bartlet while he was still the governor. In a flashback, Leo sticks a cocktail napkin with the words "Bartlet For America" scrawled on it to an easel, and the President, for Christmas, when he's running for re-election four years later, frames the napkin and gives it to Leo for Christmas.

John Spencer, who played Leo, talks in the documentary about the scene where he opens the gift, and he got emotional when he talked about it, the nature of his friendship with Martin Sheen, and Leo's friendship with the President.

Spencer died of a heart attack in December of 2005, and someone on YouTube made this tribute to him. The song playing in the background is "For Good," from the Broadway musical Wicked. Kristen Chenowith, who played Annabeth Schott on "The West Wing" as well as Glinda in "Wicked," performed this song at Spencer's funeral.

I get a little farklempt every time I watch this video. The song is a lovely sentiment and Kristen Chenowith, who I don't care for as an actor, performs it so beautifully. I imagine that filming this episode, which was made several weeks after Spencer's death, must have been incredibly hard for the other actors. Watch Martin Sheen hug Allison Janney when she comes to deliver the news--as she turns away, you can see tears on his face. Josh's face, in the final scene of this video, where he colors in Nevada and puts the final electoral vote count on the board, then looks at the pictures on the bulletin board and finally says "Thanks, Boss"--I'm sure Bradley Whitford isn't doing a lot of acting in this scene either.

Anyway, this is great, if a little emotionally-terroristic.

1 comment:

Becki said...

I am a West Wing junkie myself--got to remember to order that "Paranoid Shiksa Feminista" tee from Cafe Press. Thanks for sharing this. I still want Bartlet for president.