TV Show Idea: Republican Reboot of “The West Wing”
One of NBC’s most popular shows over the past two decades was Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing,” which was a one-hour drama that followed fictional U.S. President Jed Bartlett and his staff as they dealt with America in the 2000s.
(Side note: If you’re a West Wing fan and you’re not listening to “The West Wing Weekly” podcast, you’re not really a West Wing fan!)
As much as I loved that show – and still watch old episodes from time to time on Netflix – I always thought they missed the boat on creating a great spinoff: A Republican West Wing!
Bartlett’s two-term presidency showed us how the White House and the government worked with democrats in office. But what would the same show be like with a Republican President in the Oval Office?
First, let me explain that I have no political party affiliation, and there are views I agree with and disagree with on both sides of the aisle. So this isn’t a case of me saying I want the Republicans to take revenge on how they were portrayed in the Democrats’ West Wing.
Second, I understand that the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin, is a staunch liberal, which helped gave his democratic President and staff tons of storylines to dip into. For the most part, Hollywood is very liberal, and the creation of a Republican West Wing might not sound that sexy. It’s doubtful that Sorkin would even sign on, but this is an attempt to get him to sign off on someone else writing it, leaving him as an executive producer. (He supposedly retired as a television writer a couple years ago, with the end of the HBO series, “The Newsroom.”)
Elect a Republican President for “The West Wing”!
No matter your party affiliation, “The West Wing” had some great drama, compelling storylines and it was a great way to educate many people on how things worked in the U.S. government.
Sorkin had to write for the Republican’s point of view on the original West Wing, and he also created the character Will McAvoy, a moderate Republican news anchor, played by Jeff Daniels on “The Newsroom.”
Bartlett’s West Wing played out for seven seasons, from 1999 to 2006, mostly during a Republican’s two-term run, with President George W. Bush in office. That juxtaposition between reality and fantasy made for great weekly viewing.
Ideally, Sorkin could’ve restarted “The West Wing” series into 2009, when Barack Obama, a Democratic President, was in office. America could have watched a Republican in office dealing with similar issues, including the rise of social media, WikiLeaks, Arab spring and even the capture and killing of one of the biggest terrorists in history.
Of course, if Hillary Clinton ends up in office, then Sorkin’s replacement could write a television series based on the what-ifs of a bombastic character like Donald Trump in office. Strangely, the television version of that president would have to be dialed back a bit to be believable, but watching his senior staff and advisers working daily in the federal government would definitely be compelling.
My hope is that a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu sees the fervor created by those following Trump’s presidency, and they create a White House storyline surrounding it. If there’s anything we’ve learned since Trump announced his plan to run for president, he and his staff are anything but boring. And a Republican West Wing could help us understand their issues better, while also being thoroughly entertained!