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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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R.I.P. John Spenser -- Leo McGarry on The West Wing
After years of saying I wouldn't watch it, because it was unabashedly liberal, I got hooked on The West Wing earlier this year...just like the movie The American President that inspired it, The West Wing is a beautiful wet dream of a time when Democrats were honest, Republicans were stupid, and government could actually work. Who doesn't long for that time? Anyway, the reason I put up with the propaganda is the marvelous acting. The West Wing is one of the best acted shows on television...and one of its best ensemble players died suddenly of a heart attack yesterday, at the age of 58. John Spenser was playing political operative Leo McGarry, running as the Democratic candidate for vice president. There are several shows in the can, so the writers and producers will have some time to think about how to deal with this, but I see a state funeral in the offing, especially if the Democrats win the election...which is now only three weeks, series time, off. This could have been milked for another two seasons, if Spenser hadn't died.

A terrific actor, Spenser, like Jerry Orbach, was one of the pillars of one of the best shows on TV, and like Orbach, will be greatly missed.

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Damnit. Spenser, despite his craggy visage, was actually just a tad younger than me. I can remember him playing the boyfriend of the English twin on "The Patty Duke Show" when we were all much younger.

Mine enemy grows older.

I do so love The West Wing, it's such a liberal power fantasy. Must recommend also this season's copycat "Commander-In-Chief"; ensemble acting is just about as good, and Geena Davis is a pretty good female Martin Sheen ...

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