‘The West Wing’ enlists big names for its When We All Vote reunion special

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Much of the interstitial materials, selling voting and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s get-out-the-vote group, centered on inspiring folks to take part within the upcoming election. The dialog additionally sought to preempt many of the arguments and counterpoints such an effort may elicit, starting with the frequent conservative bashing of out-of-touch celebrities wading into politics.

“We understand that some people don’t fully appreciate the benefit of unsolicited advice from actors. We do know that,” Whitford mentioned, including, “The risk of appearing obnoxious is too small a reason to stay quiet if we can get even one new voter to vote.”

Beyond staging the episode “Hartsfield’s Landing,” a tense standoff between the US and China from the Emmy-winning White House drama’s third season, sequence creator Aaron Sorkin used the act breaks to point out off behind-the-scenes moments involving the solid, and pitches from Obama, Bill Clinton, Samuel L. Jackson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Cast members additionally stepped out of character to speak concerning the significance of voting, together with supporting gamers Marlee Matlin and “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Elisabeth Moss, who co-starred on the NBC sequence in certainly one of her early roles.

“This is Us” star Sterling Okay. Brown, who crammed in for the late John Spencer within the position of Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, additionally weighed in concerning the significance of Black voter turnout, whereas Emily Procter — who portrayed Ainsley Hayes — learn the scene descriptions.

'The West Wing's' idealism looks even better 20 years after its first Emmy

In addition to the prospect to see the important thing gamers again in character — none extra outstanding than a seemingly ageless Martin Sheen, now 80, as President Bartlet — Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme took benefit of the vacant Orpheum Theater to approximate the expertise of watching a stage play, solely with a best-seat-in-the-house view.

Notably, that included capturing the performers from behind and revealing the rows and rows of empty seats, a poignant reminder of what is been misplaced on the theatrical entrance because the pandemic started.

Jackson, in his direct-to-camera plea to vote, acknowledged, “Our politics today are a far cry from the romantic vision of ‘The West Wing,'” however requested why this system’s values needed to be “an unattainable TV fantasy.”

It’s straightforward to debate whether or not that sounds naive. But for an hour or so, “The West Wing” special manages to convey the present, and its central beliefs, again to life.

“A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” is at present taking part in on HBO Max. Like CNN, the streaming service is a unit of WarnerMedia.

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