Come To Think Of It…

I had an epiphany last night. Bravo has begun running reruns of The West Wing at 11pm. I’ve never particularly cared for the show’s politics. nor its sense of smug self-satisfaction. (As one of my coworkers tells it, TWW is akin to “liberal political porn”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more accurate description of the show.)
Above and beyond all that, though, there has always been something about the show’s character that has bothered me, yet I could never quite put my finger on it. Enter last night’s epiphany.
The West Wing‘s devoutly-Catholic-yet-socially-liberal-and-wise-enough-to-transcend-Rome’s-ignorant/racist/homophobic-positions tough-on-foreign-policy-yet-softhearted-with-domestic-downtrodden-people-of-all-walks President Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen) is a dead ringer for one NBC’s other leading dramatic men, Law and Order: Criminal Intent‘s Det. Robert Goran (Vincent D’Onofrio). In both cases, the men are endowed with intelligence far outpacing those around them. Each episode’s tension consists not of whether the good guys will win in the end; rather, it’s simply how each Giant-Among-Lesser-Men will respond to the situation.