I can't believe I haven't heard about this before.
The West Wing weekly podcast has been going for two years now.
It's an episode by episode discussion about every single season of West Wing.
Hosted by Joshua Malina (Will Bailey) and Hrishikesh Hirway (musician & composer), with special guest stars every few episodes, they reveal behind the scenes pranks, explore themes and point out often missed details.
Thanks to a couple of recent weekend roadtrips, Mr Books and I have binged listened to the first 10 episodes. We've seen the series so many time we don't need to watch each episode before tuning in to the podcast, all the wonderful details simply come flooding back to us as Josh & Hrishi talk.
So far, the podcast has featured special guest stars Dule Hill (Charlie), Janel Moloney (Donna), Richard Schiff (Toby) and Melissa Fitzgerald (Carol). They've all discussed how they got their roles, what they're doing now, lots of funny (and sometimes sad) anecdotes and oodles of insiders comments about the particular episode they were talking about that session.
Speechwriters, costume designers and real-life political advisors also get a gig.
It was fascinating hearing about how the Clinton presidency handled their own new Supreme Court nomination process and how much work and research went into getting the dresses right for the State Dinner episode. Who knew a First Lady wasn't meant to have cleavage?!
One of the joys for Josh & Hrishi is picking over all the details that can only be revealed by multiple viewings.
It's also one of our delights.
I've now watched the series through four time. Mr Books has watched it six. Throughout our next viewing we will watch out for the changing props in Gail the goldfish's bowl, Josh's tucked in tie, Donna's obvious love for Josh from episode one. and Sam's hair malfunction in one of the early episodes. We now also know why Bartlett puts his suit jacket on the way he does.
In these early podcasts, Josh and Hrishi make their own ads for each other, and besides the occasional guest, record the sessions alone. After checking out their facebook page though, it looks like two years later, they are recording in front of a large, and very appreciative, live studio audience, with a stage and very regular guests appearances from the cast.
I look forward to hearing how the podcasts develop into this as their popularity increases. Just as well Mr Books and I love a good roadtrip!
It would seem that in this world, where Trump can be President, the need for West Wing style hope, integrity and goodwill is even stronger than ever before. It's a show that just keeps on giving!
Yes, Mr Books and I do plan to watch the series again, but we like to wait until we see the first news report (every four years or so) pop up about primary elections and caucuses. We figure if we watch West Wing enough times in conjunction with the latest US election process, we may, one day actually understand how it works!
With grateful thanks to Joy @Joy's Book Blog for alerting me to this wonderful podcast and for finally converting us to the magic of podcasts.
If you love West Wing, you will adore this podcast and if you've been looking for a good excuse to watch the series, then this might be the way to get you hooked.