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The West Wing: The Brief and Political Return of Mrs. Landingham

The West WingOn the landmark drama The West Wing, the country is led by the intelligent and charismatic President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen). Though no one doubts his abilities, he’s kept on his toes by his longtime, no-nonsense secretary Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten).

It was a shock to faithful viewers when the character was killed at the end of West Wing’s second season. You may recall that Mrs. Landingham had just purchased a new car when she was hit by a drunk driver. Her death affected President Bartlet deeply and she appeared to him in a vision after her death.

The character was so beloved and the death was so shocking that several real-life newspapers ran memorial articles for her and Assemblyman Kevin Shelley led a tribute on the floor of the California State Assembly.

Does it sound like the actors are getting a bad deal?

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The members of the Screen Actors Guild are currently voting on a new contract. This agreement addresses similar issues as the Writers Guild members faced a couple years ago. The battle with the studios and producers spawned the writers strike of 2007-08.

Last year, it looked like performers were headed towards a strike of their own but, primarily because of the bad economy and a break with AFTRA, there wasn’t enough support for one. As a result, SAG leaders had to settle on a less attractive deal.

Outspoken Sheen and many other performers put together a video talking about why they are voting against the new deal. Sheen acts a lot like President Bartlet in the video and that apparently inspired the opposition and Joosten to revive Mrs. Landingham. Whether you agree or disagree with her politics, it’s nice to see Joosten in the role again. It’s a bit reminiscent of Ron Howard’s video.

In the interest of giving equal time to both sides, we’ve included a few different videos. Even if you’re not directly connected with the entertainment industry, it’s easy to see that the SAG members have a difficult choice before them.

 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

the west wing September 28, 2009 at 8:44 am

I watched the west wing since i was kid . I like it so much.

Reply

Steve H July 24, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Yeah Joe you are crazy. Jed Bartlett for President 2012. Seriously if this man could run, he would win almost 100% of the popular vote and win the election by a landslide.

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Kirsten June 23, 2009 at 7:23 am

I still wish Jed Bartlet would be Commander in Chief. He’d kick Obama’s ass. ;)

Reply

Samantha June 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Joe, you must be the type who was happy we had George W Bush in the white house! I wish President Bartlet had been our commander in chief!

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Joe Doc June 5, 2009 at 2:32 pm

“On the landmark drama The West Wing, the country is led by the intelligent and charismatic President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen).”

Say what? I, for one, would strongly disagree with that description…

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