Hello, my wonderful friends!! I’m back and guess what??? My ode to political dramas is OUT in the world!!!
Oh, wait, maybe I should back up just a bit, especially if you don’t follow me on social media. If you DO follow me, then you’ve probably seen me go on and on for months about this essay idea I had; it was one of those ideas that was just tugging at me, begging to be written. Honestly, this is the piece I’m most proud of and it was such an honor to pay tribute to my newest favorite TV genre, including my newfound love (read: obsession) of The West Wing!
I can’t believe I got to write about binge-watching fictional political TV shows to escape the Trump era! This piece was a long time coming…got the idea months ago and it found the perfect home on DAME.
In fact, it all still feels incredibly surreal. And even more surreal? I got to interview Bradley Whitford and Pat Cunnane — two titans in the political dramas arena — and it was such an honor!
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, and I just hope I’ve made the Bartlet administration proud…
It may be a fictional behind-the-scenes peek into the life of the president and his senior staff, but for 44 minutes every night, it’s exactly what I need. And on the worst days, when reality kicks into high gear, it’s the only 44 minutes where I’m not angry about politics.
The West Wing and shows like it are my respite, offering me a vision of reality that isn’t corrupt and dangerous, even if it’s only on the small screen.
And now, the worse things get with our real-life current administration and with primary season in full swing, the more I cling to the Bartlet administration on The West Wing.
And in the end, maybe watching these shows serves a dual purpose – one not just about escapism, but also about rejuvenation. Because I’m going to continue watching as a way to regather my strength, and then, when I’m ready to rejoin the fight, I’ll ask, in the wise words of President Bartlet himself, “What’s next?”
I also wanted to take a moment to highlight the importance of DAME, which is at the forefront of feminism, politics and culture. If you’d like to support the work of journalists, I invite you to become a member. As a small publication, DAME has been impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19, but we need the voices of women journalists more than ever right now. Just 5,000 people giving $4.99 per month will help DAME continue to be that voice. Click here for more info.
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so I see your tweet and we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo