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The West Wing Weekly

An episode-by-episode discussion of one of television’s most beloved shows, co-hosted by one of its stars, Joshua Malina, along with Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder.
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Nov 30, 2016

(sung to the melody of "Carol of the Bells")

Hark! oh my gosh
Hrishi and Josh
Discuss Noël
Puns and intel

Ellen Totleben
Tells us laymen
All that you see
Was her duty

She was the West Wing Set Decorator
And we’ll talk to Bradley Whitford later

When it’s just us
Things we discuss:
PTSD
Tommy Schlamme

I got a job?
You got a job
Bush versus Gore
Flentls and more

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!
Bradley Whitford won an Emmy with this

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!
Epic flentl; you don't want to miss this.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/210

Nov 16, 2016

At this extremely historic moment, we present a very unique episode. (Wow, that really is some terrible writing.) In this episode, we bone up on our Mars with help from NASA Systems Engineer Mallory Lefland, who is working on the Mars 2020 mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

footnotes —
Freddie Mercury said it right.

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/209

Nov 8, 2016

The pressure is on as we discuss one of Hrishi's all-time favorite episodes. Will his feelings be spared by Josh, or will they be placed on the chopping block and pulled apart like a turkey's giblets and flentls?!

Introducing the TWWW University Sweatshirt! You can get one for yourself or for your favorite West Wing Weekly listener at thewestwingweekly.com/sweatshirt

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/208

Nov 2, 2016

For "The Portland Trip," we try to slip the surly bonds of Earth. We are, in turns, lifted and dragged down by our feelings. In honor of Josh Lyman's conversation with Congressman Matt Skinner, we ask real-life former Wisconsin congressman Steve Gunderson what it was like to be the first openly gay Republican in Congress. And we're joined later by Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle), as well as the Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning (@SecArmy) — the first openly gay person to head any service in the U.S. Military.

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/207

Oct 26, 2016

How ya doin, Dalai Lama? In this episode, we're joined by steadicam operator Dave Chameides to talk about the complex choreography of the shooting a walk and talk. Plus, we get a visit from Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) to talk about his Sorkinisms supercut videos.

footnotes —
Sorkinisms: Part I, II, and III 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/206

Oct 19, 2016

Loosen your tie. Loosen whatever you'd like. But don't get it twisted: leaf peeping is totally a thing.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/205

Oct 12, 2016

Ginger, get the popcorn, because we're joined by Emily Procter (@emilyprocter) to talk about her first appearance on the West Wing as Ainsley Hayes. Plus, for some context and perspective on the storyline about AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, we speak to Ambassador-at-Large Deborah L. Birx, the US Global Coordinator to Combat HIV/AIDS (@PEPFAR).

And introducing The West Wing Weekly t-shirt!

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/204

Oct 5, 2016

While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, it's in fact the weekly meeting of the West Wing TV Book Club. (The Ignorant Tight-Ass Club meets down the hall, on the right.)

Sep 28, 2016

In Part II of our double header, Bradley Whitford (@WhitfordBradley) makes his West Wing Weekly debut to talk about getting the role of Josh Lyman, and starting the season by getting shot. But first, we speak with Michael O'Neill, who played Special Agent Ron Butterfield. Plus, a few thoughts on Emily's List from its former executive director, Amy Dacey (@AmyKDacey).

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/201-202

Sep 28, 2016

"In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" was the Season 2 premiere of the West Wing. The two-part episode aired as a special 2-hour broadcast. In honor of that, here's our own two-part episode. 

In Part I, we're joined by director and executive producer Thomas Schlamme, who created the visual language of The West Wing around Aaron Sorkin's words. We ask him about his directorial decisions for the show, and for this cinematic premiere. And we ask: what happened with Mandy?

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/201-202

Sep 20, 2016

West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin joins Josh and Hrishi for a special episode. Aaron reflects on the experience of making the first season of the West Wing while making the second season of Sports Night at the same time. We look back on the previous season, and look ahead to the upcoming one.

Sep 7, 2016

For the finale of season one: you get Hoynes. Tim Matheson (@Tim_Matheson) joins us as we reflect on what kind of season it has been. Plus, a little preview of what's next.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/122

Aug 31, 2016

Josh and Hrishi are joined by Bill O'Brien to talk about his role as Kenny Thurman. This West Wing episode focuses on polling, so here's a poll question: do you approve or disapprove of the lack of Oxford comma in the title?

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/121

Aug 24, 2016

Kathleen "Bird" York (@birdyork) talks to us about playing Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt, and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson (@karenaboutgary), former CEO of The National Association of Drug Court Professionals and current mayor of Gary, Indiana, talks to us about mandatory minimums.

More at: thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/120

Aug 17, 2016

This episode of the West Wing represents the lowest point so far for the Bartlet team, but perhaps the highest point so far for the series. Josh and Hrishi are joined by The Honorable Patrick Murphy (@USAMurphy), Under Secretary of the Army. While he was a Congressman from Pennsylvania, Secretary Murphy helped overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Aug 10, 2016

The Good: a conversation about reparations; the Bad: Mandy and pandas; and the Ugly: Josh and Sam dancing (?) to “The Jackal.” Plus, a few words from West Wing music supervisor Anne Kline (@theannkline). 

Aug 3, 2016

If you don't like this episode, just be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it. Plus, Hrishi brings back a field report from the Democratic National Convention, with thoughts on The West Wing from former DNC CEO Amy Dacey (@AmyKDacey), Senator Chris Coons of Delaware (@ChrisCoons), and Zeke Miller of TIME (@ZekeJMiller).

Jul 27, 2016

We live in Los Angeles, but no one has offered *us* a development deal. We're going to the wrong parties.

Jul 20, 2016

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (@JayCarney) joins Josh and Hrishi to discuss Josh Lyman's secret plan to fight inflation, and other ways press briefings can go horribly, horribly wrong.

Jul 13, 2016

Josh and Hrishi team up with the FiveThirtyEight Elections Podcast to discuss how polling is used in The West Wing, by looking at a few scenes from the show. This episode was recorded live at the Crest Theatre in Los Angeles. We talk about scenes from seasons 1–4, so there are spoilers throughout.

Jul 6, 2016

Like Toby in this episode, Josh and Hrishi go to shul to try and learn more about the death penalty and faith. They have a conversation with Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett. Plus, we email Aaron Sorkin to ask how Marlee Matlin came to be cast as Joey Lucas.

Jun 29, 2016

This episode of the West Wing deals with hate crimes, and our discussion comes close on the heels of the massacre in Orlando. So, we asked Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) about the current state of hate crime legislation. We also talk to Liza Weil (@liza_weil) about her role as Karen Larson, as well as the Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation (matthewshepard.org).

Jun 22, 2016

Is it right to defend someone, even when they've asked you not to? Josh and Hrishi debate. Plus, a supercut of The West Wing opening theme music with accompanying lyrics, from submissions sent to us by West Wing Weekly listeners.

Jun 15, 2016

Live from the ATX Television Festival, a panel discussion looking back at the West Wing. With Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Dulé Hill, Melissa Fitzgerald, and Joshua Malina, moderated by Lawrence O'Donnell. (For any of listeners watching the series for the first time, there are spoilers throughout the discussion.)

Jun 7, 2016

According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, Josh and Hrishi are joined by William Duffy (@WilliamDuffy_) and Peter James Smith (@PJSActor), who played Ed and Larry.

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