With the election quickly approaching, plan to vote and watch the new The West Wing Special benefiting When We All Vote, “a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama which was founded to increase participation in every election in America.” HBO Max is generously offering this episode for all viewers, regardless of subscription status, and it will be available to stream until the end of the year. WarnerMedia has also pledged to make a donation to When We All Vote to support civic life in the United States.
Read Paste writer, Amy Amatangelo’s take on why The West World special classifies as must-watch TV below:
Can a TV special soothe the soul and heal a broken nation? Probably not, but the cast of The West Wing came pretty damn close. On the same day that Savannah Guthrie reminded the President that he was not, in fact, someone’s crazy uncle allowed to retweet vicious conspiracy theories, the cast of The West Wing presented a staged presentation of “Hatsfield’s Landing,” the 15th episode of the show’s third season. The episode takes place on the eve of the Presidential election with President Bartlett (the incomparable Martin Sheen) dealing with an international crisis between China and Taiwan. From the drama’s trademark walking and talking to its rat-a-tat dialogue, grand speeches and even grander analogies (you need to see the whole board in both chess and politics), the special reminded us why the Emmy-winning series was so beloved.
The full cast returned including many secondary and tertiary characters (I, for one, was thrilled to see Melissa Fitzgerald’s Carol again). Sterling K. Brown took over as the late John Spencer’s Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, and the star-powered interstitials were both informative and hilarious (Lin Manuel Miranda was admonished to “Try not to rhyme. It can get irritating.”). Although the original cast hadn’t been together in 17 years, their rapport was palpable. They didn’t miss a beat. As they reminded us, “We’re America. We are good at this.” President Trump may not see the best in all of us but Aaron Sorkin and the cast and crew of The West Wing did and do.
Watch on HBO Max
For all the latest TV news, reviews, lists and features, follow @Paste_TV.