I have in my life made four traversals of two different powerful media works:
- the complete Sherlock Holmes canon by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- the complete West Wing television show from the previous decade.
I completed my West Wing fourth-time this past weekend, watching most of the seventh season on Thanksgiving and the days following.
The West Wing debuted in 1999, just weeks after I began my first full-time college teaching gig. I was away from family and friends, and this television show quickly became a weekly anchor in the mess of Owensboro, Kentucky. Of course I was hooked on the political drama, but I was moved . . . and still am . . . by the intellectual honesty of the show, and the real-world issues the show so gamely took on. That the show aspired to inspire was also a great joy for me.
Perhaps in another five years I’ll watch the seven seasons over again. For now, though, I move on to some other things.