Why Netflix will Make me a Better Mother. And a Better Patriot.

When I was in high school, my mother was obsessed with West Wing. I remember this because I was enrolled in the local 4-H Teen Council at the time, and our meetings were on Wednesday nights, and huge, monumentally important things would happen at these meetings but could I share these earth-shattering, life-changing events with my mother when I got home?

Oh no.

Not if West Wing was on.


I’d have to wait until a commercial break.

Sometimes I even had to suffer the indignity of walking home with my younger brother. That was the ultimate betrayal: a whole 9 blocks just so that my mom wouldn’t have to miss the opening credits if the meeting ran late.

I’m pretty sure I should be in therapy. I mean seriously, what sort of mother chooses television drama over the real life (albeit predominantly imaginary) exploits of her teenage daughter? Yeah, POTUS has MS and the Vice President has just been caught in a sex scandal, but come on: the cute guy from the county fair finally looked at me tonight!

It was horrible.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to forgive her.

But then I started watching West Wing.

The good thing about ending up in the ER and promising everyone you’re going to “take it easy” is that it gives you license to binge watch. And the good thing about no longer being in high school (in addition to the long-awaited decrease in facial acne) is that now there’s this thing called Netflix.


I’m almost through Season 6. Hottie Congressman Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits) has just—well, actually, I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who are still stuck in the 1990s. But let’s just say it’s about to get interesting.

Also, it’s inspired me. And having come of age during the hanging-chad years of the Bush administration, I’m afraid I grew cynical about politics long before my time.

So I’m going to New Hampshire next weekend to caucus for Bernie Sanders (with my mom, who I have finally forgiven, and PIC who is new to this sort of thing but loves me enough to give it a shot).

I’m hoping I’ll run into Josh and Donna and they’ll think I’m cool and invite me for a coffee. (Don’t worry: I will take full advantage of the situation to find out WHAT THE HELL is going on between them and will report back to you all ASAP.)

Wish me luck.


10 Responses to “Why Netflix will Make me a Better Mother. And a Better Patriot.”

    • Kat Richter

      Also I keep whining to my mom, “When are she and Josh gonna FINALLY get together?” All she’ll tell me is, “There’s like 8 seasons Kat…”

  1. Landlord No Longer

    I LOVE this! I remember feeling only slightly guilty (more about making you two walk home) and then getting over it, because West Wing was so good, and during the Bush era, something had to give me hope for our future, even if it was just in technicolor 🙂 It was great that you survived though, because therapy is expensive.


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