After reading a messageboard friend's post about Beau Bridges joining the cast of Stargate SG-1, I just have to pay homage to The West Wing for bringing quality film actors to the small screen. Remember when that was Just Not Done? I mean, some may have started their careers on television, but once one had A Movie Career, one did NOT return to tv.
I saw Richard Dreyfuss on the Rosie O'Donnell Show years ago, plugging The Education of Max Bickford (a great show that I dearly miss). Rosie asked what made him take the role. He said, "I can tell you EXACTLY what made me take the role. The West Wing."
Now, I am not saying that Martin Sheen brought grunge to television, but as Nirvana took rock & roll in a totally different direction, so did The West Wing. Martin Sheen brought credibility to television roles. Since that first season of The West Wing, we have had all kinds of terrific film actors gracing our living rooms every week. Actors like Glenn Close, Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Steenburgen, Joe Montegna, Joe Pantoliano (Joey Pants!), Marcia Gay Harden, Kyra Sedgwick, Peter Gallagher, Anthony LaPaglia, Marianne Jean-Babtiste, Gary Sinise, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dianne Wiest, Alan Alda, and JAMES SPADER! Is it any wonder that I am a TV addict? (By the way, Boston Legal will be back on August 9th at 10.)
AND as if that isn't good enough, we're soon to see Alfre Woodard on Desperate Housewives, Geena Davis and Donald Sutherland on Commander-In-Chief (where Geena plays the first female American President!), Jason Lee in NBC's My Name is Earl, Dennis Hopper in E-Ring (oh yes I did. I said Dennis Hopper.), and Stockard Channing is back in a new comedy from CBS called Out of Practice.
So thank you, West Wing, my favorite show ever. I will never listen to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in the same way again.