The West Wing, or on the power of powering through

I marathoned “The West Wing” about three summers ago, and started rewatching it last Christmas by accident when it became available on Netflix.  I decided I would watch a couple episodes from somewhere near the beginning of season one – I think I actually started with episode four. The reasoning was, if I didn’t start the show at the beginning, then I wouldn’t feel compelled to watch it all the way through, right?

If you look too closely at this photo, it's disturbingly Photoshopped.

If you look too closely at this photo, you can see it’s been disturbingly Photoshopped.

Ha ha!

Nope.

Over the years, I’ve matured as a consumer of culture, media, and politics, and it’s made me better equipped to approach “The West Wing” from a critical perspective. Of the shows I’ve discussed on The Completist so far, it is the one that suffers most from a complete rewatch.

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A NIN-terlude: Came Back Haunted

Most of my friends know of my love of all things Trent Reznor. From the point that I was introduced to Nine Inch Nails in high school, the band’s frontman never ceased to be my favorite musician (except for maybe Jonathan Bates). Officially, it’s a bit silly to call NIN a “band,” since the lineup has always been secondary to Reznor’s one-man creative process.

You're seriously not going to get into a fight with this man over his music. You will not win.

You’re seriously not going to get into a fight with this man over his music. You will not win.

Beginning with Pretty Hate Machine in 1989, NIN has released a total of 27 CDs (or halos) – seven LPs with the rest being EPs, B-sides, and remix albums. With the exception of a few years between The Fragile (1999) and With Teeth (2004), this is the longest that we’ve gone without an official Nine Inch Nails LP release. Until today. So let’s talk about the new single, “Came Back Haunted” and what it says about NIN’s new direction, Reznor’s musical growth, and my odd relationship with this strange, strange man.

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