Saturday, January 4, 2014
For some reason I’m still up, and watching episodes from the first season of The West Wing. Purely by chance, I’ve hit on the first episode to reveal that President Bartlett has a serious health condition, which later will turn out to be Multiple Sclerosis. The first hint comes through the President fainting, and later his wife Abby, a medical doctor, rushes home and tends to him herself. It’s a very sweet, tender, funny scene, but also messed up, because you can see they’re keeping some sort of secret. Then there's a heartbreaking conversation between Abby and Leo McGarry, Bartlett's Chief of Staff.
The MS storyline paid some great dividends throughout the series, and included some fairly positive representations of disability. Nothing too radical, with a few conventional cliches mixed in from time to time, but more good than bad.