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'The West Wing' enlists big names for its When We All Vote reunion special

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

"The West Wing" enlisted a lot of big names to augment its reunion special on behalf of When We All Vote, but nothing really matched the kick of seeing the old band back together again, as Bradley Whitford put it during the introduction.

(CNN)"The West Wing" enlisted a lot of big names to augment its reunion special on behalf of When We All Vote, but nothing really matched the kick of seeing the old band back together again, as Bradley Whitford put it during the introduction.

Much of the interstitial material, promoting voting and former First Lady Michelle Obama's get-out-the-vote organization, focused on inspiring people to participate in the upcoming election.

We do know that," Whitford said, adding, "The risk of appearing obnoxious is too small a reason to stay quiet if we can get even one new voter to vote. "

Beyond staging the episode "Hartsfield's Landing," a tense standoff between the US and China from the Emmy-winning White House drama's third season, series creator Aaron Sorkin used the act breaks to show off behind-the-scenes moments involving the cast, and pitches from Obama, Bill Clinton, Samuel L.

Cast members also stepped out of character to talk about the importance of voting, including supporting players Marlee Matlin and "The Handmaid's Tale" star Elisabeth Moss, who co-starred on the NBC series in one of her early roles.

In addition to the chance to see the key players back in character -- none more remarkable than a seemingly ageless Martin Sheen, now 80, as President Bartlet -- Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme took advantage of the vacant Orpheum Theater to approximate the experience of watching a stage play, only with a best-seat-in-the-house view.

Jackson, in his direct-to-camera plea to vote, acknowledged, "Our politics today are a far cry from the romantic vision of 'The West Wing,'" but asked why the program's values had to be "an unattainable TV fantasy. "

But for an hour or so, "The West Wing" special manages to bring the show, and its central ideals, back to life.

"A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote" is currently playing on HBO Max. Like CNN, the streaming service is a unit of WarnerMedia.

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