Mail from our readers
This week’s mailbag resembled an edition of Crossfire, with reactions to The West Wing divided along partisan lines. ”I like the acting and writing of The West Wing — or should I say Left Wing — as sometimes the liberal propaganda it spews is annoying,” writes John English of Provo, Utah. From the left: Raymond Grow of Middleburg, Fla., who argues, ”Until right-wing radio talk-show hosts give equal time to a liberal point of view, Mr. Sorkin has no responsibility to offer any olive branches.” Thank goodness for readers like Robin Anderson of Topeka, Kan., who cast her vote for the show’s White House hotties: ”Keep putting Rob Lowe and Bradley Whitford on the cover, and your entire staff will be able to retire in a few years!”
I was thrilled to see The West Wing make the cover of the latest issue (”Meet the Prez”). This show’s crisp writing and exceptional acting always leave me wanting more; surprisingly, so did your story. You’ve got my vote for a West Wing follow-up piece!
Thank You for acknowledging television’s greatest hero these days, Aaron Sorkin. If my best day was like one of his worst, I’d be overjoyed. His writing is sharp, smart, and hilarious, his casts are heads above the rest, and his shows deserve a long, long life. I hope ABC realizes what a gem Mr. Sorkin is before they cancel Sports Night for good. He truly is the future of TV.
New York City
How ironic that Martin Sheen’s principled chief executive on The West Wing contrasts so sharply with Bill Clinton, whom historians ranked the least moral President ever in a recent survey. Too bad life doesn’t imitate art when it comes to the presidency. Hopefully after the next election we can view an admirable President, not just one hour a week on TV, but 24-7 in reality.
James J. Hogan
Silver Spring, Md.
Leo as Anakin Skywalker (”Star Search”)? Puh-leeze! With respect to Star Wars, George Lucas doesn’t often hire stars — he makes them! Why not focus on something important, like does he have a decent script with a worthwhile story line?
Thank you for the lovely tribute to Charles Schulz and Peanuts (”Good Grief”). If there is a heaven, I would like to believe Charlie Brown’s kites now fly high, Snoopy is winning the battle against the Red Baron, and Linus never loses his blanket. But this little red-haired girl is very sad to see Peanuts go.
‘Rules’ for a Reason
Your piece ”Why Cider House Rules,” which offered an explanation of the film’s seven Oscar nominations, neglected to mention another possible reason for those nominations: It’s a wonderful movie. Beautifully filmed and sensitively acted, it’s a traditional (dare I say old-fashioned?) movie filled with characters whom we actually care about. Perhaps this is what Academy voters responded to, not Miramax’s publicity efforts.
John E. Hughes
Having read only the headline, I already agreed with Lisa Schwarzbaum’s review of Hanging Up (”Twisted Sisterhood”). Don’t get me wrong: Director Diane Keaton and her cast of all-star talent did a miraculous job with a poorly written vehicle. I laughed once, my wife sobbed through the last 45 minutes, and we left feeling we’d been robbed — not only of our money but of our emotions as well. Next time we’ll read the EW review first, then decide what to see.
Stephen W. King
We at Susan Egan’s website thank you for the compliment you paid us by calling us ”the slickest site around” (”Cyber Stage”). In the interest of fairness, though, we would like to point out several sites which we feel may be slicker than ours: (1) Exxon cargo route, (2) Ricky Martin’s hair, (3) bowl of gumbo (extra okra), (4) the Oval Office, (5) Vaseline factory. Minor exceptions aside, we appreciate the mention. It’s obvious that you at EW are exceptionally smart, insightful, and just plain good-looking people.
Laguna Beach, Calif.
EW’s blurb/about breakupgirl.com/Was mostly lovely (”The Fresh Air Find”)/But our haiku as/”Gushy girl-power excess?”/Why, that’s hardly so/ For the past three years/It’s men who’ve won the contest/ Let’s give them their props!/BG tries to bring people together/Hey, even if only for/Three months, or three lines.
New York City
CORRECTION: Bob Dylan’s song ”George Jackson” was released in 1971 in response to Jackson’s death.