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I LOVED WATCHING THE WEST WING.  It was my favorite tv show when it was on tv, and I usually binge watch the series from time to time.  I also enjoyed Sport's Night and The Newsroom.  I am also a big fan of Madam Secretary - or as the Offspring refer to it, "Don't-talk-to-mom-hour".  I guess I enjoy politics.  

I loved history when I was a kid and minored in it in college.  I love how you can read and read about something, and never really know what was going on because only the folks who were actually there know the full story.  Everyone puts a spin on something.

I've gone through several historical/biographical phases.  I read everything about the moon landing, and then read everything I could about Watergate, and read giant biographies about Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, and Lafayette, not to mention all the straight up history books I've read.  One of my favorites was Lies, My Teachers Told Me which sounds like something it isn't.  It just digs into all the controversial parts of history that your 8th grade teacher avoided -- super interesting.

All of which is a very long introduction to a show I've really enjoyed.  I've been watching The Circus on Showtime.  It is a look behind the curtain of the Presidential race. No big surprise that this Sunday was the last episode.  I'm going to miss the show.

If you read the book Game Change the hosts of the show would be familiar to you.  Mark Halperin, Mark McKinnon and John Heinemann were behind the scenes from the beginning of the Presidential race.  They interviewed everyone involved and took you backstage at rallies, and conventions.  It was really interesting to get things from an insider's perspective.  It is on Showtime, so there is language.  

What I loved about it most was that they just stood back and showed you what was happening -- they never indicated where they stood or what they hoped would or would not happen.  They are political experts, so they simply talked about what advice they would give if they were working for the candidates. Part of every episode showed them sitting down to some really delicious-looking food and talking bout what their next move would be if they were working on the candidates staff.  

loved going through the week, and reading headlines.  I would watch the news and take in all kinds of information.  Then each Sunday, I would watch The Circus and really see behind all that was going on.  When stories broke, The Circus was there watching it all unfold and they were our eyes.  Early on they spent time with each of the Republican candidates and asked them this question, "Have you considered instead of having 15 of you battling for the top spot, choosing one strong candidate to go up against Trump?"  Everyone they spoke with responded somewhere along the lines of, "No.  I'm not ready for that yet.  I think I'm gonna be the guy."  All fifteen of them thought they would be the guy, and none of them were left standing.  It was an interesting peek into the backroom.  The cast of The Circus just raised an eyebrow -- as close as they ever came to sharing their opinions on candidates choices, and moved on to the next question.

uch as I've enjoyed the show, I was hesitant to watch the final episode, though.  I knew the outcome of the election and wasn't sure I wanted to live through it twice.  It was a little painful to watch, but really interesting all the same.  Oddly enough, the most comforting thing I've heard since the election came from this show.  I believe it was Mark McKinnon who said at the very end of the last episode, "I don't think people's greatest hopes will be fulfilled, but your worst nightmare won't either."  I don't know why but that line stayed with me.  He's on the inside, and although never said one way or the other, seemed pretty unsurprised when Trump was elected; in other words, he is a man who is informed.  He has reported, advised and lived in the world of politics, and so his opinion has some weight behind it.  It could be that he is completely wrong, but somehow it made things feel less topsy-turvy.

I will miss the show, and feel a little bit left out of Washington now.  They were my view on the inside, and now I don't have that.  It isn't like things aren't happening in Washington right now, but I'm hoping they are all hunkered down to write their next book.  I'd definitely read it.  

I think maybe I liked the show so much because I've got a secret wish to be a speech writer.  It would be my backup career to teaching.  I love reading the speeches of world leaders and seeing who wrote them.  The process of carefully crafting a message and then hearing a speaker deliver it - or not deliver it seems like a great way to spend your days.  But I'm kind of nerdy like that.  I kind of felt like watching The Circus was as close as I could get to that, and I am deeply interested to see what Mark Halperin, Mark McKinnon and John Heilemann come up with next.  

--Jen