Review of Abu el Banat

Written by Toniann

  • The White House decorations for the holidays look so nice -- I mean, at least in movies and television shows. Oddly enough, I never do get invited there for the festivities. I wonder whose job it is, in RL, to do all that decorating? How do you get that job? I can hang a wreath.
  • You know, I always knew CJ and I had a special bond: I, too, frequently have "Sleigh Ride" in my head to the extent that I periodically break out into ding-a-ding song.
  • Is there anything on this planet funnier than Margaret?
  • Ah ha! Finally, names for everyone in the Bartlet family. Elizabeth is married to Doug Westin, and they have not only a daughter named Annie but a son named Gus (code name: Tonka). Okay! Now that that's cleared up...
  • I love Annabeth Gish, and I was thrilled to see her have more than one line to say, that's for sure. I think she played well off of Martin Sheen (I'd like to see AG and Stockard have a similar scene someday) and I found her credible... but geez, the Westins were getting on my nerves a bit. Not entirely because of her obvious need to deal with some anger issues she has with her parents and Doug's clearly self-centered political designs, but more because she let a five year-old keep 8,000 people waiting while he had a temper tantrum. Frankly, I was getting tired of hearing about Gus's rehearsals, the National Security Advisor being asked to wait for his bath, his early dinner time, his time-outs. Cripes. Five minutes into the whole shebang, my mother would have put her foot down and said, "Listen, this isn't happening -- he's going to have some mac & cheese and go to bed early. Make other plans."
  • On the other hand, to be fair, he's a pretty little kid and this is probably all a lot for him to deal with. And I got a big kick out of when Jed took him out alone to light the tree, and instead of flicking the switch once he kept turning it on and off. Like any kid would.
  • Is Annie getting her eyebrow pierced truly a devastating event? I mean, okay, most parents aren't keen on it (and is she 18? Because if not, no reputable piercer would have done it), but we're not talking crisis, here.
  • Having said all of that, I liked the theme of having all three Bartlet girls home at more or less the same time; I would've liked to see more of Ellie. Mostly, what I liked was that scene with Jed & Abbey in the dining room, when Abbey pointed out, "We've never been Currier & Ives."
  • Did you catch that gingerbread White House, with the team of reindeer in front? I think it was in the Mural Room, Toby was sitting at the table it was one. Nice.
  • Speaking of Toby, although his character is, to me, one of them main delights of the show, I can't help but continue to feel that he's wrong-headed about this Will business. His sense of betrayal seems to be on overdrive, and I think he needs to stop and think about just what Will was supposed to be so loyal to in the first place, let alone that he hasn't betrayed anyone. Will isn't Sam, and yet Toby's acting as if his long-time assistant and personal friend took a job with his worst enemy. That's not what happened. In reality, a man who worked for him only a few short months went to work in another department, because he got offered a promotion. Toby: it's not personal. It's just business.
  • So, you know, at the end of the episode I was thinking that it'll be interesting to see just what Josh *did* get Donna for Christmas... and then it dawned on me that we're undoubtedly never going to see it. Shoot. Whaddya think, skis?
  • I thought the continuity of referring back to CJ's father was well-done, but I'm not sure that I similarly appreciated the way her arguments to Toby, on the legality of assisted suicide, were seemingly negated once he pointed out her personal connection tot he issue. Agree, disagree, I thought the point was being seriously discussed, and yet when Toby brought up her father, I felt somewhat like the issue itself was given a backseat to the drama of CJ's father not liking turkey. I don't mean to be flippant, but what I'm trying to say is that I thought it was the easy way out, plot-wise. A character is arguing passionately about something, but we find out it's because their grandson is autistic, or their father is incapacitated, and so on.
  • But, contrarily, I had more of an appreciation for the turn of events that revealed Toby's real reason for not wanting the president to get into a discussion about assisted suicide, relating back to the MS. ("Ellie asked her mother about my death, though I'm not supposed to know that. I get Toby.") It worked better, somehow, possibly because Bartlet himself isn't tying his personal feelings into the validity of the law.
  • Although Debbie's zinger made me chuckle, I'm not positive the Bartlet girls have looked for their father in their relationships (with the possible exception of Zoey and Charlie -- think there's any hope there?). Sometimes, the opposite is just as true.
  • "I got people hexing my muffins in the mess."

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