As the world mourned Jean Stapleton this week, I was reminded of the sadness I felt in the fall of 1980 when it was revealed on CBS's Archie Bunker's Place (the rechristened All in the Family) that Stapleton's Edith Bunker had died suddenly of a stroke. Stapleton's TV daughter Sally Struthers (Gloria) shares memories of her onscreen mom, who passed away May 31 at age 90 of undisclosed causes.
Question: When The West Wing closes down for good on May 14, Bartlet & Co. will leave and a new president will be sworn in. What a simply perfect way for a show to end — when it's supposed to! It's no secret that the series lost a lot of fans and critical appreciation after Aaron Sorkin left three years ago. So here's my question: Years from now, when you think back to The West Wing, how will you remember it? Will you remember a top-notch Emmy-winning drama that influenced the face of dramatic TV, or will you remember a disappointing show that went downhill and never recovered?
Answer: What an interesting legacy question to welcome me back from some time off (so much to catch up with). This got me thinking about other shows that went off the air long after they peaked, and I think it's fair to say that most of us will remember The West Wing kindly, without even putting an asterisk after it. The show's impact, and its overall quality up to the reelection season (after which the show