There are some TV show themes that just hit a little different—especially in 2020—and that's absolutely the case with The West Wing.
HBO Max released a new trailer for the scripted reunion special featuring that sweeping score by composer W.G. Snuffy Walden, and it was as if someone switched on a lullaby to woo us into a pleasant nap with dreams of the best fictional president TV ever had.
Nearly the entire original cast of The West Wing returned for a staging of the season three episode "Hartsfield's Landing," which followed the Bartlet administration while they waited for the first primary results and dealt with an international defense crisis at the same time. The special, which is technically called "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote," is in support of Michelle Obama's nonpartisan organization and will even feature an appearance by the former First Lady.
Martin Sheen returns as President Bartlet with Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman, Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler, Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn, Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg, Dulé Hill as Charlie Young and Janel Moloney as Donna Moss. Sterling K. Brown is playing Leo McGarry in place of the late John Spencer.
The episode originally aired in Feb. 2002 and creator Aaron Sorkin wrote original material to update the story a bit for 2020. There's no word yet on whether this original material will fix the episode's most confusing plot hole, which has confused fans for years.
The Hartsfield's Landing subplot revolves around a very small town in New Hampshire in which the residents all cast their ballots at midnight and results are counted immediately. Not only are they the first and only results the media will have all day, but they also apparently always predict the winner of the general election. The problem is that the events of the episode take place during the primary and yet the town appears to be voting in the general election.
It makes no sense, but it's still a beloved episode and we still nearly shed a tear watching Lowe, Brown, Janney and Sheen bump hips and elbows as they film during the coronavirus pandemic.
Watch the trailer below!
Along with Obama, act breaks during the special will also feature appearances by Bill Clinton and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Beginning Oct. 9, TNT will be airing a West Wing marathon leading up to the 2020 election with election-themed episodes.
The reunion special will premiere Oct. 15 on HBO Max.