One of my favorite things to do is to watch episodes of The West Wing on Netflix and then listen to Joshua Malina (an old friend of mine and a cast member of The West Wing) and Hrishikesh Hirway (a musician and West Wing superfan).
West Wing Weekly started a few years ago and covers one episode per week. I started discovered the podcast and have been listening as they come out but, of course, it’s a podcast so you can listen to them in at any time you want.
Josh and Hrishi are intelligent and very funny (they like puns a bit more than is really decent but nobody’s perfect) and they often have guests from the show like Aaron Sorkin, Allison Janney, Laurence O’Donnell and Bradley Whitford. They also often talk to experts on politics, policy and the various topics that the West Wing covers. Howard Dean was a guest, for example, and he talked about primary politics which is a big part of the sixth season. The most recent episode featured interviews with Alan Alda and Reverend Katey Zeh who is the the executive director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
The West Wing shows the White House as it ought to be. The administration is Democrat and the show leans to the left but more importantly, rivals are treated with respect, governing comes before politics and people strive to do the right thing at all times and follow the rules. The contrast of the show, which will be 20 years old this fall, and our current political climate is often startling and illuminating.
So if you’re looking for something to do that will be both entertaining and educational, watch The West Wing and listen to The West Wing Weekly.