Hey guys, it’s been a while since we identified a Weird Actor Pattern. This is one that I’ve been thinking about for a while and decided it was time to flush it out.
Rob Lowe leaves shows that he’s great on before the show is over.
I’m a big fan of Rob Lowe. Having been an integral part of both The West Wing and Wayne’s World means that I’ve spent a lot of time with the characters that he played and they were a big part of my growing up.
Anyway, let’s talk about The West Wing. Rob Lowe played Sam Seaborne, the brilliant, talented awesome speech writer who wanted to maybe be president some day. What’s interesting about early episodes of The West Wing, is that it’s very clear the show was supposed to focus on Sam, but it became increasingly about President Bartlett and Josh Lyman because they were just more interesting as characters. But Sam was still pretty great. And then halfway through season 4, he was gone. Sam ran for congress, wound up losing and then, I think went into private law practice? He wound up coming back as Josh’s deputy chief of staff for President Santos. But for a good long while, there was just no Sam.
After The West Wing came Brothers & Sisters. I was a big fan of Brothers & Sisters, even before Rob Lowe showed up, because it made me fall in love with Emily Van Camp, but Lowe played Robert McAllister, the love of Kitty Walker’s (Calista Flockhart) life. Kitty and Robert were the only Republicans in the staunchly liberal Walker clan, they got married, they had a kid, they were politically active and he again ran for congress. This time he won! But Kitty and Robert started having marriage problems, and I saw the writing on the wall. But rather than getting divorce and him disappearing like Sarah Walker’s husband, Robert was killed in a fiery car crash ten minutes after he and Kitty made up. (Because that’s how Brothers & Sisters rolled.)
And now there’s Parks And Recreation. I’m no end of sad that tonight Chris Traegar and Ann Perkins will be departing Pawnee. I know a lot of people who aren’t huge fans of Ann, but I’ve always loved the more balanced energy that she brings to the show. But this isn’t about the underrated genius Rashida Jones this is about how we’re now losing literally the best character on the show. Well, maybe not really, but losing Chris is going to be a blow to Parks & Rec, his manic energy fits so well with the rest of the gang, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the show moves on.
Really, I see this whole thing not being great for Ben and Leslie’s marriage, their best friends leaving when they’re already having boundary issues.