If you do not watch this show then watch this show. Watch this show.

Just the first episode- that's all the argument you'll need.


{the logic that is Donna and Josh}

It's later, when he's driving home, finally, that Josh realizes it.

He was holding Donna's underwear.

Not that it matters because the circumstances are plenty extenuating and even if they weren't, he doesn't mean it like that. Never like that. He just, obviously, means it like not that. Because it's not a big deal.

Or anything. He's already moved on.

But he tries to unlock his front door with his car keys and it takes him a full minute to realize that it isn't working.

Not that it's Donna's fault. Actually, it is; he's decided that everything in his life is Donna's fault or, in special cases, the Bubonic plague. Which very well might be her too if he had the time to trace back her heritage. Maybe when he retires.

So. He doesn't mean it's Donna's fault like that.

Well, it's her fault that he was holding her underwear in the first place and Karen's, maybe. And dear lord, if that isn't a story that he wants to hear. Not for those reasons of course because, come on, it's Donna.

Not there's something wrong with that, besides the fact that she's Donna.

Therefore: dictionary definition of crazy

She once told him it's actually doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Josh thinks about Aprils for some reason and realizes he's still standing in front of his locked door. Anyway.

He held her underwear and it might have been cotton but that doesn't matter.

He, and it was hers, and none of his business except for the part where it was sent to his office and he unpacked it like a Christmas present. He rips the packaging open like a little boy, every time, and it falls into his hands like a fainting damsel with her name stitched neatly into the back.

Just like when she came to him all those months ago, unexpected and probably cotton and pretending it's his choice when really it's fate and Christmas presents. Funny, seeing how he's Jewish really. They call that irony.

He's thinking to hard about this, seeing metaphors like some people see aliens.

Josh thinks he's cracked maybe, finally, shutting the door behind him.

It's just that, Donna. Doesn't that explain it?

(The thing is: it does.)

I won't lose him, she thinks.

Not I can't but I won't.

She refuses to, clutching the bleached-white hospital sheets with perfectly done red nails.

He'd notice them, if he were awake.

He'd make some stupid comment about professionalism because he didn't know how not to, didn't know how to shut up. He was like a little kid, running his mouth like it was a biological function. It's not, she's done research on this.

It'd be something juvenile, something mean. He was always mean about her continued, tragically doomed hunt for the prince charming, about her terrible taste in men. It would sting because it was true and she'd complain so that he wouldn't notice.

But he'd notice the nail polish and that was the important part.

Because it's not a just a part; it's the whole damn point. The grand turkey centerpiece of the whole mad spectacle.

She wears red nail polish because he'll take her hand after he notices and when he laughs she'll feel it in her fingertips.

Donna curls her hands into the fists, wrinkling the sheets.

She will not lose him.

He is Josh Lyman. Deputy Chief of Staff.

She is Donna, which makes her Deputy Deputy.

(This is the part where she looks up her dead audience jokes. Don't worry, she's got all the angles covered.)

Josh is cocky because he knows he deserves to be. Josh is adored by the public and falls for women that challenge him, that hit him over the head and leave him stuttering like a goldfish or an idiot, usually both, and never knows when to keep his mouth shut because he's a barely potty-trained child that way.

He calls it personal charm.

Donna isn't fooled. If you put the man over a fire, you'd find out that his insides are as gooey as a bubbly marshmallow.

(They're not supposed to laugh here but if they do, she's prepared to pretend it's a joke.)

She's craving him right now. Uh, it. Marshmallows, she means, because it's lunchtime and she's hungry. Anyway.

It's Lyman not Lieman but it sounds like the same thing when you say it out loud.

Josh lies about his nightmares, the ones that he doesn't realize it's okay to have. He lies about not listening to her when he pretends to do work. It's in the way his feet stay pointed to her. The feet don't lie; that's simple body language basics.

And sometimes, he'll pretend to be paying attention when he really isn't.

(All angles, promise.)

Don't worry though, she can tell the difference between when he's listening and just watching her mouth. Someday, she should tell him that.

Donna could be a professional Josh-translator. A Josh-a-lator.

There are small things she can do, so she does. She is the one who quietly enforces the no-music policy in the West Wing. If Josh ever realized he couldn't remember where he'd put his old boom box, it would be back in his office the next morning.

This is what you need to know about Donna:

She didn't count how many red lights she ran to get to the hospital.

(Is that the punch line or the set-up?)

Just. Watch the damn show.