Podcast recommendation: The West Wing Weekly

Heads up West Wing fans: The West Wing Weekly podcast is your must-listen companion piece. Hosted by West Wing aficionado Hrishikesh Hirway and former West Wing star Joshua Malina, the podcast takes an episode-by-episode look at Aaron Sorkin's beloved political drama. I'm enjoying the podcast so much, it even inspired me to marathon The West Wing all over again.

Not only are Hirway and Malina a delight in their own right (their real-life friendship adds a great spark to their co-hosting duties), but they also manage to pull together an impressive collection of guests. That roster includes Malina's former West Wing co-stars like Richard Schiff, Janel Moloney, and Dulé Hill, as well as real-life political figures like Senator Bob Casey and former Press Secretary Jay Carney. And while Sorkin hasn't been on the podcast himself yet, Malina will regularly read insights and answers from their email correspondence.

Much like the TV series its discussing, The West Wing Weekly also has a civic streak; the podcast brings attention to important organizations like Justice For Vets while discussing everything from mandatory minimums to the death penalty. Yet Malina and Hirway never let things get too heavy thanks to their goofy senses of humor and genuine love for The West Wing. Instead they strike a perfect balance of intellectualism, humor, and insight as they jump from a probing conversation about Jewish theology to an analysis of the perfect spit-take. Really my only complaint is that the hour-ish long episodes aren't longer.

The podcast debuted this spring and just wrapped up its episodic analysis of The West Wing's first season this week. New episodes of The West Wing Weekly drop every Wednesday and you can find them on the show's site or wherever you listen to podcasts.