"Stuck In The Middle With You" no longer exists in any universe except for the one created by Quentin Tarantino in Reservoir Dogs. The song, released in 1978, was a staple on AM radio long before the film but for me the two are permanently linked for all time.
The same is true for Don Henley's "New York Minute." Well, almost. The song isn't used in Reservoir Dogs but is instead prominently used in an episode of The West Wing. In fact, that episode takes its title from a line in the song: "Somebody's Going To Emergency / Somebody's Going To Jail."
I'm a closet West Wing junkie. I have all seven seasons on DVD. I've watched every episode, even during the show's occasionally awkward and sometimes embarrassing latter days. I went into a deep state of depression when actor John Spencer died. The cadence of Aaron Sorkin's brilliant dialog turned caricatures and flat characters into three dimensional people I wanted to spend time with.
"New York Minute" and "Somebody's Going to Emergency…" are ideal partners, but that's not entirely complementary. Henley's song is a bit overwrought and melodramatic as is the episode, centering around White House Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborne (Rob Lowe), who has just learned his father had a long-running affair. Henley's morality play feels a little heavy-handed and the production is a bit dated. The song fares better performed by The Eagles on their Hell Freezes Over live album just as The West Wing often overcame the occasional pedantic lecture of an episode.Powered by Sidelines