Richard Williams, 53, set out Friday morning to educate himself on the intricacies of a federal government shutdown, but found by noon that he had watched 47 clips of "West Wing" on YouTube instead.
"I was pretty disappointed in myself," said Williams, a tax attorney.
Williams said he had begun the day planning to research the 1995 government shutdown, but instead stumbled upon a clip of the episode "Shutdown."
"I had never watched the show, but the dialogue was really captivating."
In the season five episode President Barlett, played by Martin Sheen, shuts down the federal government rather than cutting funding to essential programs.
"I couldn't watch the whole episode, but I started watching different clips," he said.
Williams was particularly taken with clips depicting the blossoming courtship between Josh and Donna.
"What took Josh seven seasons to see it?"
Williams said he was no more confident in his understanding of a federal government shutdown by the end of work, but had order the complete "West Wing" box set from Amazon.com.