Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TV Shows About Elections

When it comes to selecting the best TV shows about elections and the presidency, there is only one choice:  The West Wing.  The series of 156 episodes was one of the best dramas ever broadcast.  It aired between September, 1999 and May, 2006.  

Aaron Sorkin, who wrote The American President (1995), later developed this series from unused plot elements. The writing was incisive and touched on a long list of topical issues.  Critics said it was unrealistically optimistic, and the rooms depicted on TV were larger than the actual rooms. Chuck and I learned a lot about blocking shots, camera angles, and "walk and talk" steadicam movement which adds a dynamic quality to a conversation.  They had a budget of $6 million per episode which allowed them to craft a beautiful small movie each week.

I just caught the last episode which aired May 16, 2006.  It was an eerie foreshadowing of what was to come in 2008. In the episode, President Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen) is handing over the reins of the presidency to a young minority Democratic candidate (Jimmy Smits) who had a grueling primary campaign against a more experienced candidate and chose an experienced Washington insider as his running mate.  The Republican opponent was an aging maverick senator from a western state who chose a running mate from a small Republican state.  Holy cow!  Fiction and real life collide.



The Flirty Girl said...

I remember that show and that episode!

Here is another tv comparison about Barack Obama and LA Law... http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/la-law-was-blair-underwoods-character-based-on-barack-obama/

J Sav said...

I remember that TV show which, on its good days, was very, very good. Again, life is as strange as fiction.