Sunday 5 October 2008
A Summer's Viewing
It hasn't been a good summer in Britain - at least as far as the weather has been concerned. Grey and wet conditions have dominated. Yet I've had an enjoyable summer. Over the summer recess I've been engaged in a massive "WestWingathon" - starting in July when Parliament rose and ending yesterday afternoon. I completed it just in time - Parliament returns tomorrow! I started with the pilot episode (Premiere) - and finished with episode 22 (Tomorrow) of Season Seven.
West Wing was an extraordinary series. It was great drama - with some superb humour. Most of all it was thought provoking - dealing with real issues, which politicians in Washington were (and are) dealing with in real life. It used, and often explained, practice and procedure within both the Executive Branch and Congress. As an educator I'd love to teach a course on the American Political System, based entirely on episodes of West Wing!
Much has been made of the series telling the story of the 2008 election, a couple of years before the event. This week in Westminster, Ron Silver - who played Bruno Gianelli, (campaign manager to Bartlett, then adviser to Arnold Vinick - a character loosely based on Dick Morris) - and who is a political player and commentator in his own right - will be addressing a meeting of the Henry Jackson Society http://www.henryjacksonsociety.org/ . His talk is entitled - "Life Imitating Art: Will the 'West Wing election' mirror reality or can we expect a surprise result?". I very much hope to attend!