Academic journal article Film & History

The West Wing: The American Presidency as Television Drama

Academic journal article Film & History

The West Wing: The American Presidency as Television Drama

Article excerpt

THE WEST WING: THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY AS TELEVISION DRAMA Eds. Peter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor. Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 2003. ISBN#0-8166-3026-3

The Presidency of the United States, and its seat in the Oval Office, like any overwhelming power, is a charge powerful enough to save or destroy the country and the world. An effort to understand the White House, its power room, its personnel and the President was the 2002 NBC special entitled The Real West Wing, hosted by Tom Brokaw. Depending on your politics, and perhaps your knowledge of the politics of Washington, you praised the production for its truthful insights or lambasted it as a whitewash. (Either way, the documentary only scratched the surface.)

That conflict of opinions continues today and needs academic analysis and reflection, both of which it gets in this enlightened and knowledgeable coverage of both angles of the cameras and producers. The essays of The Wests Wing: The American Presidency as Television Drama explore in multiple directions: major issues are examined; language and structure critiqued; documentary and perceptual matters are evaluated. All sides in some way add light to the perceptions offered by the Brokaw special for TWW's home network, NBC. The cynics among us may find the most amusing (or most infuriating) essays those in the last section where the harshest attacks on the series are lodged. But not to worry. Power is most impressive when it is not used. But in a democracy it must be used and tested and all sides heardthough we in the middle ground always wish for more "truth" or reason in the arrows, even when we expect none. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.