Toxic Custard newsletter TV

The West Wing looks ahead to the 21st century

In my house, we’re re-watching The West Wing, after I bought the box set cheap last year as a present to myself.

It’s just as brilliant as it ever was, and once again leaves you wishing that Barlet actually ran the White House… or if he wasn’t in the White House, then maybe in The Lodge.

The show is full of snappy dialogue, but this bit from season 1, episode 9 struck me as particularly prescient, given the debate both in Australia and abroad around privacy, and specifically issues such as data retention.

Sam Seaborn on privacy, in The West Wing S1E09

In the scene, which comes during selection of a Supreme Court Nominee, Sam Seaborn notes the important issues of the past decades, but then says in the years we’re living right now what will be important will be privacy and data, especially online.

That Sam Seaborn (and more specifically, the writers headed up by Aaron Sorkin) are smart cookies.

I’m loving watching it again.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “The West Wing looks ahead to the 21st century”

@Pip, I might be alone here, but I watched The Newsroom series 1, and loved it. Realistic? No. Idealistic? Certainly. I haven’t yet watched S2 and 3.

I have seen some of SportsNight and Studio 60 and enjoyed them too (as well as The Social Network). None of these other Sorkin productions are anywhere as good as The West Wing mind you.

Series 2 is supposed to be better, but Series 1 I felt was terrible (the dialogue just painful) and series 3 is a carcrash (although the last episode is done very well).

I ended up enjoying series 3 though from a love-to-hate/laugh at standpoint.

The sanctimonious, tortured dialogue in particular provided plenty of unintentional laughs.

Comments are closed.