Saturday, June 18, 2005

The West Wing

While I don't own a television because I can't stand the ads, I do get a steady influx of DVDs from NetFlix. Recently, my Netflix queue has been full of West Wings, starting with season 1, though I've seen most all of the first 4-5 seasons. It's a great show because you can get a history lesson, a laugh, and a moral debate, all condensed into the pop culture container of under an hour.

People like the show because the dialogue is "smart," but, you know, a lot of that is due to this little device that they like to use. You'll see several times per episode one character say something, and another say almost the exact same thing independently. It struck me as ironic when Toby Ziegler, the Communications Director, spoke in an episode of the various devices that rhetoricians use, like "floating opposites" and "parallel structure." I bet that is Sorkin (if he did the writing, I'm not sure) having a little joke at the expense of his audience. John Irving likes to talk about the writers and the art of writing in such a way to reveal how he's doing it in sort of the same way.

1 comment:

Daingerous said...

You should check out "West Wing Marathon Mondays" on Bravo if you enjoy that sort of thing. Of course, that would require you deigning to buy a television, which will never happen.