Dear Cultural Studies Colleagues:
As most people know, writer Aaron Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme left
_The West Wing_ prior to the beginning of this year's series. (We are now in
When we came out with our anthology THE WEST WING: THE PRESIDENCY
AS TELEVISION DRAMA (Syracuse, 2003), we asked many questions about the
series in relation to the ACTUAL functioning of the White House staff. In a
particularly pointed essay, Myron Levine (Albion College) outlined a number
of factors in the real West Wing which were not present in the reel West Wing.
Our other anthology,
HOLLYWOOD'S WHITE HOUSE: THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY IN FILM AND HISTORY (UP of
Kentucky, 2003) looked at other disparities in films from
the dream factory, with some reference to the NBC/Warner Bros. series under
question. So often, films about the White House--and TV shows, as
well--relate by direct and indirect ways to the career of the existing or upcoming
leadership for the country. For good or ill, we Americans ensconce the office in
our national fantasy life,
but the story is constantly changing; for example, the Clinton years supplied
one base for the imagination while the G.W. Bush presidency has moved
us--and, potentially, the program--to entirely different mind set. Naturally, the
fictional representations will change.
Without iterating Levine's various points, I wonder if participants in
have observations about how the series has changed under "new management."
have the changes been? Why to you think they were made? What do the changes
say about the issue of "film and history."
Editor in Chief
Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies
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Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu