Monday, March 19, 2012

The West Wing

I'm all caught up on Doctor Who, so I decided to watch The West Wing while waiting for the new series. I've been a fan of creator Aaron Sorkin's other works, especially Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The Social Network, and if not for all the critical acclaim and love from the fans, I knew I would love this dialogue-heavy show.

The last episode that I watched was "The State Dinner" and one of the stories within the episode was their preparation to host an important state dinner with the Indonesian president. And yes, I'm always surprised and a little excited when Indonesia is mentioned on foreign movies or TV shows. It was highly entertaining to hear the actors trying to pronounce "Rahmadi Sumahidjo Bambang" or "Pancasila", among other Indonesian words.

There was one surprisingly big mistake that they made, though, saying that "there's no such thing as Indonesian language." I can understand the average American not knowing that this is not true, but I'm sure the script has been read by plenty of people before it went to production; was there no one person who thought that this might have been false and looked it up? Was there no fact-checking at all on this show? Moreover, the actor who plays the President of Indonesia, Ariono Suriawinata, is an Indonesian. He didn't play that big a role in the episode – I'm pretty sure he only said a bunch of yeses and noes, but I'm sure he's seen the complete script, right? He could have spoken up about it. It's such a glaring mistake that made the episode less enjoyable; even though it did provide for some comedy bits.

Other than that, the show has lived up to my expectations so far. To be honest, 10 minutes into the pilot episode, I was completely lost. There were so many characters with even more lines! But that's Aaron Sorkin's brilliance, in my opinion; he sets the pace right from the start. And the dialogue is just... I don't have the words to describe it, really. But I will say that the world would be a much better place if scripted by Mr. Sorkin.