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October 8, 2015

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The West Wing: Shibboleth

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 26th 2008 1:01PM
(Originally aired November 22, 2000)

Last year I picked The West Wing's "The Indians in the Lobby" episode as a standout episode of the series. It just so happens that we're blessed with two Thanksgiving episodes of the show that are standouts. This one is called "Shibboleth."

The plots: While President Bartlet has to figure out what to do with dozens of Chinese immigrants who have stowed away on a freighter, Toby tries to get Leo's controversial sister nominated for an education post, C.J. has to pick one of two turkeys who will get to be pardoned by the President, and Charlie goes shopping for the perfect carving knife for the President.

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Six great depictions of writers on TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2007 11:01AM

Sally, Buddy, and Rob

Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

TV usually gets the writing profession wrong. I've never understood why, since shows and characters are written by writers themselves. Maybe they think they have to dumb it down for the general audience. That's why you have writers like Jessica Fletcher, who just sits down at the typewriter and the words come out fine and she mails it off to her publisher. This happens all the time on television. And have you ever noticed that when you hear the writing that a writer character has done on a show it's almost always terrible? Why is that?

After the jump are six writer characters on TV that were done correctly.

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The Lowe brothers get political

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Mar 6th 2007 5:22PM

Rob and Chad LoweThe Lowe brothers have taken on presidential politics . . . at least on primetime TV. Which one has the juicier role?

Rob Lowe gets to bed Calista Flockhart's Kitty Walker on Brothers & Sisters, as he portrays a smooth-talking, charismatic Republican senator seeking the presidency.

Meanwhile, Chad Lowe tries to assassinate a president and frame a terrorist for the deed on 24, as he portrays the deputy chief of staff who's trying to save the country from the commander in chief's perceived weak response to a string of terror attacks.

Rob's turn as an earnest Democratic speechwriter on The West Wing notwithstanding, who gets bragging rights in the Lowe family for the best political character?

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The West Wing: Transition

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 23rd 2006 9:40PM
Josh and Donna(S07E19) Can I tell you how much I liked the opening scene with Josh on the airplane, going to see Sam in L.A. to ask him to be Deputy Chief Of Staff? I liked that Josh interrupted him in the middle of a law firm meeting (shades of "In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen"), and the banter outside the building was just like old times. I really think it's odd -- really odd -- that Sam says nothing about Leo or apologize for not being there (they should have at least mention that Sam had called), but I'm not going to quibble with that. In my mind, he did call.

While Josh tries to get Sam back in the White House, the President-Elect runs afoul of the President ...or does he?

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