CC from http://www.flickr.com/photos/foreignoffice/2228903659/Conor aka The European Citizen has written an interesting post about why the EU should possibly have its own West Wing (WW) series to explain the EU. And yes, there is not only West Wing but also Yes, (Prime) Minister or The Thick of it. I do not know well the two latter ones and vaguely remember that also the German public TV (ZDF) once tried to copy WW with Das Kanzleramt – and flopped. But why would an EU version of West Wing be interesting – and why would it help to explain the EU?

Let’s first consider what West Wing was: It was, no question, the the best (I say THE best) TV series ever! – It was so good not because it was about politics and that is what I like. No, it was good because it was smart, it had brilliantly-drawn characters with personality, excellent actors, it was realistic – and it had an intelligent but all-embracing humour. I am sure that we can find excellent actors and draw equivalent characters for an EU “13th floor” (as Conor calls it) series. But would we have the play writers to come up with dialogues and characters of such brilliance? In the end, I have not come across any European TV series that has impressed me so far…

I am sure public broadcasters in the EU with possible arte as a frontrunner would be happy to unite and prepare such a show. Moreover, the EU will surely make its MEDIA funds available for this – and the Commission, Parliament (and possibly less so the Council) would be happy to offer some insights and filming opportunities. So, all this should be set – if we only found the script writers!

Would this help to explain the EU?

Yes, I think very much so, if it was closely as intelligent as West Wing was. An overdrawn Delors or Barroso character as president, annoying Council presidencies and leaders from the EP would surely challenge the 13th floor team every day and offer sufficient material. There is enough crisis, both domestic and internationally, to offer stories and with its new-found powers in external relations there could even be some shady military/secret stuff going on. With all this, there is sufficient dynamism in the EU to make the 13th floor an exciting TV experience. Maybe this is exactly what is needed to explain the functioning of the machinery? – If timed well, it could even reveal the (recent) behind-the-doors selection of the current president and play a more democratic, primary-based selection of the next Commission President. If such were to happen in the 13th floor, this would not only bring light to the complexities of EU policy-making but also encourage debate towards the 2014 elections. What a difference this would make!?

My title suggestion would be Berlaymont by the way…

Picture from FCO/flickr with Creative Commons


Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Valéry on April 26, 2010 20:56

    “In the end, I have not come across any European TV series that has impressed me so far”

    Doctor Who ?

    About politics the Brits have also done “Party animals”, although politics are not at the center of the series, it is about MP researchers and some lobbyists. Rather well written and interesting.

    The only Brussels-based show I have seen was the fourth season of The New Statesman with Rick Mayal.

    This Berlaymont show is definitely a show I would watch although I guess it may be more interesting if based in the European Parliament. It could be called “Caprice des Dieux”, then, maybe.

    There should also be an Erasmus based TV show, a kind of L’auberge espagnole / Barcelona für ein Jahr series.

  2. FreemanOfTheLand on September 7, 2010 13:51

    “I am sure public broadcasters in the EU with possible arte as a frontrunner would be happy to unite and prepare such a show. Moreover, the EU will surely make its MEDIA funds available for this – and the Commission, Parliament (and possibly less so the Council) would be happy to offer some insights and filming opportunities. So, all this should be set – if we only found the script writers!”

    Try some ex-Stasi. They are sure to be accomplished at scripting this type of state funded propaganda. Good grief! This is tax payers money you are talking so glibly about. I repeat – TAX PAYER’S MONEY! Money that has been taken from us TAXPAYERS under threat of legal action to remove our property and imprison us if we don’t cough up. Are you aware of the depression and the increasing numbers of decent, honest human beings that are killing themselves because they are in debt through no fault of their own? Do you even care? Do you realise just how much the rest of us hate you EU drones and the delusional bubble you obviously live in.

    By the way, those other shows were NOT politically funded and stood by their own merits.

    Thank you. Your article neatly sums up your EU Govt’s ( I wasn’t allowed a democratic vote so I don’t recognise your federal monster that has temporarily invaded my country) complete disregard for the real world the rest of us inhabit.

    How about a show showing the incompetence, nepotism, lies, spin, fraud, corruption, bullying, and post-democratic objectives in your EU? I’d be happy to chip in some private equity for that show. Nah, didn’t think so…

    Don’t matter. When your anti-democratic policies result in a Muslim Europistan in 50 years this will all be academic anyway. God help us!

  3. Europe needs Aaron Sorkin « leireariz on November 18, 2012 21:14

    […] just showed me how the idea was previously put on the table by Jan Seifert and Writing for y(EU), so kudos to those two! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the […]

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