Bill Sterling, Jr. - a non-politico teacher at a Los Angeles correctional facility - is selected by the governor of California as a replacement for a deceased U.S. Senator, primarily thanks to the popularity of his father, a former governor. Upon arrival in Washington, Senator Sterling declares that he is not a member of either major political party. He approaches his job with a refreshing honesty and vibrance that breeds loyalty and fascination in his staff and bitterness among his colleagues. Written by
This show was supposedly set in the same 'universe' as the The West Wing (1999), but there was at least one verbal reference to 9/11 in "Mister Sterling", and 9/11 was not incorporated into the "West Wing" 'universe' (unless you count the stand-alone episode "Isaac and Ishmael"). See more »
Do you know what you're doing here? Do you? Or is this just some crazy roller coaster ride to nowhere that's gonna make us all look like idiots?
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No, I don't work for NBC. I also don't watch a lot of television. Mr. Sterling is the first program in many, many years that I make it a point to NEVER miss. Where it could be very bland and formulaic, it transcends; where it could pander to popular opinion, it takes chances; where it could be "West Wing Part 2," it stands on its own...and IMO, it stands head and shoulders above West Wing. A senator with a conscience - whoda thunk it? The show pulls no punches, portraying a Senate that many of us in the US like to pretend doesn't exist; a senate of favors and political intrigue, where "doing the right thing" is measured in how you can get the most campaign contributions or 5-second soundbytes on CNN.
If you only watch an hour of television a week, make it Mister Sterling. You won't regret it. In a world where "The Real World" is anything but, and "reality television" is an oxymoron, this bit of creative fiction provides more "reality" than I can recall seeing in a television show in this century. Maybe I'm being a bit over-enthusiastic about it, but I don't think so. If this show is given a chance to succeed, I think it can become the sleeper hit of the 2003 season, and beyond. A truly amazing show.
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