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"The Paper Chase" Snow (1983)

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This one doesn't age well....

4/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
9 October 2014

In this installment of "The Paper Chase", the computer age comes to campus. Considering when the show aired on Showtime, this was very timely--as computers were just becoming relatively common, but still quite mysterious, on college campuses. Back in the mid-1980s, however, to most people computers were still very new--and knowing how they worked and how they can help us in our lives probably baffled 99% of the viewers. For example, the internet really was only in its infancy and was not open to very many people--mostly just folks working for the Defense Department. But, looking at this show now, it really appears as if the writers really weren't very well-versed with computers as well. Most of it is because of the show's treatment of 'wonks'--computer geniuses who are described as being very much like Urkel! In my time spent using computer networks during this same era, I NEVER saw any folks who looked or acted like any of these knuckleheads! This is odd, as normally "The Paper Chase" was exceptionally well done...but here it seems rather second-rate and full of dumb stereotypes.

Now this is NOT to say the show is all bad. The plot where the president of "Law Review" is ill and a power-hungry replacement takes over is very nice. The old expression "absolute power corrupts absolutely" seems to come to mind about this plot--and the guy does turn out to be a total jerk. This, unlike the computer angle, is much more timeless.

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