West Wing logo

West Wing Time

The West Wing TV series had some fun with time-related issues. This first video is from “20 Hours in America”, the two-part fourth season premiere of The West Wing that aired in September 2002 on NBC. It shows Donna, Josh, and Toby dealing with missing their train because of daylight savings time and a time zone change in some counties but not others.

After this episode aired, the Indiana legislature decided not to be the butt of jokes on national TV any longer. They passed a law requiring all places in Indiana to observe Daylight Savings Time. However, Indiana is still split between the Eastern Standard Timezone and Central Timezone. So, the scenario depicted in the episode can still happen.

This next video is from “Ellie”, Season 2, Episode 15. CJ, Josh, Sam, and Toby are confused about when the president's plane will get back from Japan. The plane will pass through numerous time zones plus the International Date Line. There's also confusion about AM and PM and ambiguous local times.

This episide shows how the International Date Line can be a confusing concept for people, allowing people to arrive at their destinations before they boarded their flight:

“He's going to land in Washington an hour before he took off?”

Click here for more about time.