With the warning about the following show's being for teen or adult viewers, we are treated to a stunning view of the Capitol building surrounded by a fiery pink sunset.
So the opening is a bunch of speeded-up film shots of D.C.: We've got the Capitol building under construction here, the reflecting pool there, glimpse of the Washington Monument with its neat drop-cloth thingy, you get the idea. Impressive amount of stock footage to make us forget that most of it was filmed in Toronto.
A voice -- that we'll soon come to know as Mason's -- tells us a "secret" about D.C.: "It's not just the Senators and the Congressmen who make this town go. You know who makes this place really hum? It's us, the people behind them. We're the only ones with enough energy to write the laws, run the committees, party 'til three and then do it all again the next day." I thought he said he was going to tell us a secret. That's the same story all over, no matter what the job. Mason tells us that he works for William Abbott, the senior Senator of Virginia (the real sr. Sen. of Virginia is the Republican ex-husband of Liz Taylor, John Warner) as a legislative correspondent. That means, Mason goes on to explain, that he answers phones, reads mail, "and, when the situation calls for it, run[s his] ass off." But all that blood, sweat and tears pay off when he gets to walk onto the floor of the U.S. Senate to deliver a message. Of course, his "television debut," as he puts it, is shown to us as live C-SPAN footage. "That's me, I swear it." The camera magnifies enough for us to see a blurry white man wearing a dark suit. This excites Mason, greatly: "I mean, just think, six months ago I was eating dorm food and downing Jell-O shots. And look at me now, I'm in Congress!" Excuse me, can we get a judge's ruling on this: who lives in the dorm their senior year?
Shots of downtown Washington, D.C. for the credits. I wish I lived in Toronto so I could identify all the fake scenes.
Mason, the legislative correspondent, grabs a bagel and coffee and thinks, "Gee, political life is swell," as he hoofs it to the Capitol for work. At the metal detector, a security guard checks everyone's I.D. but our hero's. He just smiles at Mason, pats him on the shoulder, and waves him through. The wait at the elevator is six politicians deep, so our inventive legislative correspondent shows ingenuity and takes the stone spiral staircase. Time for a wardrobe check. My advisors have told me that Capitol Hill is sartorially very formal. No khakis, denim shirts, mismatched pants and jacket, etc. Mason seems to pass the wardrobe scan. He's sporting a darkish suit, and, as his letter-writing heats up, he drapes his coat over the chair. Mason's supervisor drops a thick stack of letters on his desk.