Bear in mind that when writing this review I have only watched the 1st two seasons so I am basing this on what i have watched so far. Being English and previously knowing little of American politics this show has opened my eyes and also taught me a great deal. Filibusters, bipartisanship and pocket veto being just a few terms that if asked about a few months ago would've resulted in a blank stare from me!
The show is also one of the funniest that I've watched before - a lot of the jokes are fairly subtle but this just makes them even better. The acting is also great and although it is only the end of the second season for me I feel like I know the characters and are connected to them in some way.
This is definatley a show that everyone should watch, and if your not already then you are really missing out on somethiong special.
Personally, I´m in love with Josh Lyman, he´s just one of the best characters I´ve ever seen on TV and Bradley Whitford is just spectacular.
And the writing was genious! Aaron Sorkin does know what his job is about, and it´s like John Spencer said when he won the Emmy (who didn´t love Leo and want him to be his/her boss): they were given gold, until Sorkin left. However, I was already hooked.
Althoug I think seasons 5 and 6 were a little weak, I could not stop watching it, because I loved it so much!
Also the cast was incredible, such talented people! Martin Sheen always left me speechless whenever the President gave one of his speechs.
I really regreted the fact that Rob Lowe left and we didn´t get anymore Sam. Oh and his relationship with Ainsley Hayes, wow.
I could write about every single character: C.J., Toby, Donna, Josh, Leo, Jed, Sam, Charlie, but it would´t be even a little bit close to what this show made me feel. I love it, there´re no other words than that. It was great, it had comedy, drama and it was very ver very witty, it kept me on the edge of the chair until the end of each episode.
I´m so going to miss it!
"The West Wing" has been a brilliant drama which has stood out from all of the cliched and dumbed-down tv shows for the last four years. It gives us a behind-the-scenes look at national and international politics, and does so reasonably accurately, thanks to the many political advisers on the show.
Apparently, some viewers have a problem with the following things, so here are some warnings:
1) "President Bartlet" is a Democrat. This means that many of the policies addressed in the show will be (gasp!) liberal. (For a show with conservative bias, watch Fox News.) 2) The dialogue on the show is quick, witty and intelligent. For those of you accustomed to hackneyed puns and sexual innuendo who may struggle with this, I advise you to have a dictionary or intelligent friend on hand for translation. 3) This is an ensemble cast, which means that _every_ character will get a chance to put on a great performance, and that each actor was chosen for acting ability and not for "hotness". (Also see "The Sopranos" for more information on this "ensemble" concept.) 4) The show also makes an effort to reconcile both Democrats and Republicans, showing the negative and positive qualities of both. The Democrats are not ALWAYS the good guys, and the Republicans are not ALWAYS the bad guys. This is known as "bipartisan" politics, and contrary to popular belief, it is the highest goal that American politics can achieve.
The greatest show of all time. This is drama as it's meant to be done. Sometimes sappy and overly patriotic, but almost always perfect as well.
Provides a fascinating look at American politics to even the most ignorant of viewers.
What do you say about the greatest show ever created?
The West Wing was truly unique. I've never loved another show as much as I do this one, and I don't expect I ever will.
My favourite elements were the characters, their interactions with each other, and most of all the depiction of the American political system. It's not a documentary, and it is very idealistic, but it did teach me a lot about Washington politics. It got me interested, and now I follow American politics very closely, with far greater devotion than I give to Australian politics (much duller in comparison). I've also picked up on things that later I hear my teachers mentioning in a lecture (eliciting an excited 'OMG! I saw that on The West Wing!' from me). So it's educational too.
Sorkin intended the show to be an intimate look at the daily lives of the President's senior staff. National politics was the focus, and it succeeded brilliantly. It was fast paced, engaging, and had more wit and humour in the first four seasons than any other drama I've ever seen. People I've talked to tend to see The West Wing as too serious and boring - but this is based on the last three seasons. The first four blended the drama and humour flawlessly. I became slightly disappointed with the White House storylines of the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons. While the campaign storylines were always entertaining, John Wells moved the show from national politics to internatinal diplomacy. The majority of White House storylines in the later years seemed to always involve diplomatic incidents overseas. In other words The West Wing stopped being The West Wing, and became The Situation Room.
This is not AT ALL to say the show was bad. I still love it to death. It's just the tone and content changed slightly, and while it wasn't as brilliant as the Sorkin years, it was still better than anything else on TV.
I wouldn't want to bring the show back with a Santos administration. I really liked Santos, but I really REALLY miss the good old days of President Bartlet. He and the staff just seemed completely together, like they were almost destined to be exactly where they were. Leo, Josh, Sam, C.J., Toby, Donna... they just worked so well together. I got very sad when they started to scatter and work for different campaigns. It was almost like a betrayal. I didn't really like C.J. as Chief of Staff. But it's life. People move on.
Yes, The West Wing could be sappy and overly patriotic. But I loved every minute of it. If only everyone in real life politics were as committed and well-intentioned as the Bartlet administration. We'd all be a lot better off.
And even though seasons five, six and seven weren't as entertaining as the first four, I'm still giving it a perfect ten. Anything else would be an insult.
this Is a great show I just started watching these on dvd and I have been held captivated it is a great show and one that will stand up against the test of time President barrtlet is great martin sheen does a great jhob in this show and rob lowe who does not like watching rob lowe on tv he is great in whatever he does I can not beleive I did not watch this show when it was on but hey that is the great thing about tv shows on dvd is you can find these great shows
This show is about the team around the president of the United States, and all the work they have to take all those decissions that keep a country running, and also solving the national and international problems that eventually arise. Altough I only watched this series until the anouncement of the sickness of president Bartlett, that was enough for me to choose this as one of my favorites (if not my favorite) shows. All of the members of the president's staff has a personality that allows them to take the right decissions (well, almost most of the times) and also be absolutely funny while doing it. Even the president follows this, and his decissions turn to be sometimes so smart that are just unexpected. Definetly a must-watch.
Great sets. They never get old. The sets that the West Wing are shot on are some of the biggest in show business. Respectable, huh?
Great cast. You can tell they all love their jobs and the people they work with. Josh is outgoing but, still cares for others. Toby is always grumpy but, it is always great when you can tell he is happy and doesn't want to show it. Jeb (President) loves to mess with his staff but, still gets to work and gets things done.
Great show. NBC made a huge mistake taking it off the air but, you can still catch it on Bravo every once in a while.
Every Friday of the second semester of my sophomore year in high school, my Civics and Economics class watched “The West Wing” with our teacher in class. He loved the show and thought it would teach us how the government was run. I quickly became enchanted by the crazy lives of each character as well, and began to try to find ways to watch it at home so I could discuss it with my teacher after class. My love for the show continued after I left the class and when it ended, I had desperately hoped re-runs were in its future, as we hadn’t had enough time to watch from beginning to end. I still hope the show will be available as a tool for generations to come as it was for me.
I admit, season 7 was a bit weak. But it does leads to a continuation full of possibilities. President Santos character can bring freshness to the show. New casts, new administration should make it an exciting new season. Script wise, could not compare to season 3. The possibilities is still there! NBC needs to bring this show back!
it is the definishtion of exelince in tv the show that takes you behind the seans into the wight houes into the back door campaining the back room deals this is it the show i was upset to see ended it is a tv version of arron sorcons move the ameracan presadent that was such a hit they turned it into a tv show my vavorit episode of all time is after the election where santose asks vinic to be his secratary of state this show will be put in the tv history books as one of the best serese of all time
This show was spectacular, it is such a shame and I do not agree that it should have been canceled. They should oh hung in there for at least a season more, even two. It would have been good to see what it is like for the new President and the staff, the transition and the life of Bartlet after the white house. There would have been alot of spice between Arnold Vinik and President Santos, I really feel that there was alot there to play with. The point of the show was to give a look at what it is like to work in the West Wing, well they really let us down in a part which all wonder really what happenes in the transition year as well as the year that follows for both the incoming and departing P.O.T.U.S. John Spencer... God Bless You and your family.
Black days at the White House ... cut-throat advisors get their personal lives hopelessly tangled up with professional duties as they try to conduct the business of running a country. Josiah Barlet is the liberal President who suffers no fools. In the show's final season, Democratic presidential nominee Matt Santos won over Republican candidate Arnold Vinick, leaving Bartlet's White House in hands that pledged to carry on many of his for-the-people policies.
BRIEF HISTORY:Another frenetically-paced show by "Sports Night" creator Aaron Sorkin, who previously plumbed political melodrama with "The American President." It's produced by "ER" exec John Wells. The show has become an Emmy powerhouse since its 1999 debut, winning the best drama award four years in a row -- tying a record set by "Hill Street Blues." The 2002-2003 season saw ratings slip. During the season Rob Lowe left the show and after it ended, creator Sorkin left along with executive producer Thomas Schlamme.
STARS: * Moira Kelly as Mandy Hampton * Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn * Martin Sheen as Josiah Bartlet * Stockard Channing as Abbey Bartlet * Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg * John Spencer as Leo McGarry * Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman * Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler * Dule Hill as Charles Young * Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
This show was consistently one of the best written shows on TV. The dialogue led at a pace and with a wit that recalled the days of Hollywood at a time when Hollywood was anything but ous (or good). This joins the pantheon of shows that can be credited for ushering in the renaissance of TV. This was classy entertainment in a world that seriously needs class, it was intelligent TV in a world where too often stupidity is king. It mixed reality with a healthy dose of fairy-tale and like all good fairty tales made us dream again. Bartlett for President!
I loved this show. It was a fast paced, well written drama with intelligent characters and meaningful plots. It provided a window into the world of White House politics that was compelling and thought provoking. My favorite character was C.J. Craig. How refreshing to watch a strong, intellingent woman in a power position who was also a very real woman. I particularly enjoyed the presidential election campaign that was the focus of the last season. It was nice to watch a campaign from the inside out rather than through the series of sound bites we are presented with in a normal campaign. This was an excellent show and I can't imagine the Fall 2006 season without it.
What on earth could be so engaging about a show based on politics? I suppose the real reason I never liked this show was because at about 12 or 11 I wasn't too interested in politics at that point and after watching this show a few times I just never really caught on to the idea. I hate it.
Watching The West Wing is worst than watching the weather Channel at least you know what's going on in Idaho with regards to highs and lows. I watched The West Wing years later but I still don't like it - I suppose its the cast I never really liked most of the cast members to be honest. I suppose some people like it - but to me its a complete waste of my afternoon.
You could watch this show and feel smart while also enjoying it. It wasn't just a drama it showed real life situations. It gave us a look into the white house. Well a Dem. white house really. Still they showed you how hard it is to get things done and how they want them. Hostility, tragedy, drama, and comedy. All of the actors and actresses were so great. The show itself was just one of the best that has been on tv. Nobody can ever really do another white house show and have it compare to this one. This is the original and the hopefully nobody will try and show it up because it just isn't possible. I want it back so that questions left at the end of the series can finally be answered. What happened to Donna and Josh. Do they run for and win reelection. This is what made it great even after seven years you still want more. It never would have been enough.
It took me years to get around to watching this show because I used to work when it was on TV, but I just recently discovered it. I've only seen season one so far, but I got completely sucked into the show and once I'd started watching, I watched the whole season in pretty much one go.
I didn't have high expectations for the show because politics have never been that interesting to me, but this is a smart, fast paced show with witty humor.
What I love about this show among other things is that from the get go it assumes we already know the characters and then introduces them to the viewers in small little doses. That approach keeps things interesting.
Next on my list: The West Wing, season two. I can't wait!
this was quite a griping drama when it first came along. it had never really been done before. i doubt it could be done again with any real success. i think martin sheen did a good job as the president. and alan alda's performance as the presidential canidate during the last season was perfect.
I think that this show is really good, I have just beginning to watch it and is really interesting, I thought that it will be as boring as Commander in Chief, that is kind of boring, but it is not, it has its great moments and every thing and I as I think that it was about politics and every thing I thought that this series will be somehow not so great, but I think that it was one of the coolest programs that I have ever seen... is really good!
I have a theory about fans who watch this show. 25% are crazy liberals who are so sick of Bush, they escape into this show wishing they lived when Bartlet was president. 25% just love the humor and amazing characters, plot lines and everything. The rest are both.
When I buy a new season of West Wing on dvd, I have to make sure I space out how often I watch episodes, because I know I will watch them all in a row.
The characters, they are just amazing, there is not one I don't like. Charlie and Zoey are amazing together, and apart. Josh and Donna are some of my favorites too, along with Sam and Bartlet, and everyone else. They are hilarious, smart and I think of them as real people. The plot lines are nothing but sure brilliance, at least the ones I've seen, though the ones I've seen in season 7 haven't been great, all in all, the show is great!
When I watch an episode, I cannot stop smiling, usually, and then there are those heartbreaking episodes. I wish Bartlet was my president! He's fictional and so much better than Bush!
Living in Australia, I don't have any real idea whether the way in which life in the White House is portrayed in this show truely reflects what goes on behind closed doors. But this is a drama, and to me it doesn't really matter whether it is a true reflection of real life, because there are enough elements of truth woven into the fabric of the show to allow me to experience the show almost as a documentary, rather than a tv drama.
Another reason living in Australia influences the way in which I experience "The West Wing" is of course the years of battling with the commercial station who initially held the rights insisting on programming it for late-night mid-week. Initially it was only my parents who watched the show, and I tended to only watch occasional episodes and so lost the flow of the show.
That is until Episode 87, Season 4, "Commencement" after which I became absolutely hooked on the show, and was stuffed around even more by the commercial station programming.
So when at the beginning of this year I found out that "The West Wing" had been picked up by the non-commercial ABC I absolutely rejoiced and have finally been able to watch the whole of season four leading up to "Commencement", the episode which made "The West Wing" a habit for me.
"The West Wing" flows like a documentary, grips your emotions like a good drama should, and leaves you wanting more at the end of each episode like all high-quality tv shows should.
But the fast pace requires absolute silence from the viewers as dialogue can easily be lost if you attempt to disturb the momentum by asking a question of your fellow viewers. Much as I usually dislike the interruptions of ad breaks, this show requires them unless you are willing to let aspects of the dialogue flow straight past you.
This is certainly a show that I will buy on DVD if purely for the fact that it then allows me to absorb the deeper meanings of the show. This show is far from a superficial look at American Politics, it is an in-depth look at humanity, world events and the role of world powers in our society today.
A TV show cannot get better. Not only do I wish this show would continue, I wish it were true. Can't someone from West Wing run for president? Can't some of that intelligence, compassion, courage and wisdom be a real part of American politics? This cast is tremendous, not a weak link anywhere. The writing is nothing short of brilliant every single season, every single episode. It ended so well too; not a drop of sentimentality and yet it left me completely satisfied. Congratulations to all who created it. It's an American Dream is what it is...and even this Canadian got off on it.
A well thought-out venture into politics - with emphasis on the processes of everyday White House life. Examines the effects that even the most obscure details can have on the shape of society, with scary accuracy
The West Wing is one of the few television shows I've seen from its inception until its demise and for that I'll always be grateful. The amazing cast are capable of showing what an intelligent white house staff would do to truly improve the country - often pointing out clear shortcomings in the government which are still not addressed. You realise how great this ensemble is when you truly can't pick a favourite - you'll eventually love Toby, Sam, CJ, Leo, Jed, Abbey etc so much.
You don't have to be an American to understand The West Wing; in fact, being a foreigner only makes the show that much more informative to go alongside the funny, sad, and otherwise, moments. The Crackpots and These Women is a sweet look into the fanatical edges of politics whilst being a really moving episode about humanity and its achievements.
Basically all the season premieres and finales are particularly brilliant, especially the emotional power of the season two finale. Funnily enough, the pilot and series' grand finale are the exceptions amongst these greats. Isaac and Ishmael is another notable episode, with some important insight into terrorism and a little bible-knowledge for those of us 'lacking' in our religious departments.
The West Wing will remain as one of my favourite shows of all time - a hall of fame with very few entries. It is truly worth anyone's time and brainpower. Take a peek at democracy itself!
In an age of partisanship and where people seem to have lost the sense of nationalism, this show aspires to bring light into the darkness. Its characters inpire greatness, the plots are worthwhile and explorational, and the ideas they bring may not be revolutionary, but they hold a very good truth.
The show will be missed for its great conversation pieces and dramatic performances.
Where lawyer and hospital shows dominated, this show has come into our lives for the last seven years and existed as the most unique, thought-provoking, inspirational, brilliantly filmed and acted masterpiece of the last decade of primetime. Since the pilot it has been consistent in its exquisite camera work, cinematography and of course the \"dream cast\" that was the best of its time. This show has taught me more than my political science course, not just about politics, about love, relationships, and betterment of the self. The DVD\'s are delightfully guilt-free viewing pleasure. I have no need for TV now.
As The West Wing ends its seven year run, now is an appropriate time to consider the gaping hole that will appear in the weekly schedule of its devoted fans. No longer are we to be invited inside the White House to be educated without being insulted, enlightened without being preached to, and captivated by well written, cleverly structured storylines week after week.
Although the show never did regain the consistent level of excellence it achieved during the Aaron Sorkin years, the prevailing memory is one of rich dialogue delivered by deeply textured characters telling stories both intelligent and heart-warming.
The real triumph of TWW was its ability to tell indepth and sometimes complicated stories without dumbing-down, the makers trusted the audience enough to keep up.
In the end TWW achieved what all shows strive for, to leave us wanting more. Maybe now is the time to consider a spin-off set on Capitol Hill (from the point-of-view of a republican controlled congress, to provide counter-point to the democratic White House)?
Although it changed a bit in the last couple of seasons, the West Wing was always centred on dialogue and ideas, rather than characters or plot. Episodes featured the people who run the United States government as they juggle an endless arrat of issues, problems and people both domestically and internationally. They talk fast and think faster as they find compromises between parties, and often make compromises between their principles and the necessaties of the matters at hand.
The show was smart and talky. I used to wonder why people made such a big deal about the whole "walking and talking" technique that was frequently employed in the show, but then I realized: oftentimes, if it wasn't for the walking, the show would be totally static. People would just stand, or sit, around making long speeches. This technique is one example of how the makers of the show were able to take a smart, loquacious concept and actually make it work for American television. The show was always about the inner workings of the government. We never saw the military operations, we only saw the President and his staff sitting around debating the political, moral, philosophical and constitutional implications of such an operation. That this worked is a credit to the writers and, more so, the great cast who made the subject matter interesting.
Later in the show, the West Wing began to focus more on characters and plot. It became sensationalized. The worst season for this was season six, the so-promoted "season of change." That year saw almost every character change in some dramatic way, and seemed like a desperate gasp for higher ratings. It was ill-suited high drama in an idea show. On the other hand, it did have people talking about the show in a way they hadn't previously, and it led to the compelling seventh, and final, season. I'll admit that I was annoyed by the decreasing importance of the West Wing with the election, but I see that it was a necessary step to avoid stagnation. The show had covered the inner workings of the White House, so it shifted to the inner workings of an election campaign.
The West Wing went out on a high note, and it will be missed. I realize now just how rare a smart, idea-oriented drama is on American television, and I believe that it will leave a void in next year's schedule (no show's that require us to think). Oh well, there's always the fond memories, and DVDs.
I actually just started watching The West Wing about 2 years ago. A buddy of mine bought the first 2 seasons on dvd and after watching the very first episode, I didn't stop watching until season 1 was finished. I pretty much did the same with all the other West Wing dvd sets. This show is amazing! You really form a strong bond with all the white house staffers.
This is however, its last season. I hate to see it go, but its been a rough go this season with John Spencer (Leo McGarry) dying in the show and in real life. I was ecstatic however to see Sam Seaborne (Rob Lowe) return as Deputy Chief of Staff - that was a big hit to the show when he left a few seasons ago.
Its really impossible to dislike this show if watched from the beginning - Democrat or Republican!
I had never watched The West Wing prior to April 10th, while sitting in the waiting room during my girlfriends karate class, the episode "Election Day Part 2" came on. When the death of Leo McGarry was announced, I was totally sucked into the episode, and even having never watched before, I felt the emotions of the characters from this loss. I immediatly knew that I had to watch this show, because if I could get emotional from a show I've never watched, then it is definitly some amazing writing. It is know one month later, and I am currently watching the 5th season finale... going to buy season 6 on DVD as soon as it's over...
It's an extremely well written show, but at times it bores the crap outta me. Ohhhhhh! The President is talking to one of his advisers, but wait!!! Another adviser just walked into the room! How can the president possibly talk to three people at once!?!!? Like I said, bores the crap outta me. I would rather watch 24..... Thank God for Tivo!!!!
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