Wow, I first watched this show with only a mild drift of what exactly was going on. But, and excuse me for using this lame line- by the second episode, it blew me away! It was totally believable, and not some boring political drama which is what I had half expected. But they even managed to make the financial predicaments enjoyable. Its so funny and yet it opened my eyes as to the goings on in the White House. I love C.J and Charlie, the president Martin Sheen plays is fantastic, I love Josh and Sam. My favourite character has to be Donna- the chemistry between her and Josh is undeniable, and she brings so much humour to the show. Okay so I basically love all of the characters. I love everything about the show! Its fantastic!
Words fail on just how completely I feel this episode missed its mark entirely! I fully agree that Mrs. Landingham got a better send off that Leo did. What a crock!!
I originally wrote this as a post in a thread on the West Wing forum, but then I saw how some had actually rated this episode as good, reviewed it in positive terms and I felt the need to put in my two cents. I have edited, added to it and cleaned it up for this purpose.
Bartlett as a pallbearer?? Not without some sort of statement on how/why that was possible for sure! What a miss! I know MS strikes and then retreats, but there should have been some reference to Bartlett's determination to act as pallbearer and some sort of back-up in place in case he faltered. Without being cheesy they could have built suspense around whether Bartlett could get through it all.
No graveside service, no eulogies, no military honor guard (yes I saw them leading Leo's casket out, but I mean a 21 gun salute), nothing? No statements made in public about Leo on his behalf. No media coverage, no flashbacks, no scenes to remind us of how wonderful Leo was and why we all loved him.
Aaron Sorkin would have had Bartlett deliver a speech like the one in "Angel's" about the students who rushed back into the fire and sacraficed themselves for the lives of others. There would have been no dry eye in the house and everyone would have had the tribute burned into their minds and etched into television history, as a fitting send off for a talented actor and fine human being.
Yes, Aaron Sorkin would have known what was needed, but then almost anyone who has followed the show from episode one would have too. He would put some flashbacks into the episode to give final screen moments to Leo and a chance for us to see him at his best. There were so many wonderful moments to choose from and instead we never even got to see even one still photo of the man.
But no, not with John Wells at the helm, haphazardly slapping together an episode with total abandon to the real point of it needing to be done. John Spencer died Mr. Wells, you didn't arbitrarily kill off a character over lack of agreement on salary. You didn't write the guy off the show because his character was tired and done. On the contrary, a driving force of the entire run of your show met a tragic and untimely end, and the best you could muster up, with months to prepare and shoot I hasten to add, is this paltry piece of lackluster crap?
It is almost as if, while sitting around discussing how to deal with this tragic event, John popped his head up from having been asleep and suddenly blurted out, "Hey, I've got a great idea, lets flash to a president-elect we are never going to see in office and watch as people repeat the same platitudes about the church service and completely burn up any screen time we could have devoted to a man who gave his all for the show, on a man we will never see move forward with the show." And apparently everyone was too afraid to say, "Hey John that is not only a really bad idea, it is completely disrepectful to the memory of John Spencer!" What the hell was anyone thinking?
This was a travesty of a tribute and completely unworthy of the hard work, dedication and life that John Spencer brought to the West Wing! Add this to the top of the list of things that John Wells has to be ashamed of. You completely blew it Mr. Wells, and yes, I am super irritated about it.
I'm glad this show is over. I never thought I, of all people, would utter those words.
I can't stand how they have systematically driven this once brilliant show into the ground.
They have blazed on undaunted in their single-minded determination to strip away any remnant of what it was that made this show the most brilliant and engaging hour in television history.
What a mess, what shame, what a disgrace!!
There was a big "to do" made over Aaron Sorkin being busted for drugs and some statement made about him writing the West Wing while high. If any of that is true, I wonder if we could impose on anyone to get John Wells stoned for the remaining episodes.
I'm so fed up with having completely lowered my expectations and preparing myself for mediocrity and then not even have them able to deliver that.
Get it over with. Call in Jack Kevorkian and hook up the suicide device. It's over and I'm done! I will watch the remaining episodes for some sort of closure, but I won't even bother to expect anything other than total disappointment.
3/10 (and the 3 is only for the moving opening church service and the slightly moving scene with the president in the residence).
I can remember what it was like to watch the first episode of the first series. Broadcast in Australia around the time of Bush\'s election, I wished and hoped that the real White House was half as well run as the fictional one.
To the eyes of a non-American, West Wing could have easily been parochial. An all singing and all dancing salute to all things American, but it wasn\'t.
It had a real heart and life - and, as far as I could see, well deserved acclamation by peers and audience alike.
I know this show is winding up production in the US. For many who have been critical about the direction the show has taken since Aaron S. left, I can\'t disagree that the show has changed fundamentally. Yet I see this as different flavours of the same drink. I have my favourite shows under both producers.
I know that I won\'t be alone in missing this show when it is gone. I can\'t help wondering if there will be a last minute reprieve.
Another season. A spin off. Something.
Whatever happens, I really hope to see the \"heart\" of dramatic production resurface again. West Wing is a milestone in writing. The ability to capture the essence of a problem, look at it from many aspects, and allow the viewers the space to have their own opinions.
A brillant show with a great cast especially C.J and Bartlett played by Martin Sheen. These two are the best in the show with a great support Sam (who left in season 4), Donna, Josh, Leo (R.I.P John Spencer), Charile & Addey.
The 2nd season opener is my favourite one as it follows an assassination attempt on Bartlett even though Charile was the target. The best part of the episode was the way the motorcade turned around to get to GW and the look on Donna's when she learns that Josh was hit by the shooters.
Overall a great show with great characters and storylines.
The Bartlett administration has been a lot of fun to follow. Let us keep up with our weekly fix by following the Santos administration. How will Josh handle the Cheif of Staff duties. What will happen to the current Bartlett staff. Who will be the new VP. Keept it alive NBC.
OK, let\\\'s see -- the country hasn\\\'t elected an avowed liberal in 30 years (Jimmy Carter), and he was trounced when he was up for re-election. Now, this show wants us to believe that the country would elect a far-left Democrat not one time, but THREE times in a row -- this time over a moderate Republican in the mode of a McCain or a Rudy Giuliani?!? I\\\'m sorry, but I can\\\'t strain reality enough to believe that. Just another example of Hollywood trying to tell everyone how they should think, rather than writing to reflect how America really does think.
It is sad this will be the last season of this compelling show. Even with the sad loss of John Spencer, it seems this season was reenergized. There could be such promise (or maybe opportunity) for another season they could shake up the cast. The cold be new directions, all kind of story opportunities that will unfortunately never be realized.
I loved this show when it had Rob Lowe
As well as Aaron Sorkin's writing
But now since both left the show
Thankfully though they will be back in the series finale
The show has gone downhill very fast asap
Loved the show and it was such a shame for both to depart
Just wasn't as good as it used to be
Back in the early years
The show was to focus on Rob Lowe
Then it started focusing on Martin Sheen
Although it past its prime when Aaron Sorkin left, this show has been produced at a consistenly high quality. The controversial issues it touched upon and the idealistic view of the american president has provided THE alternative to what we have in real life. Its witty, smart, and exciting. I only hope we have more shows like it in the future.
This was probably the first ever political drama that from day 1 you knew was going to be special. Having come from writing The American President, and basically taking some of the material that didn\'t make that movie to create the pilot, Aaron Sorkin crafted some of the finest, sharpest, most intelligent drama to ever grace the small screen.
A superb ensemble crew, fast-paced dialogue and faultless writing ensured that this was the first TV show I started to collect seriously on DVD, due to its inherent re-watchability. The issues covered, on the whole, will always be present and thus will bear relevance to future viewers.
I can only hope Mr Sorkin can come up with the goods for his new show (Studio 60), the inclusion of Bradley Whitford can only be described as BONUS!!! As we say a fond farewell to West Wing this season, we can reflect on an all-time classic
At its best, The West Wing transends television drama. With more wit, intellect, and inspiration than 10 great shows combined, the first few years of this show were perhaps the best of any television drama, well, ever. Simply put, these years belonged to Aaron Sorkin, and were the product of a lone, mad genius. But after Sorkin parted ways with Bartlett and co. the show quickly declined, settling at a decent, but certainly not great, level of quality. This has been very apparent in the last season of the program: a dry, unemotional attempt to do political drama Law and Order style (ripped from the headlines every week). But not once this season have we seen the moments that used to make the show truly special. I remember a time when Bartlett would walk into a room in the last minute of the show and blow America what a real leader could really look like. Sadly, I don\'t think that we will be seeing any of that former glory in these final few weeks. I summarized this review of the show with the phrase \"a sad final month.\" I say that not because I\'m going to miss new episodes. I say it more because I\'ve been missing the West Wing of old for three years now, and have come to terms with the fact that the conclusion of the series, under the current writing and production staff, won\'t even come close to what Sorkin used to do. Years from now, I will probably still feel confident telling people that the West Wing, even just counting those first few years, is one of the best shows ever made, if not the best. The final few episodes of a show of such caliber would usually qualify as bitter-sweet. I fear, however, that these last few episodes will just leave me bitter.
Really sad writers are so bad - should never have let the originals leave - They should have brought Rob Lowe back as the surprise candidate for VP instead of Leo McGarry (especially since he wasn't well enough to be advisor to the Pres)
How difficult would it have been for the writers to have realized (for what ever money it would have cost) to have brought back Rob Lowe to be VP candidate right from the beginning and pump up the audience - would have gained new fans and brought back old ones. Tired of seeing the back and forth with Josh and 'whats her name'. And where the devil did the daughter go? The most endearing part of the West Wing were the multiple story lines each episode that seemed to parallel with a sort of common theme but different outcomes like 'fathers' or 'memories'.
The sad part is I would rather watch some of the first couple seasons 100 times than waste time on Sundays now. I especially like Lilly Tomlin's character and they have totally wasted it - no scenes where there should be as she should be the first face before the oval office any time scene is located there - just doesn't flow the same anymore - especially since it IS called the West Wing! Sorry to see it go, really don't think they had to let it get so bad and them just desert it.
When the current season of The West Wing started everybody said it wasn't good and the ratings we're down. But this makes absolutely no sense to me. It's really funny. It's got amazing actors like Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda and Martin Sheen. Not to mention next week Jon Bon Jovi's gonna be on the show. Jon Bon Jovi! I mean come on! This show makes you jump, cheer, root, and scream at the TV. I don't know what i'd do without The West Wing and if you don't watch it, it's time to start!
Brilliantly cast and scripted, this series has been a long-time favourite of mine and I'm distraught to see it being cancelled although I don't think anyone else can replace Martin Sheen in terms of being 'presidential'.
The show shows you what it would be like to have a real president in charge of the States, dealing with all the political crap and fighting the Republican Congress. It's just a shame real life isn't more like this show.
Aaron Sorkin's creation -- a depiction of life in the most famous house in the world, The White House-- has been a part of NBC for 7 seasons. After May 2006, the show will be no more.
There were many different stories to tell about life in the "West Wing". Through the years, you got to know the members of of the president's staff (the characters Josh, Donna, CJ, Toby, Charlie, and the now departed Leo), the president (Jed Bartlett) and the president's family (Abbey, Ellie, Zoey and Elizabeth).
The challenge for the last shows of this last season is to honor the death of John Spencer (who played Leo McGarry), and for the election of a new president (presidental candidates Arnold Vinick and Matt Santos played by Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits).
This reviewer felt seasons 1-5 truly captured the best of "West Wing". The rapid fire dialog and vision from Aaron Sorkin's scripts truly brought the show to life. Seasons 6 and 7 started drawing the plots away from the White House, and started focusing on the campaign trail.
However, even with the change in venue, the glimmer of "West Wing" past still showed through. But unfortunately it hasn't had the same pull to the wider audience as it once did.
The main attraction of the show for this reviewer was the fact that gratiutious violence and sex was not a part of the show. Over the course of 7 seasons, Jed Bartlett got shot, along with Josh Lyman. Zoey Bartlett (the president's daughter) got kidnapped. A terrorist leader was assassinated. But because of the lack of violence in the show, the true shocking nature of such events showed through. The human impact and the result of such horrid events emphasized.
The ending of this season will be intriguing to watch. For me, a sad end.
This is one of my favourite series. The reasons that set this series apart, is that the writers themselves are the absolute undisputed winners.
the cast is very good, and the setting (some white house in Washington) is ok too. What makes the West Wing stand out is the fact that the dialogues and the storyline is soo good, that it will make any actor look good.
There is nothing bad avout the actors at all, but consider a star with the magnatude of Martin Sheen, and John Spencer basically outshines Sheen. The other actors are on par with each other. the dialogues are crisp, razorsharp and well brought by a set of excellent actors.
And in the process, you pick up a little on how the US government works.
Brilliant. If only the real White House was filled with such intelligent, funny people. A few episodes were hit and miss (especially where the election story arc is concerned) but overall a truly brilliant show. It wavered at first after Aaron Sorkin departed, but it was back on top form soon enough. Now if only Rob Lowe would come back for an episode (or two?), the show would be sorted.
I really did not start to watch this show until I was home sick and caught the re-runs on Bravo. I have to admit that it drew me in and now I am looking forward to the Election! I thought that this season has been both sad and marvelous. The loss of Leo both figuratively and literally was great saddness. The Debate Show was incredible.
I can only hope that Josh will get smart and hook up with Donna. We know they both deeply love each other and constantly hurt each other.
I am not sure if this is the last season or not, but I would love to see some epicodes with a new president, and to see how the writers would handle the changes. Can you imagine Josh as Chief of Staff!
Jimmy Smitts as president, what a concept! Well, I guess we will just have to wait and see.
I can say with absolute confidence that this was the best show on TV in the early years. However, with the departure of Arron Sorkin, the "Intellectual Hit" of 1999 became just another TV Drama. The writers in bigger and bigger acts of despartation created crisises and pitfalls for the cast to overcome, instead of simply reling on "politics as usual" as Sorkin did. Nothing can beat the humor or wit of "Big Block of Cheese day" or in the plot that the president ran into a tree while riding his bike. On the same coin the raw emotion and majesty that is evoked in episodes like "Noel", "Two Chatherals", or "Shibolith" are rarely matched in feature films. Lately the show has recaptured a bit of it's former grandure. However, it would have a far way to go to match it's highminded, hardhitting, Patisan politics of the first few seasons.
I must admit that the writing is musical. It carries themes and overtures just like the score of a broadway musical. The cast adds to this by giving each character a feel or theme. The show also seems to balence drama with comedy to create "Tonal Harmony", and never allows for a dull moment. You seem to know them after only watching a few episodes. The world of The West Wing is in depth and enlightens the way "the sausage is made". Guest stars and recurring roles are abundant and well placed. Often while watching I will say "Isn't that the guy from..."
This is a good show at it's worst, but an emotional tapestry of music and speech at it's best.
I don't know why, but I always start out my reviews explaining when I got hooked on a show.
In this case it would be a season before it aired. Almost.
I am a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night. Notwithstanding, The West Wing didn't seem like too much of a winning prospect. I loath politics.
However for reasons passing my knowledge I ended up watching an episode here and there. And I got hooked on the final episode of the first season, What Kind of Day Has it Been (or something very close.)
For a show in it's first season to brazenly place it's leading cast in a valley in a hail of gunfire was absolutely unheard of! What a cliffhanger. Wait...wait...hail of Gunfire? A dramatic series based mainly around talking? That's exactly what I was thinking.
Thinking. Yes, that's it. It's a show that made me think.
So, I thought I'd stick around. The second season became appointment television for me. I watched every episode. I yelled at the screen when they killed a major character towards the end of the season. (Don't want to give it away.)
...and through it all, it made sense. The story grew deeper and more complex. The character relationships ebbed and flowed with the tide of the shows. The thoughts and emotions, their beleifs...their reasons for becoming who they were and how they lived all coming through. The story didn't dictate who they were, they dictated the story.
And yes, the walk and talk style isn't for everyone. And yes, they might talk too fast for some. But these interesting choices gave the show a visual style all it's own, and...well, if such a thing can be said, it also found it's own auditory style. (I also feel the need to mention the lighting which is among the greatest I have seen on televison. Emotionally charged lighting that aids the story. What a concept.)
The third season discovered a way to keep the show relevant and worthy in a post 9/11 world, and it, combined with the fourth showed us the possibilities of the inevitably of a re-election campaign.
Then, Mr. Sorkin left. But his characters (those still with the show) didn't. They remained to charm us and make us think.
Rob Lowe's departure in the fourth season was hard to swallow, but Joshua Malina made it palatable. Well, that combined with the other subtle shifts...it all seemed to work out and make sense...
...except, with Aaron Sorkin the shows became less than stellar. It started to revert to ER status lots of very special episodes, little continuing plot, and lots of guest stars. All leading to what had to be the most underwhelming season finale of all time.
The sixth season started by miring us, not in the fictional politics, but in real politics. Trying to find an answer for a question that has no answer. And through the fifth and sixth seasons show became about the issues and not the characters. Tragic.
But the sixth season did something more shocking...it shook up the status quo. Alright it had to happen. I'll be the first to admit it. But I didn't like the way they did it. Even now I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it, I probably never will be...
But being happy and understanding are two different things. This is a show about the president. It can only last 8 years without changing the constitution...and when we started we were already almost a year into his presidency, so...we're looking at seven.
It seems now, that seven is what we get.
I don't think the show ever bounced back after losing Aaron Sorkin, but it was not unwatchable. It was still better than 97 % of the trash on television. It remains one of the greatest dramas ever put on the air, and will surely not be eclipsed by any others with such a short life span in the number of awards and recognitions it received.
It was well worth the journey to watch, and hear... Though better at the start then at the end.
I'm not one of those "Don't save our show" people. I would love to see The West Wing continue...At least one more season. let's see where it can go with a new president, a new staff. This is a transition year, that certainly wasn't helped by a move to a new night.
But, I don't make the decisions. I actually have a heart, so I can't be a network executive.
Very good acting but the cast is predictable and the casting direction is like a cookie cutter. Hire ONLY actors that are left wing activists and portray Republicans as villians and Democrats as super heroes. The Left Wing is as hypocritical as NPR in free speech and open debate. When was the last time Hollyweird portrayed a positive image of a conservative,Republican,or Christian? Sheen has made is political antics in his private life as a bafoon. Interesting how the loudest liberal for that particular year receives the most accolades and pro conservatives are subject to lieral McCarthism. Americans are tired of the same script of mindthink/mindspeak 1984 Orwellism.
What I would like to do is perhaps impress upon you the importance of this show .
First of all, it had all the pluses and the minuses of a political show. The plus side; everyone is interested - it's politics. The minus side; everyone is interested - it's politics.
Yup, we love it, hate it, but never ignore it. Most of my friends don't watch it because it's politics and they simply could not believe the show would be any different from real politics: an egotistical fantasy ride with lots of kissing babies and wrong decisions.
Well, West Wing should not care less.
I actually shead a tear when I read the cover of the first season DVD cover. I won't tell you exactly what - go look it up, but it actually reveals that this world around us is as corrupt and falsely presented as it gets, and we must resort to this kind of "fantasy" to escape this fact.
The pilot was absolutely the most intelligent beginning of any TV series I have ever encountered, with best conversations, great characterization and pacing which puts all others to shame - and it continued on this path even until today (the last season).
Forget the politics, find a way of living to complement the awesome moral, emotional, organizational battles and the dilemma of the human nature - this show did it better than any other.
This is a great show and in the long run, it will make TV history. Remember folks, it's only entertainment so I don't see a trend of government shows coming. This show is a oner. It deals with issues that we can all relate to if we watch the news. It has all the elements of a good show; well developed characters, backroom romance, topical issues, and contrived circustances to heighten the tension. With all the good acting on this show, the stars are still the writers. My hat is off to Bradley Whitford who seems to be the driving force behind the show. This guy is incredible, he carries the weight of most of the scenes he is in and I noticed that he wrote last week's episode! Wow! Allison Janney, wow again, the female counterpart to Bradley, a driving force who dominates the screen no matter who she's with.There are many reasons to watch this show; acting, writing, directing, and big production.
I love it.
Love your show but you must slow down the dialogue.This is what it sounds like -\"Loveyourshowbutyoumustslowdownthedialogue\", no periods, no commas. Can\'t uderstand what they are saying. Also, please lower the background music (noise) especially when 2
Love your show but you must slow down the dialogue.This is what it sounds like -\"Loveyourshowbutyoumustslowdownthedialogue\", no periods, no commas. Can\'t uderstand what they are saying. Also, please lower the background music (noise) especially when 2 people are having a normal conversation. If you value my opinion please do it.
Entertainment, generally speaking, is more subjective than objective. To me, 'hit' shows have clout simply because they've satisfied the subjective opinions/wants/desires of so many more individual viewers (thus, the objective) than have the 'non-hit' sh
Politics is many things to many people; to me, it's part policy wonk, wanting a better condition for the 'what is vs what should be' for the greatest number of citizens, and part finding the least bad way of doing all these things.
The 'inner workings' of this process have always fascinated me, and this program satisfies my curiosities in this regard almost as well as a documentary could. I graduated from college in 1973, and spent that summer glued to the daily installments of the televised Watergate hearings wanting not even to have to take bathroom breaks for fear of missing something new and/or important.
This program, much more often than not, puts me in that frame of mind as I view it. Thank goodness for the DVD Seasonal Sets: I can watch them over again, not just for the enjoyment, but for the fun of catching something(s) I'd earlier missed.
To me, this show satisfies a variety of categoizations, but happily the most important of those: genuinely entertaining.
This is truly a great show! While Sorkin's leave hindered the original spirit of the show, Season 5's serious governmental issues created a truly rivetting series. John Spencer's death will leave an unfillable gap in the show. After the election, I think the show should end. It can't go on without Sheen.
I expect this season's election to mimic the last actual Presidental election, hanging chad, Supreme Court challenge and everything.
Except that, in the TV version, of course the Democrat will win in the end.
This is hollywood afterall.
And not even in a make believe election would the establishment of Hollywood let a Republican win.
Although the best years of this show is behind it, it is still one of my favorite shows, and one of the few that I make a concious effort to follow. When the show started in 1999, the writing of Aaron Sorkin was by far among the best ever in the history of television. As hyperbolic as it sounds, his story lines were great, the character interaction funny yet indepth and the dialogue unsurpassed. Although Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme left after Season 4, the production value and cinamatography still remains the hallmark of this show.
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