The West Wing

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NBC (ended 2006)

USER EDITOR

AJMeredith

User Score: 687

SUBMIT REVIEW

The West Wing Fan Reviews (154)

8.9
out of 10
Average
4,060 votes
  • About this program.

    10
    it had great written episodes in seasons 1-4, Main Title Theme Music in season one, casting in season 1-2, great acting for Allison Janney in seasons 1-3 & 5, Stockard Channing in season 3, Richard Schiff in season one, Bradley Whitford in season 2, John Spencer in season 3 and Alan Alda in season 7.
  • an absolutely great fan of the show the west wing

    10
    this show is great, i am rewatching it on netflix, and it is amazing!1 one episode that goes above the rest is the stackhouse filibuster, what an unbelievable episode, touches the heart and is absolutely stupendous!!!
  • The best that television has ever been, or probably ever will be...

    10
    I never saw The West Wing when it aired. Being eight years old when it began I imagine I would have dismissed it as the most boring thing I had ever seen. Growing up somewhat and now being able to comprehend the complexity of dialogue and the weight of the situations that are portrayed, I came across The West Wing due to nothing more than the internet. Positive review after positive review lead me to buy it on DVD and at this point I've now watched the show in it's entirety 4 times as well as having watched episodes that sprung to my mind. Aaron Sorkin really created something special with this show. From the outset of the first season you find yourself invested in the characters and the story lines alike. The pace and wit of the dialogue is what I now know is to be expected of everything that Sorkin writes. I can appreciate that there will definitely be people out there that don't like this show and never will. I think it takes a specific type of person, or mindset to really engage in this show, but once you do, you really can't regret it. There are very rarely any episodes that don't keep you entertained or at very least invested in the political situation being dealt with. The season one finale along with the season two opening even delivers quite compelling action to a show essentially about words. The show continues on form throughout Aaron Sorkin's run as the head writer, with the post 9/11 reflection on terrorism and the season four finale being personal favourites of mine. Even after the departure of Rob Lowe's Sam Seaborn and Mr. Sorkin himself, I believe that the show remains at the same level as it was before. I've seen some people disagree and say that the charm had fallen after season four, but in my opinion that isn't the case. Some of the best episodes of the shows entire run come during the campaigns of Vinick and Santos. Allison Janney and Bradley Whitford are my personal favourites of the shows ensemble, but there is not a single actor in the cast that isn't worthy of every second of the screen time they get. Even Matthew Perry's short lived turn as a lawyer delivers an impressive performance. The death of John Spencer was eerily forecast in the sixth season and it really is a shame that he didn't get to finish this journey with the rest of this amazing cast.

    Overall this show is 99% perfect and really is the best thing I've ever seen. Save for the episode about C.J's dad, everything is compelling viewing and I'd recommend it to anyone.
  • With Peggy Noonan, speech writer for President Reagan, among the staff writers of the first three seasons, Aaron Sorkin's "The West Wing" brought an unmatched political realism to viewers. After season 4, John Wells took over with a new writers.

    10
    As a teacher, I love this show. It's intelligent and it gives viewers something worthwhile to think about when they think about elected officials, news media and history. When I say worthwhile I mean this is the stuff of education and healthy citizenship. We've got to know how to participate and how to discern what is meaningful from what is merely persuasive. I also love that this show instills value in the rule of law. The story lines of this show do not feature arrogant Vice Presidents who persuade attorney(s) to do their bidding in a secret effort to increase the power of the Presidency beyond the limits imposed on by our Constitution. The ending of the 3rd season was, I think, the beginning of the end for this series. In that episode, a Secret Service agent got shot. Ratings went up. Beginning with the fourth season, ratings began slipping. At end of season 4, Aaron Sorkin and the staff writers were replaced with John Wells and a new staff of writers. I'd like to see a production feature this type of dramatization for "turning points" in U.S. history such as FDR's New Deal, the Lincoln Presidency, John Marshall and the growth of the Supreme Court, etc.
  • Amazing

    10
    When I first started watching the West Wing I did it by borrowing tapes from a friend I work with. I was immediately impressed by the show but also saddened by the fact that it was canceled. It is truly the first show that I have ever watched that was both informative and entertaining. It shows the president and his posse as flawed yet productive humans. I had never been interested in politics and voted for the first time in this election of 2008. Partly due to this show and the fictional President Bartlet. He gave me hope that maybe not all politicians are liars and thieves. Then when I saw a video for Barack Obama I thought I was seeing Jed Bartlet in real life. This show also doesn't make you feel stupid but it makes you learn and pay attention at the same time. Hopefully that comment makes sense. It, unlike most shows, has a so many good qualities it hard to summarize them. But overall it is simply an amazing show, spectacular writing, amazing cast and great entertainment.
  • One of the best shows ever for the main reason of being able to present complicated albeit boring subject matter in a fresh way.

    10
    One of the best shows ever for the main reason of being able to present complicated albeit boring subject matter in a fresh way. Despite the liberal leanings of the writers, they brought in conservative consultants and certainly presented both parties in a fair light. The comedy was also excellent using the setting to create believable situations even given the gravity of where all the staff worked. Following Season 5 where they struggled a bit, Season 6 rebounded, though the transition from the old administration to the new one was handled somewhat awkwardly. This show honestly could have continued, there was a lot of ground to cover, though sadly like another classic, Homicide: Life on the Street, the show only managed to last 7 years. The irony is it basically lasted the Bush years, and now with a Democrat being back in the White House, the show is gone. A weird situation to say the least. The lists of parallels between the series and reality continues to grow as it was uncanny how the 2008 Presidential race mirrored The West Wing's. Classic.
  • Spectaculor writing, great cast, fantastic finish

    10
    This was clearly the best drama television writing and performing since MASH finished on our televisions. It us a shame that political real-life doesn't compare to what we saw on our screens every week in this series. The final seasons with Jimmy Smits debating against Alan Alda are classic material. This show managed to combine great humour with impeccible moments of drama and gave us a real insight into how politics work and where our money really ends up. Whilst seemingly a vehicle for a Rob Lowe comeback to begin with this show turned into much, much more and should be remembered for years to come.
  • television in its finest form

    10
    the series ended many years ago now, and yet i can still clearly recall the satisfaction i felt following nearly each episode. this show actually elevates its audience by challenging the viewer to keep up with the energy and pace of sophisticated, contemporary themes presented in a way that feels absolutely relevant.
    the acting is consistently excellent; the actors investing their roles with vast comprehension and a sense of genuine purpose - as if they knew they were participating in something special. in an oddly simple way, the show just felt important, and thankfully, through repeats, it still does. nothing less than television in its finest form.
  • Political drama following the lives of the White House staffers in the west wing.

    10
    My favorite TV show of all time. The West Wing combines my love for politics and drama. It made me wish President Bartlet was MY president. The show is definitely liberal/left wing but I think anyone can enjoy this show. It gives you an inside look into the White House. I don't know how accurate it is but it sure is entertaining. Even if the show dramatizes the west wing, it addresses important events and issues. The show also made me sympathize with the current president. It shows the enormous amount of pressure, decisions, challenges and hatred one man has to deal with.

    Even if you don't like politics, the drama alone can make you hooked.
  • An exceptional show in every possible way. I truly miss it.

    10
    Well I would like to start by sharing abit about myself. I'm a 24 year old male living in little old New Zealand. I've never really been interested in politics, nevermind American politics. I've never really been into 'dialogue driven' shows. I tended to enjoy my television with violence and lots of expletives. That was all unto I discovered the greatness of the West Wing.

    Now I was shopping for DVD's at my local when I saw The West Wing Season 1 on the shelf for a cheap price and decided to give it ago. Boy was I grateful I made that choice. I sat down and watched the first episode and took much enjoyment seeing President Bartlett make his first appearance telling Mary Marsh to get the hell out of his White House. From that moment I was hooked. I watched upto the assaisnation attempt in two sittings. I than went out the next day and brought the next 3 seasons.

    I think you can see from that experience I had become a West Wing addict. Since then ive watched the whole 7 seasons twice and multiple episodes many times. And I also now take an invested interest in American Politics (obviously the real politicians are alot less interesting) and thoroughly enjoy 'dialogue driven' dramas. There have been many exceptional and memorable moments throughout the 7 seasons, from the assassination attempt on Charlie, to Zoe's kidnapping, to the death of Leo. These moments greatly changed the landscape of network television which many shows tried imitating but greatly failed. Being a character driven show, the characters need to be appealing, and this show has them in spades. CJ, Leo, Bartlett, Toby, Josh, Charlie, Donna and many others are characters you can really do care about, you feel sad for them on their bad days, and you feel happy for them on their good days. Theyre people you wish you had the privilage of knowing for real. And the guest stars across the board are also exceptional with great actors playing them, many you wish would come back as recurring characters. A stand out character and actor for me really was John Spencer and his character Leo. It was exceptionally sad hearing about the actors death and seeing the character Leo on screen passing away (in Election Day Part 2 and Requiem). But boy what a tribute the the show was to this wonderful actor.

    So in the end, if you are on the fence about viewing the West Wing, take the leap and watch, you wont regret it one bit. And if you already own them, watch it again.
  • a wonderfully liberal show!

    10
    The West Wing brings everything to the table, wit, humor, intelligence and Democrats. this show is very intelligent and brought a very well thought out insight into the world of politics and the presidency. The nice little loophole that the writers threw in is the fact that they had the president positive for MS. Tragic as it may be it did drive the story real well. I know that people may not agree with me but i think that this is the best way a show could have ended with the Inauguration of President Santos (Smitts) perhaps one day we can have another show that is equal to or better than the West Wing.
  • The West Wing.

    10
    The West Wing is a show about the staff and the day to day operations of The White House under the administration of President Josiah Bartlet. Over all the stories of the show and the cast that brought these roles to life in the show. The best seasons of The West Wing are Seasons 1-4 Win Creator Aaron Sorkin wrote mostly ever word himself. When he left the show was slightly changed but it did not hurt it at all as The West Wing was still great as ever. The only time the show toke a dive is season 6 as when the primaries really wasn't as interesting as the general election was to me.
  • love this show

    10
    i absolutely love this show and its a pity it had to end i mean hink about it West Wing without Leo McGarry not possible i cried so hard on the series finale but it was so sweet at the same time. I love the witty characterisation and the how this show relates to modern day problems which we and our governments face drama but relevant drama. i dont think there are any other political dramas out there to match this i know there waa commander in cheif and it tried but it just didnt quiet hit the mark compared to the West Wing :D
  • Brilliant political dialogues.

    10
    This is one of the best shows on tv ever. I'm from The Netherlands myself, so I really didn't quite understand the political working of the United States. Thanks to this show I can finally understand some of the political system of the United States. And another great thing this show had going on are the brilliantly written dialogues. Supreme acting by the actors, I especially liked Martin Sheen. That man has an aura of president all over him. I truly enjoyed every single episode. Please oh please bring this show back on tv. I'm glad I still have the dvd's to watch and enyou. It never gets boring to start all over again.
  • I love this show, I love this show!! The West Wing proves to be an instant classic!

    10
    If there is one show on television that will always stand the test of time, that show is The West Wing. I was first introduced to this show in the summer of 2001 when my friend said that I needed to watch it. I told her that I was not big into political dramas and probably would not be that interested. The episode that we first watched together, my first Wing episode ever, was "Someone's Going to Emergency, Someone's Going to Jail". I tell you, I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I fell in love with the show immediately after it was over. It was then my personal goal to make sure that I saw every episode that I could before the new season started in the fall. Well, I tried to see as many as I could before the new season started, but I failed to catch the whole season during that summer. I was able to watch from the episode I first saw through the end of that season, "Two Cathedrals". I was hooked ever since then, not missing an episode, even when I was in the hospital on January 19, 2005 when the West Wing aired "2162 Votes" from Season 6, I made sure that when 9pm came around, my nurse had my tv tuned into NBC! When NBC announced that they would not be bringing The West Wing back for an 8th season, I was very disappointed. There was so much that could have been done with a new President and a new administration. At the same time, I agree with the writers, the show, the network to not renew the series because it could not have ended any better! When the Series Collection was released in November 2006, I saved my money and finally in June of 2007 became the proud owner of the West Wing complete series. I have recently started watching the series over and have fully completed seasons one and two and am falling in love all over again. I can't wait to watch every episode again and probably someday will watch the whole series all over again! There is not any show on television today that can ever match the intelligence and the wit and the overall greatness of the West Wing!
  • What an amazing show

    10
    now have every season and is truly the greatest show to ever be on television. So many emmies. A great cast and the plot and episodes can be very unpredictabler. It may just be because i am into politics and government but even so this show needs to be seen by everyone. To feel like you are that deep into the life of the president and his close staff is so cool. I can't get enough of this show and i'm not the only person. To have stumbled across this show is one thing i am sure thankful of. Michael Humphrey =)
  • Great Show!

    10
    WOW!! This show is amazing!!The writing and the metaphors are fantastic! I am totally in love with it. I just finished season 2 and I was so impress by the season finale, I mean the writers are magnificent they think of everything. The show is so smart and engaging. I really want to recommend to everyone. I have not been so impress form a show since "24"

    You will fall in love with the president, CJ, Sam, Toby, and Leo and even Donna. You will feel like you practically know the character yourself because they are so human and interesting.
    This show is great!!
  • I didn't always agree with its politics but it was definitely an entertaining show to watch.

    10
    I got hooked on this show in 2002, which was around the 6th season. I immediately got the other seasons and found just how enjoyable this program was. I am a Paleoconservatist and while I didn't always agree with everything in the show it definitely showed an entertaining and surrealistic way the White House in run. I was sad to see Rob Lowe go in the middle of the show, he and all the actors I really grew to have an affinity with. Bartlet was a person I could get behind even if I didn't agree with everything he said. Sheen's portrayal of him was excellent and it was nice to see his spin on the character. The only thing I really had a problem with was the MS story line. I think this show was superb in dealing with situations that could arise but haven't yet. There was the President's daughter kidnapped and John Goodman stepped in for President for a short time, brilliant. The situations and questions I had of the inner workings of the White House came out in this show. I don't believe the real one is run like this, but it was nice to see a show have the same questions and tried to answer them.
  • The best drama television has ever produced.

    10
    I did not start watching this show until it was in its third season. It was always on bravo so I started watching it from the beginning. I hate politics so I did not think I would make it through the pilot, man was I wrong!! The cast in my opinion was one of the best ever assembled for tv. I did not even like Rob Lowe before this show but I was sad when he left. I am still saddened by the passing of John Spencer and think with him, Jimmy Smits and Brad Whitford this show could have continued. The plots were great, don't get me wrong sometimes I had no idea what they were even talking about but I just could not get enough of it. I could go on and on about this show but I don't want to bore anyone. All I can say is that The West Wing was my favorite drama ever and I put off watching it for 3 years cuz I thought I would hate it. This is one show I do not think I will ever find a replacement for unless the cast wants to come back and win another election in three years with Dennis Hopper as president. Oh ya I was mad when they cancelled e-ring to.
  • One of my all-time favorite shows. With The West Wing Aaron Sorkin single-handedly got me interested in politics.

    10
    The West Wing is a fabulous television show. With it's unique filmography and cutting dialog it stands alone when it comes to political dramas. Never shying away from policially incorrect topics, The West Wing remained excellent throughout it's entire run.

    The show did hit a slight speed bump in season 5 when Sorkin left the show, but several episodes in when the show settled into its new routine and the viewers got accustomed to the slightly new style it got better.

    Every major cast member turned in brilliant performance after brilliant performace, but my personal favorites were Rob Lowe (Sam), Bradley Whitford (Josh), and Martin Sheen (President Bartlet).

    This timeless show deserved every accolade it recieved. It's based on a Democratic presidency and point of view, but even to the most stout Republican is an excellent watch.
  • This is slowly becoming my favourite TV show - absolutley fantastic in every way!

    10
    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.
  • Best show ever!! I cannot get enough of this show! I absolutely love it!

    10
    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 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.

    10
    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 seriously my favorite song and I think anyone that doesn't agree is up a tree. Great show filled with mild humor, wit, sarcasm, and smarts.

    10
    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.

    BUY THE DVD'S! It's worth it!
  • Though I wish it were still on-air, I will always have the best memories of this show.

    10
    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.
  • Bring it back! This is definitely the best show ever. Just as you are eager to see what can Santos do, the show is gone. NBC should bring it back, revamp the cast and script.

    10
    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!
  • Don't AGREE TO CANCEL

    10
    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.

    CJ
  • The lives, and lack thereof, of the most loveable White House staffers imaginable.

    10
    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!
  • Incredible show. Bring it back!

    10
    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.
  • This show is the best thing on television and the show that keeps me sane.

    10
    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!

    I LOVE WEST WING!!!
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