The West Wing

NBC (ended 2006)





The West Wing Fan Reviews (154)

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out of 10
4,087 votes
  • Why can\'t all political sides be shown and represented in tv?

    When you watch this show is like watching CBS, ABC and NBC it has a very straight democratic political agenda and I will say that it shows normal regular people as dopes that don\'t know nothing but the very IVY league pompous know it all as the ones that have got to take care of us poor sobs. Man, I hate this show purely for the simple reason that it doesn\'t show all kinds of view points just one.
  • Really bad desision to watch that!

    "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.
  • Suspension of reality is impossible with this scenario.

    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.
  • I'll never get 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.
  • John Spencer died and left a gaping hole in the West Wing. Fittingly an episode was filmed and written to honor the man, unfortunately, it flopped miserably.

    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).
  • not really my cup of tea

    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.
  • A personal favorite for purely sentimental reasons.

    I have to agree with other viewers who think the show is past it's prime.

    The electricity of the bull pen and the rapid fire banter of days gone by when Sam Seaborn wrote the speeches that made me cry are all but gone...don't get me wrong, I'll stay tuned till they pull the last re-run.

    I still find some of that tangible intellectually honest quick wit in Alan Alda's character and for that I, in a somewhat perverse way, am rooting for him as the "underdog". He's the last vestige of political realism that embodies the West Wing's allure that I feel is being setup to be blown away by Jimmy Smit's lean, hip, correct, patriotic, minority, liberal suavity. Shame.

    Like I said, I'll be tuned till they stop running re-runs...
  • Not as good as when Aaron Sorkin was in charge.

    The first four seasons of The West Wing were fabulous. After the usual finding-our-way meanderings of the first half of season 1, the show found its strengths in the characters, plot lines, and the quality of the writing, directing, and acting. Seasons 2 through 4 were especially good.

    Unfortunately, since Sorkin's departure, The West Wing doesn't seem to have the same spark it used to. It's still a good show, just that I can no longer describe it as "the best-written show on television" as I used to.
  • Show about the oval office with excellent first 2 seasons.

    By watching the show again, some episodes after 10 years, I conclude in hindsight:
    The show reached its peak with the final episode of season 2. They totally lost it when Rob Lowe left the show. Afterwards to many new character were introduced and those characters never really got a hold in the story line. For instance the Lowe replacement or the new security adviser. Terry O'Quinn as one of the generals is a good example as well. Usually it's a shark sign if O'Quinn joins a show. I guess it's safe to say at least season 5/6 where a total waste of time. Let's be candid, doesn't the oval office provide enough political stories or do we really have to watch shootings and kidnappings on the lead actors every season finale? However, series 7 provided somehow a comeback with focusing on the Santos campaign. But it never matched the first 2 seasons.
    BTW, could somebody please enlighten me why Barlet in season 7 all of a sudden started to call everybody "kid"?
  • 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.
  • Good but has it's faults

    I've just watched series one and I'm a few episodes in to season two. It's a well written, well acted show. But it's very idealistic. President Bartlett is whiter than white, to the point that he starts to annoy you. The writers have written the perfect president, he always does the right thing. I'm sure the reality is a lot different. That's fine as long as you take the program for what it is, a well written idealistic work of fantasy.
  • The liberal heros versus the evil conservatives been done so many times it demonstrates Holyweird vendetta against the common American values and promotes limosine liberals elitism.

    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.
  • Life inside the White House.

    Let\'s face it, The West Wing died when Tommy Schlamme left. I keep saying I\'m going to give it one more episode. I still love the characters, but there is a vast difference between the past West Wing and the present West Wing. Why on earth did they choose to speed up the time of the Bartlett administration? If they had used one season per year in the White House, they could have had eight years! I don\'t really care who the next president is going to be. I\'m just irritated that they changed everything. This show used to be great, but then they killed it.
  • Its well written, but......

    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!!!!
  • Decent show.

    My favorite parts of the series was the very good acting and the characters. I found most of the show quite interesting and also entertaining. It was nice to see a different side of politics and to see the contrasts between real-life politics and show politics. I do have to say I didn't care much for some of the storylines and plots. They really got unrealistic in the last two seasons. Who is going to buy Texas being a blue state and California being red? Overall, this was still a decent show and also has some really good actors and actresses. Thank you.
  • An intelligent, dialogue- or idea-driven show that was fairly unique.

    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 watch it! Guilty as charged.

    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.
  • Once sharp, witty, and the best drama on the West Wing is past its prime and in need of a serious tune-up.

    Ah, the early years of the Bartlet administration... Sharp writing with the best dialog I've ever seen in any show. The West Wing was thought provoking, funny, serious - usually at the same time.

    However, after the departure of Sorkin and company, the show went through at least a full season of dull, lifeless dialog that was a shell of its previous self. Combine that with a 'ripped from the headlines' change in direction of the stories and you have one of the most rapid falls from grace I've ever seen on TV.

    The last season has started to come around, though now it is simply good, missing the previous sparkle.

    Here's hoping for continued improvement in the coming seasons that can again bring magic to this deserving show.
  • 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.
  • Very good political drama series

    This is a hard series to review. It is exceptionally well-written with good, interesting characters put in an extraordinary position: working at the White House. While naturally US-centered and portraying mostly the view of the democratic party, the series focuses a lot of energy on more general problems: doing what is right, the reality of compromise, how unbelievably complex and limiting both national and international politics can be. And it does it very well.

    It is a pure political and drama series though. If that's what you want then you should definitely watch it, but don't expect a comedy or much action. There are many amusing moments, but the focus of the series is unequivocally intellectual and ethical. Sometimes you want that, but if you don't you should look elsewhere.

    I must also say I was impressed by the number of actors/actresses I recognized from everywhere or nowhere. Either The West Wing launched an unbelievable number of careers or they are simply great at picking great actors from other shows. I'm guessing the truth is a mixture of the two.
  • Seasons 1-2 were excellent; 3-4 were good; 5 was a misfire; 6 was golden and 7 saw it stagger to a close.

    Perhaps no show better embodies the importance of a stable creative hand at the helm than "The West Wing." The brainchild of Aaron Sorkin, "Wing" premiered in 1999 to critical and audience acclaim. It brought Sorkin's reckless idealism, rapid-fire, reference heavy dialogue and characters who aimed high and often fell short to a political setting, and in addition to tackling big issues also presented personal triumphs and tragedies for its characters. Boasting what may someday be regarded as the best ensemble cast in history, the show let these actors cut loose and sink their teeth into tremendous parts and scripts. I mean, honestly - before "Wing" who knew Rob Lowe was so good?

    Then came the September 11 attacks, and (as cliche and ass-clownish as it is to say "9/11 changed everything") it certainly changed "The West Wing." The light-hearted element was gone. The show took a more dramatic stance and delved into multi-episode arcs about terrorist plots, overseas military engagements and wrestled with issues like torture, spying and pre-emptive military action. Essentially, it was still good, but it wasn't "The West Wing" of Seasons 1 and 2. Rob Lowe left, but Sorkin-alum Josh Malina took his place, adding a new voice and new dynamic. Things still hummed along.

    Another blow (no pun intended, Mr. Sorkin) was dealt when, after Season 4, Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme left the series. Who cares why they did it, the result was that the show was suddenly without its voice and guiding hand. Season 5 was uneasy, as new writers tried first to duplicate the Sorkin style, but towards the end they began to come into their own.

    Season 6 was the closest thing to the show's glory days we had seen in years. Instead of aping Sorkin, the writers were doing a quasi-Sorkin show, but without his tendency to preach too much and simplify issues. The producers also gave the show a shot in the arm by beginning to focus on the campaign to succeed Bartlet. Jimmy Smits, Ed O'Neill, Patricia Richardson, Stephen Root and the incomparable Alan Alda all came on the show in this re-election storyline while the old war horses of the White House continued their work.

    Season 7 was the swan song, and a disappointing one at that. Not all of it could be helped. John Spencer, the brilliant actor behind Leo McGarry, died at mid-season and forced rewrites and changes to the story. But Season 7 was more reminiscent of the uneasy time of Season 5. Producers were unsure at first if they were wrapping up a series or laying the groundwork for a new run with a new president. They did recover at the end, however, offering a finale that was a very nice cap on seven years of great TV.

    So, how do we rate "The West Wing?" Is it TV's greatest drama? No. It's not even Aaron Sorkin's best TV work (that honor belongs to "Sports Night.") However, it is a strong series that boasted strong writing for four seasons and an incredibly talented cast for all seven. It will surely rank as one of TV's best dramas and is without a doubt the career highlight for its cast.
  • Still good but Aaron Sorkin is sorely missed.

    The show, once famous for it's witty dialogue is still interesting and intriguing, with a terrific cast and a pretty good storyline.

    But it clearly misses the hand of Aaron Sorkin and shows too much the hand of John Wells. Wells has proved on ER his obsession with melodrama and he brings it all to bare on West Wing now. In fact, the entire 6th Season seemed way more like an ER episode with half the cast in the hospital for one reason or another.

    Still, it has regained itself by refocusing on the campaigns of the next White House with the implausible moderate Republican (I don't think the Republican party will nominate a moderate for at least another 10 to 15 years)and a liberal Democrat.

    The shuffling casts between our old favorites, and the new campaigns keeps the show and the audience on our toes. I enjoy each story and am enjoying the Toby/Leak story very much. But in the end I miss the wit. The show, like the Bartlett administration is tired...and if they are smart, Wells and NBC will stop after this season before The West Wing, like ER becomes a self parody.
  • Getting stronger.

    I almost quit watching West Wing two seasons ago as the plots were getting tougher and tougher to follow, mainly due to the lose nature of the writing. Then last season some really strong story lines developed and held throughout the year. I'm looking forward to this years season and assume the show is running toward an ending season, but it has been a good run so far.
  • Sad to say this show is falling fast...

    I'm one of those original West Wing Junkies. After 4 great seasons, they fired the creator, Aaron Sorkin. The first year after that, the show was of a quality normally reserved for those being walked behind the shed to be SHOT...Now that the new writters are on their feet, the show is simply ok. If you loved it before, DON'T WATCH. If you've never seen it, then I would say this: there are a lot of worse things you could be doing. Not a strong endorsement, eh? Great actors cannot save a badly written show.
  • West Wing Is More Balanced Than You Realize

    I hear time and time again that this show comes from a very liberal point of view, and it may have started out that way considering its creator. But I don't think it's true any more. Not only did the writers (post-Sorkin) show the conservative side by introducing strong Republican characters, but the entire foreign policy of the Bartlett administration is very neo-conservative. Toby's "they'll like us when we win" speech is at the core of our current foreign policy to deal with threats before they occur. Give it a chance, it may be more balanced that you realized.
  • Formerly a 9 or 10, this show has been going downhill for me.

    Since the departure of Aaron Sorkin, the dialogue, character development and plotlines have suffered. This season, I really missed seeing the cast performing as an ensemble. I found the scenes between Josh Limon and his candidate to be repetitive and whiny. I miss the old spark. Let's hope the next season improves.
  • Cut the cord and bury it.

    Another show that the producers just will not cut the cord. Taking the show on the road for a campaign just does not fit the image of the West Wing. I want to see the workings (no matter how prejudiced) between the staff in the White House. The first lady seems to have fallen off the earth with the children.
  • I serve at the pleasure of the President.

    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 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 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.

    How do I boil down all that I've said?

    Born great. Lived well. Died just okay.
  • I've always liked this show but I am starting to lose interest. The first few seasons were fabulous, and I loved the interaction between the characters. Now, it's getting old.

    The writing was what drew me to this show. The political allusions were always a bit of a turn-off, but the writing and the characters were just great. And then last season and this one, I started to lose interest. Making CJ the chief of staff, and all the focus on the campaign msde me feel it became all about political grandstanding and hardly anything about the characters - although the one about Toby saying he was the leak was good. I do hope Santos wins - he's an engaging character, but it's not enough about him - it's more about the political backstory, and that's tiring. Maybe its time to call it quits.
  • Oh, to have Sorkin back, or even just anybody who knew how to write for this show...

    I started watching this show from the beginning because I like Martin Sheen. It was fast-paced, smart, and emotional -- ranging from crying because it's so funny to crying because it's the saddest thing you ever heard.

    Note I said, "was fast-paced, smart, and emotional." Not so much lately.

    The first season is my favorite, then two and three and four in that order, go figure. I will sit down and watch basically any one of these fine episodes again, even if I really do have something better to do with that particular hour. Sure, things came up that bothered me (killing Mrs. Landingham was a major problem), but nothing that made me stop watching.

    Season 5, I thought, was horrible the first time around. Characters were bickering at each other, and the show just went very dark. I read an account in TV Guide that said John Wells blamed the loss of funny on 9/11. Nice try, but 9/11 happened before Season 3 began airing, and that season was funny like the show always was. I did think "The Supremes" was a particularly good episode, not just for that season, but for the series. I hated that they killed Fitz at the end of the season, but not Donna (sorry, she bugs me).

    Now that I watched bits of Season 6, I like Season 5 more than I used to. Talk about not knowing where half of the stuff came from, and the funny did not come back. Will changed drastically, and I couldn't stand him anymore -- I loved him when he first appeared in "Game On". What was up with Leo having a heart attack? Was that necessary? Props to the addition of Leo to the Santos ticket, but I was hoping for that when Jed ran for re-election. If any character should have been killed on this show, it should have been Hoynes.

    I'd put "Going downhill fast" or "past its prime" in the Classification box, but because I so adore the first few years, I marked it as a personal favorite. I don't think it will pick up much speed in the future, and certainly never be as good as it used to be, but it could at least just stop going down the toilet for a little while.
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