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.