The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV Series  -   -  Drama
8.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 31,642 users  
Reviews: 201 user | 21 critic

Inside the lives of staffers in the west wing of the White House.

Creator:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 22 May 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 11 Apr 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 01 Apr 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The West Wing (1999–2006)

The West Wing (1999–2006) on IMDb 8.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The West Wing.

User Polls

Season:

7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Year:

2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 89 wins & 177 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

House of Cards (TV Series 2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Michael Gill, Robin Wright
Homeland (TV Series 2011)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

When Marine Nicolas Brody is hailed as a hero after he returns home from eight years of captivity in Iraq, intelligence officer Carrie Mathison is the only one who suspects that he may have been "turned".

Stars: Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin
Mad Men (TV Series 2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.

Stars: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser
Downton Abbey (TV Series 2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Beginning in the years leading up to World War I, the drama centers on the Crawley family and their servants.

Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern
Boss (TV Series 2011)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Mayor Tom Kane, diagnosed with a dementia disorder, struggles to keep his grip on power in Chicago.

Stars: Kelsey Grammer, Connie Nielsen, Hannah Ware
ER (1994–2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The work and lives of a group of emergency room doctors in Chicago.

Stars: Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies
Six Feet Under (2001–2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A drama series that takes a darkly comical look at members of a dysfunctional California family that runs an independent funeral home.

Stars: Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy
Orange Is the New Black (TV Series 2013)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The story of Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend.

Stars: Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning
In Treatment (TV Series 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A psychotherapist questions his abilities and gets help by reuniting with his old therapist, whom he has not seen for ten years.

Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Forbes
Treme (TV Series 2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Life after Hurricane Katrina as the residents of New Orleans try to rebuild their lives, their homes, and their unique culture in the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in the USA.

Stars: Khandi Alexander, Rob Brown, Kim Dickens
Big Love (2006–2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A polygamist and his relationship with his three wives.

Stars: Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny
Grey's Anatomy (TV Series 2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drama centered on the personal and professional lives of five surgical interns and their supervisors.

Stars: Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 C.J. Cregg (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Leo McGarry (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Josh Lyman (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet / ... (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Donna Moss (149 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Toby Ziegler (144 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Charlie Young (136 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Margaret Hooper / ... (105 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Carol Fitzpatrick / ... (101 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Sam Seaborn (84 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Will Bailey (80 episodes, 2002-2006)
...
 Abbey Bartlet (69 episodes, 1999-2006)
Edit

Storyline

When the erudite Democrat Josiah "Jed" Bartlet is elected U.S. president, he installs his administration. He places confidants from his electoral campaigns in the White House. Each of these people play a significant role in the Washington power game: the Chief of Staff (Leo McGarry), his deputy (Josh Lyman), Communications Director (Toby Zeigler), deputy (Sam Seaborn, and later, Will Bailey), and press secretary (CJ Cregg). Also in key positions are the assistants of each of the power players. We follow these people through many political battles, as well as some personal ones. Also playing roles are the First Lady (Abigail Bartlet), the President's daughters (Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Zoey), and the personal aide to the President (Charlie Young). All make this series, which supposedly follows the political events (often paraphrasing historical reality) almost day by day, more than merely a political soap. The demands of office on each character show the personal sacrifice and the ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Right place. Right time. right man. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

West Wing  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The show has a strong connection to the "Revenge of the Nerds" series of movies. Bradley Whitford, who plays Josh Lyman, played Roger in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (1987). Timothy Busfield, who played Danny Concannon in several episodes, was Arnold Poindexter in the first two "Revenge..." movies. Ted McGinley, who has played anchorman Mark Gottfried in several episodes, played Stan Gable in the first, third, and fourth "Revenge..." movies. James Hong, who played the Chinese ambassador in an episode, played Snotty in the second movie. John Goodman, who played President Glenallen Walken, was the football coach in Revenge of the Nerds (1984). James Cromwell played Mr. Skolnick in all four Nerds movies played former President Newman. F. William Parker was the policeman in the first Nerds movie played Rev. Caldwell in the pilot episode. See more »

Goofs

During outdoor scenes filmed for the 1999-2000 first season, the Washington Monument can be seen in the background encased in an elaborate blue mesh scaffolding used while the monument was undergoing a major renovation. However, in stock overhead shots used during the same episodes, the Washington Monument appears without the scaffolding (i.e., as it normally appears). See more »

Quotes

Representative Matthew Santos: Who's that hugging Mommy?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Episode titles are usually the first thing shown on screen (after recaps). This is one of the only American series to show episode titles before its opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fringe: Over There: Part 1 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Wing" is a beautifully written, cinematically packaged series that satisfies the audience's desire to see behind these particular closed doors
20 May 2004 | by (www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com) – See all my reviews

Network: NBC; Genre: Drama; Content Rating: TV-PG; Available: DVD and syndication; Perspective: Modern Classic (star range: 1- 5);

Seasons Reviewed: Complete Series (7 seasons)

Created out of the ashes of the tragic failure that ABC befell his neo-classic "Sports Night" (which I also highly recommend), Aaron Sorkin's next effort aims at nothing short of the most powerful office in the world. "The West Wing" takes us behind the scenes of the Bartlet (Martin Sheen) administration and his staff, which includes special counselor Leo (John Spencer), the dryly spunky Press Secretary C.J. (Allison Janney), Chief of Staff Josh (Bradley Whitford) and his model-like assistant Donna (Janel Moloney), morose Communications Director Toby (Richard Schiff), aid Charlie (Dule Hill) and Deputy Comm Director Will (Josh Malin, "Sports Night").

To best enjoy "Wing", with its occasionally maddening bouts of self indulgence and nose-in-the-air intellectual showboating, is to understand how purposefully different it is from just about anything else on TV. It lacks the kind of compelling situational drama you'd expect. Most of the real action occurs off screen, with us simply hearing that a crisis was solved. This show is about conversations, history and civics lessons and an ambitious deconstruction of wedge issues that you never heard spoken of so thoughtfully in entertainment television. "Wing's" vision of politics is an old-fashioned fantasy of a noble grass roots attempt, guided by history and the framers, where the political process is a necessary tool, o do what's right for the common man.

The political right has taken the show out to the woodshed for spouting liberal propaganda (every character is a vocal Democrat), but in my experience with it, it has been nothing but honest and fair with it's topics, unlike the blunt object beating we get from David E. Kelley and Dick Wolf shows. You have to be quick to catch inferences to tax cuts creating service cuts and women's lives being ruined by having a child and not an abortion. Free from a need to create simplistic sound-bytes or follow poll numbers of real-world politicians, Sorkin's world depicts the kind of well reasoned discourse lost in the modern, media-driven political climate.

Back to the dialog and the most important thing. This is a show that can be written with such lyrical beauty and directed with such cinematic majesty that it elevates it from a conceptually tedious concept and static stories. Sorkin brings back the snappy, lightening-fast "His Girl Friday" conversations of "Night". A man in love with his dialog (I can't fault him for that), he crams very syllable of every crisp monologue in the running time.

Satisfying the audience's desire to see behind these particular closed doors, "Wing" consciously maintains a fly-on-the-wall quality as we follow the White House staff through hallways and offices discussing everything from the most frivolous everyday annoyances and grammatical idiosyncrasies to weighty issues of domestic and foreign policy. It gives us the wonderful illusion we are seeing the real nit and grit behind the political process - from getting enough votes to pass a bill to keeping piece in the Middle East. This is C-SPAN stuff, packaged with beautiful, epic pageantry.

At series' end my initial reaction to the show still holds water. By comparison it doesn't have the heart or the laughs of "Sports Night". It has a rich look and feel but, for all its philosophizing and linguistic gymnastics, I still remain detached from the characters and any emotional core at all. Spencer is terrific and Janney and Whitford make TV stars of themselves with what are for the most part mechanical characters with just enough quirks to get them banging against each other nicely. That said, Whitford and Moloney have an engaging chemistry that draws us in and lets us root for them. A chemistry that the show takes a smart 7 years to pay off.

Sorkin and Sheen's president is a Frank Capra fantasy the melds together the most idealistic elements of politics and Americana into someone who can represent the best of his ideology and is still human enough to display the worst. Granted, this is Sorkin's fantasy so the latter is rare and Bartlet gets the last wise word most of the time.

After the 4th season, Sorkin leaves the show amid rumors of drug use and studio hack John Wells is brought on board. Wells is a network hack who took over "ER" when Michael Crichton stepped away and turned it into a soap opera, and then did the same with his own "Third Watch". The show slowly changes under Wells and while he resists his usual urge to sadistically kill of major characters, Sorkin's trademark dialog is slowed down and the show gets more traditionally exciting, but the intellectual substance remains and Wells gels with the show well.

I don't love "The West Wing" as much as others. Each episode starts strong and ends strong, but almost always looses steam in the long 2nd act. So goes entire seasons, which can bring us in and go out with an assassination, a kidnapping, terrorist attack or some other exciting peril for a main character and stall for entire hours in the winter.

Under Wells' control, the series ends with a spectacular bang. The final season brings an end to the Bartlet administration and follows the feverish presidential campaign of both parties race to win the election and instill their candidate - either Republican Senator Vinick (liberal He-man Alan Alda) or Democrat congressman Santos (Jimmy Smitts) - in as his successor. After 7 seasons the show goes out as rewarding and classy as it came in. A behind-the-scenes celebration of the American political process. It is an exceptional final season for a classy and classic show.

* * * * / 5


67 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Funniest line in the series aflack18
Cringe-inducing lines/scenes susanemccool
Season Five's 'Access' susanemccool
Scenes that brought tears susanemccool
Resignations Sonatine97
John Goodman susanemccool
Discuss The West Wing (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page