Presidential advisers get their personal lives hopelessly tangled up with professional duties as they try to conduct the business of running a country. Fictional Democratic President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet suffers no fools, and that policy alienates many. He and his dedicated staffers struggle to balance the needs of the country with the political realities of Washington, D.C., working through two presidential terms that include countless scandals, threats and political scuffles, as well as the race to succeed Bartlet as the leader of the free world. Written by
The character of Mandy (played by Moira Kelly) was abandoned after the first season. Aaron Sorkin and Kelly both agreed that the character had run its course. However, Sorkin never explained on the show what happened to Mandy. The character just disappeared. This gave birth to the term "Mandyville," a reference to where characters go when they disappear from a series. See more »
Characters repeatedly refer to the lectern in the press briefing room as the podium. The podium is the raised platform on which the lectern and speakers stand. See more »
So much political reporting seems to be an attempt to fake a drama out of little material. I missed the West Wing when it started, but am catching up now, and find that it turns the specifics of politics into gripping human drama with a fast pace.
The camera seems to move as quickly as the people, following one conversation, then picking up another as two corridors intersect, and going off after that conversation instead. It's a remarkably effective dramatic device, that helps generate a sense of many topics, issues and personalities all being constantly on the move in response to events.
The acting is uniformly good, and often not on screen, Martin Sheen's president remains a constant presence shaping every story.
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