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"The West Wing"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The West Wing" More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

An Addiction to The West Wing

Author: ATLKevin79 from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
30 December 2004

The West Wing is the most accurate depiction of how the government works that I have ever seen. Having been a lobbyist in California for 6 years, I have an in-depth knowledge of how bills become laws and statutes. The "wheeling and dealing" depicted in The West Wing almost exactly how it is in the real Legislatures (Both State and Federal).

For anyone interested in politics (or political science majors), I would recommend this program VERY Highly. I'll warn you that there is a heavy Democratic (Liberal) slant to the show, but it is still quite educational while being quite addictive.

Best,

Kevin

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant!

10/10
Author: Tracy from Japan
7 July 2004

We her in Australia haven't received season 5 of the west wing yet, so we are still waiting to see what happens to Zoey after the kidnapping (18 months ago). BUT, i LOVE this show. Bradley Whitford has to play the most brilliant character on TV. We don't get Sports Night here, but i would love to see it if it can even compare to the west wing. One of my fav episodes would have to be "the leadership breakfast" when sam and josh try to start their own fire. Hilarious, "you know what we need?" "dry leaves" "dry leaves", "it's like we're one mind" "i know". the 'banter' between characters is amazing. i stumbled across this show when i was flicking channels late at night (yes a 10.30pm time slot is the best it's seen here in Aus) and everybody would rip me off for watching a show so religiously, but i finally have my best friend and little brother hooked!

Like the sopranos, this show is just amazing! there is nothing else like it anywhere. The only thing i have had luck over is that here in Aus, we've had the DVD's for about a year longer with season 3 just having been released! THESE ARE A MUST SEE!

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

best show on TV

Author: han yang from sydney
15 January 2004

I hope the fact that I am a Chinese migrant in Sydney Australia shows the appeal of the show. Not being an native English speaker, I am glad for the new technology of DVD showing previous seansons which allows me to understand the quick and witty dialogues with captions. I agree with one of the user comment below that my favorite episode is the Christmas one with the military funeral ending. Even though I am not an American, I was moved to tears at the scene of soldiers firing salute shots intercut with children singing Christmas choir at the White House. One of my favorite columnist, Sydney Morning Herald¡¯s Mike Carlton wrote last March at the peak of war mania, reflecting:

Call me fanciful, but they (the Columbia astronauts, my note) were emblematic of the America you desperately wish to believe in. This is the America of noble purpose, of Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the America of Andrew Wyeth and Robert Frost and Aaron Copeland, the America of baseball and computer whiz-kids, the America of Hollywood and Harvard, that generous America which rebuilt post-Nazi Europe with the Marshall Plan, that American Pie America where Old Glory flies, bold as a candy wrapper, above courthouses and schoolyards on Elm and Main from Rhode Island to California. Try to think of this as the cruise missiles fly.

To me, the West Wing show is emblematic of the America I desperately wish to believe in.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The Best Wing

10/10
Author: kosmasp
10 February 2007

It was hard to find a summary line and it's not the best, but at least there is one. I want to explain why I like this show so much, in a similar fashion/way that I've described movies that I don't like. I did put a lot of effort in those comments, so I want to take my time with this one too, because the show deserves it.

I won't spoiler anything story-wise, I won't even mention what role Martin Sheen plays. That was one of the few things I knew when I started watching West Wing. And I imagine that it must have been a great beginning for those who didn't knew what was about to hit them! The show has a fast pace, so that will be something you have to get used to, but it's not like it's impossible or too much (story) in one episode. That brings us to the writing of the show. Which is fabulous! I'm not only talking about each storyline (some/many explored in more than one episode), but also the fleshed out characters. And they come with witty and intelligent dialogue. Here's a point where you could criticize the show for not being realistic. Who would talk like that and also why would they do that, while they're walking? Although I can imagine, that it would be possible, to do just that, just to save (valuable?) time! That's not enough though for a great television show/series. You have to have great actors too. And they're here. Very well casted and of course very well acted too. After watching the show you can see why many have asked Martin Sheen, why he's only acting and not doing his TV-Series Character for real! After watching only one episode, you could be excused for thinking, that it can work.

The episodes are also very well directed. They're shot in a very smooth and nice way. Long camera movements and shots are included which are a testament to the actors, because that means they have to stay longer focused on the role they're playing and also have to remember (without any mistakes) their text! It is very well edited (see fast pace), so that leaves not really many points to criticize! There will be people who will objectify to a few things. Such as the pace (for some it might be too long), the fact that it's more drama than action (although often very funny, but also very touching), some will hate the dialogue (either because it's too quick or because it's not "real" enough) ... That's about everything I could think of ...

... Although I can assure you that I absolutely adore the show. I fell in love with it. I can't describe it with words, but judging by the many people who have voted here (mostly like myself a high vote), most of them feel the same way. If you haven't watched it yet, shame on you! ;o) Go ahead rent/buy it and enjoy the show! :o)

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Consistent

9/10
Author: Brigid O Sullivan (wisewebwoman) from Toronto, Canada
11 December 2006

With the odd series bumps.

I wait always for the series to be complete before writing about it. It seems fairer to me, as sometimes these multi-year dramas start out with a bang and limp away in a shameful and ill-written manner, beaten to death by the money grubbing studios. I don't watch cable TV but purchase complete sets of DVDs when issued, thus safeguarding my own time to watch when and where I want.

To me, this series remains up there with the best of all time. The punch through of multiple story lines, the camera angles, the engaging "everyday" appearing stars (no one was exceptionally beautiful), the consistent wit of the script, the daring "live" broadcast, the intelligence of the actors, and the liberal slant of the White House - eight years of truth and honor, highlighting courage and peace in our time.

Martin Sheen, is, as usual, brilliant, as was John Spencer and Allison Jenney, Richard Schiff, I would go on and on. For this consistent engagement of the senses of the viewer is a rare attribute in a series of this genre. 7 Seasons of it.

Some of it seemed over-written at the time (Bradley Whitford's screaming at the White House comes to mind)but his subsequent near nervous breakdown would seem to explain that. The run up to the election seemed elongated, due to other star commitments, perhaps.

The part of Charlie seemed forced and odd at times, one of the characterizations that seemed to amble in and out of episodes with no particular purpose apart from the *gasp* shock of being Zoe's sort of boyfriend, otherwise he appeared monk/eunuch-like.

A very "white" White house, no visible minority (and I exclude Nancy McNally) in a major part apart from Jimmy Smits at the end, no gay/lesbian/trans-gendered characters, it would have been good to see John Spencer as an "out" chief of staff.

These are minor points and I don't wish to diminish a fabulous and engaging series full of the promise of a U S of A that alas, we can only hope for. 9 out 10. Spell-binding, intelligent and gripping. Bravo to all.

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11 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Dream Duo

Author: harry-76 from Cleveland, Ohio
14 November 2003

Martin Sheen's and Stockard Channing's being cast together is a dream come true.

Both are super actors perfectly suited to one another's style and temperament and play off one another with great flair.

Interestingly, I caught both actor's interviews this week. Channing on "Biography" revealed her incredible up-and-down career, with many times almost giving up her profession. Sheen revealed on "Inside Actor's Studio" his tenacity for total commitment to both his roles and social causes, the later of which landed him in a state of incarceration on dozens of occasions.

Both actors represent the finest in their profession: dependable, engaged, hard working--resulting in products of the highest caliber.

Sheen's volume of credits is staggering, and his approach to life as revealed on the "Actor's Studio" interview is as open and honest as his pro work. Channing matches him tooth and nail, and the two make as cool a pair as any that has ever graced a tv series.

May "The West Wing" continue as long as its creative writers continue crafting their fine scripts and its "dream team" lead actors their heavenly collaboration.

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20 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Real Life Ambience

Author: HenrySarkissian from Los Angeles, California
13 April 2000

This new TV series is Hollywood at its finest, AND it has no sex and violence.

Being present in the day-to-day running of the White House and see how things can go wrong in the highest places, is an interesting experience.

All the episodes are quite good, but the one taking place at Christmas time and showing the sad plight of homeless war veterans living in the streets right under the shadow of the White House, and across the Monument built to honor them is very poignant.

It brought tears to my eye, and probably to those of many others.

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The best politically based TV show ever broadcast.

9/10
Author: Daryl Hanley from Ireland
16 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The West Wing is the best politically based TV show to ever air. It triumphs over the award winning House of Cards in every way imaginable. The show centers around a base of political characters with few changes. We get to see the rise and maturity of characters right there, episode to episode.

With outstanding performances from Martin Sheen and Bradley Whitford as Jed Bartlet and Josh Lymann the void left in season 7 by the untimely passing of John Spencer really carried the show over the finish line. The West Wing sets out to document two full presidential terms and does so with class and ease. Overcoming on screen and off screen trials and tribulation you're with the cast the whole way. If it's Jed Barlets MS or the very real passing of John Spencer you're there with the cast. You rise with them and you fall with them, the making of any good show is just that.

The West Wing is a real masterclass. Despite the rise and fall of Aaron Sorkins personal life throughout the West Wing it never lost its charm, its class or its wit. It is one of the few consistently good TV shows with arguably no bad season.

Sure, we would of all liked to see the next 8 years, the trials and tribulations of Josh Lymann, Donna Moss and President Santos but it ended perfectly. It was a happy ending for the characters, one that we were never sure was going to come.

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Drink it in, this one goes down smooth.

8/10
Author: Mr-Fusion from United States
19 February 2016

One of the things I really like about "The West Wing" is that it's a show steeped in politics, but ends up being about the drama. I usually find myself getting lost in the dialogue, which is the mark of a great show. The writing on this thing is brilliant. Very nice set design, too. I've never been to the White House, but I do love the sets; it's just a very warm presence. And the actual show wouldn't be anything without its stellar. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better ensemble on prime time.

Speaking of its politics, this has a reputation for being very left. Which is all well and good. But the person who turned me onto this was not at all liberal. Just saying.

Personally, I just love Martin Sheen as President Bartlet. The man's got the commanding presence and charisma oozing from his very pores. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want him in the real oval office.

8/10

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Best Ever, and I have Proof

10/10
Author: inoe-1 from United States
21 July 2015

A character in "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" makes a statement that, to me, describes both movies and TV, "Writing rules" and no greater example is the body of work created by Aaron Sorkin. In the "The West Wing" writing is mated with a once-in-a-generation cast to produce the perfect television series, at least within current technology (I'll watch "My Mother the Car" if it feels like I'm actually there, well…).

The natural way those words come from those mouths gives believability to their story; it was common conversation regarding uncommon situations. Yet, at base, every situation dealt with universal problems we humans have. What made this a pleasure was watching these people react like we hope we would in similar situations; like we hope our leaders do in such situations. People giving for the common good, in spite of what it may cost them, because it's the right thing to do.

What saves TWW from being some strange morality play is that this pill is covered by a beautiful, melodic, positive candy coating. The words almost sing at times; Aaron Sorkin writes fast-paced, almost clipped, dialogue that leads inexorably word to word. Imagine "American Pie" (the song!) where you may not know all the words, but you like the way they fit together. Give it a couple episodes and you'll be fine or, do what I did, love Shakespeare first.

Much is made of Sorkin's writing,as much has been made of this cast. You don't hand out Emmys to a bunch of script readers. TWW, in 2000, won Emmys for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Cinematography for a Single Camera Series,Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Main Title Theme Music, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series; they were nominated for Outstanding Costumes for a Series, Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series, Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Series, Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series,Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. How many others shows really needed to be there? In total, not just Emmys, 113 wins and 217 nominations.

So, when I say this is the best TV has ever produced, I'm not alone.

The actors have been both blessed and cursed by their participation in TWW. Whenever we see any of them in another show or movie, we turn and say, "Hey, it's Josh" or Sam, C.J.,Donna, whomever. They've become icons of a sort. In a few years they'll look different enough that we'll stop, but it's probably tough for them now. When a very prominent character really passed away, it felt like a friend passed. I tear up now just thinking about it.

In this review I tried to present a case for new viewers to give TWW a try; so I worked hard to keep anything remotely like a spoiler out. The review is purposely facile as a result, but every one I tried that included characters became a novella (tough way to find out there's a word limit). I did this because TWW is an important show for Americans to watch (everyone really, but especially Americans).

Sorkin is an unabashed idealist, an American idealist. His best writing comes in political situations; where he deals with morality in government. We see attributes of Washington, Lincoln, and Truman in Sorkin's characters; we hear words we pray our leaders say in real life. They question, they challenge, they know America is not a thing, but an idea that must be cherished every day because, in the end, it remains the last, best hope for mankind.

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