The West Wing: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (22 Sep. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.7
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The West Wing staffers are introduced as each learns via phone or pager that the President was in a cycling accident. Josh faces the possible loss of his job after an on-air insult of a ... See full summary »

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Title: Pilot (22 Sep 1999)

Pilot (22 Sep 1999) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Storyline

The West Wing staffers are introduced as each learns via phone or pager that the President was in a cycling accident. Josh faces the possible loss of his job after an on-air insult of a political opponent, which Toby tries to prevent by having Josh make a personal apology. Sam's fling the previous night with Laurie, who unbeknownst to Sam is a call girl, puts him in hot water, which he compounds when ineptly lecturing a class of 4th-graders about the White House and then asking their teacher which child is Leo's daughter. Leo must deal with the fallout from Josh's blunder, as well as 137 Cuban refugees who escaped on rafts and are seeking asylum. The president walks in during during Josh's apology, recites the First Commandment, and lambastes three Christian pols for not denouncing a fringe group. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

Certificate:

TV-14
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22 September 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During Josh's first scene in the pilot, the camera pans over his desk's in box, in which there is a copy of "George" magazine with Josh's (Bradley Whitford's) face on the cover. George was a real magazine, started in 1995 by John F. Kennedy Jr. and his business partner, Michael J. Berman. The magazine strove to cover politics in a celebrity- and popular culture-driven way; it folded in 2001, about a year and a half after Kennedy's death. See more »

Goofs

Multiple continuity errors involving the ID badges during the first senior staff meeting. First off is Josh, his ID badge is showing the White House logo side, then two seconds later his ID badge is showing portrait side. This is then shortly followed up by Toby, where his ID badge is clearly on show, then hidden behind his tie, then reappears clearly on show. Finally, the same happens with Sam, on the close up, his ID badge is not in the same place as the zoomed out camera. See more »

Quotes

Mallory O'Brian: I'm sorry to be rude, but are you a moron?
Sam Seaborn: In this particular area, yes.
Mallory O'Brian: The 18th president was Ulysses S. Grant and the Roosevelt Room was named for Theodore.
Sam Seaborn: Really?
Mallory O'Brian: There's like a six-foot painting on the wall of Teddy Roosevelt.
Sam Seaborn: I should have put two and two together.
Mallory O'Brian: Yes.
Sam Seaborn: The thing is while there really are a great many things on which I can speak with authority, I'm not good at talking about the White House.
Mallory O'Brian: You're the White House Deputy Communications Director and you're not good at ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Moment of Weakness
Written by Bif Naked and Peter Karroll
Performed by Bif Naked
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User Reviews

 
A typical day at The West Wing
23 January 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In this fairly light and fun introduction to The West Wing: Josh faces losing his job after offending Christians during an appearance on a talk show.

Leo must deal with 137 Cuban refugees who escaped on rafts and are seeking asylum.

Each character is introduced finding out on phone or pager about the President having a bicycle accident. This was a wonderful way of introducing the characters, it briefly shared some character traits and boasted a few nice looking sets.

The set of The West Wing was wonderfully put together and looked genuine. There is a long tracking shot through many rooms of the set and I was very impressed by their detail and that the rooms were all connected.

The character of Sam holds the episodes melodrama by accidentally sleeping with a call girl then telling unknowingly tells Leo's daughter about it. This may put his career on the line.

The pilot had a very upbeat and comedic tone. The dialogue was fast-paced and witty. The characters were interesting and they are the main reason I shall continue watching. The nature of the show allows them to deal with very serious subject matter which I am sure they will. This episode didn't delve into anything of great depth, but the light-hearted comedy was interesting enough. However, the great dialogue mixed with character-study and serious political subject matter is what I am hoping for.


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