The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV Series   |  TV-14   |    |  Drama


Episode Guide
The West Wing (1999) Poster

Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

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8.7/10
55,491

Photos

  • Mary-Louise Parker in The West Wing (1999)
  • Stockard Channing in The West Wing (1999)
  • Dulé Hill at an event for The West Wing (1999)
  • Jimmy Smits and Ed O'Neill in The West Wing (1999)
  • Bradley Whitford at an event for The West Wing (1999)
  • Milo O'Shea at an event for The West Wing (1999)

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Cast & Crew

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Creator:

Aaron Sorkin

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


27 August 2003 | whiteotter
Brilliant
I couldn't get into the West Wing when it began its run. The people spoke too quickly, I didn't get most of the references, and where the heck were they powerwalking to? I just didn't get it. After an episode or two, I just forgot about it.

On a recent weekend, though, I heard the pilot was being broadcast and thought I'd give it a try. Watching this show from the beginning - and being able to see episodes over again - makes all the difference. This time, I realized that I wasn't *supposed* to understand what they were referring to right out of the gate; it would be explained before the episode ended. After watching the pilot, I also realized that unlike most TV shows, The West Wing episodes are visual manifestations of great books. Both force the viewer to ask questions, challenging simple answers, refusing to provide easy, fixed-in-60-minutes situations, and providing sudden, unexpected plot twists.

As excellent as the actor's performances are, it's the writing that makes the show so good. It doesn't shy away from moral ambiguity, it rarely takes the easy way out, and it compels you to believe in your government despite all the reasons it gives you to despair of it.

Some might think that only jingoistic supernationalists enjoy the West Wing, but neither of those words describe me. I feel very comfortable questioning the decisions my government makes, and I appreciate how the West Wing has broadened my understanding of how it operates. For that reason alone, it deserves the accolades it receives. It's one of the best shows in the history of television.

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