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
55,525

Photos

  • Allison Janney in The West Wing (1999)
  • The West Wing (1999)
  • Bradley Whitford at an event for The West Wing (1999)
  • Allison Janney at an event for The West Wing (1999)
  • The West Wing (1999)
  • Jimmy Smits and Ed O'Neill in The West Wing (1999)

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Cast & Crew

Top Series Cast



Creator:

Aaron Sorkin

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


16 May 2000 | p_probert
Charming and intelligent drama - a joy to watch
This gem of a series really took me by surprise. Observing the world of American politics and the lives of those working in the White House could be an extremely dull concept. But thanks to an outstanding script and the wonderful skills of the experienced cast, The West Wing effortlessly draws the viewer in and provides top quality drama in every action-packed episode.

Following the trials and triumphs of those working behind-the-scenes in and around the Oval Office, this series perfectly portrays the shrewdness that the president and his staff require to do their jobs and the way they inter-relate in a manic environment to get those jobs done, while still managing to maintain a personal life. Combining a subtle mix of poignancy, humour and dramatic tension with varying degrees of pace, it is a joy to watch.

Each episode is relatively self-contained with running storylines developing throughout the series. The characters are perfectly rounded, the script continually sharp, and credit goes to the directors and editors who ensure such slick movement and spot-on timing on screen.

Singling out any particular member of the cast is difficult as each one of them is truly first-rate. However, Martin Sheen is excellent as President Bartlet, a fiercely intelligent and discerning man with a genuine passion for his job. Rob Lowe is a revelation as Sam Seaborn, the wise and witty deputy communications director, and Allison Janney, as the astute press secretary, CJ, is far removed from her almost unrecognisable role as Barbara Fitts in American Beauty.

Whether White House life is in reality as appealing as this remains to be seen. It would, however, be very reassuring to believe that those who actually do hold such influential positions are as unashamedly charming as The West Wing brilliantly depicts them.

Critic Reviews



Did You Know?

Trivia

The show frequently employed a device in which characters have conversations while walking through the office halls or from one meeting to another. In television parlance, this is called a "walk and talk" scene, though some "West Wing" fans also dubbed the exchanges "pedeconferences". This element became so identified with the show that a "Mad TV" parody of "The West Wing" consisted almost entirely of the characters walking (and then running) through the halls of the White House, and when Aaron Sorkin appeared on 30 Rock (2006), his role consisted of him and Tina Fey (Liz) walking in a big circle while talking about writing for television.


Quotes

Donna Moss: She should stick around. Your whole campaign is like some Dr. Seuss nightmare - One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, We Fought The Good Fight Fish.


Goofs

Both Leo and Toby can be seen wearing wedding bands in seasons when their characters were divorced.


Crazy Credits

The special post-9/11 episode was broadcast without the regular opening credits. Instead, the episode began with the cast, out of character, speaking about the episode, followed by credits on a black screen.


Alternate Versions

The original broadcast and syndicated versions of the entire second season were in a 1.33:1 full-screen format, except on select HD broadcasters. The DVD versions of the second season episodes are in the filmed wide-screen format of 1.78:1


Soundtracks

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

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama

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