The West Wing (Review)

Premiering in September 1999, the original NBC series The West Wing built an instant cult following with its seemingly realistic weekly excursions into the inner sanctums of the White House. The series became such a hit that some pollsters claimed that certain people actually believed Jed Bartlet was the real president (although, if true, this is more of a negative reflection on the intelligence of the electorate, and not necessarily an indication of West Wing’s realism). But regardless, the truth of the matter is that West Wing definitely strikes a chord with certain audiences, providing entertaining brew of action, suspense, and drama on a weekly basis…

Seasoned Hollywood actor Martin Sheen plays the lead role of President Jed Bartlet. The day-to-day affairs of Bartlet’s administration are run by a number of individuals who surround him, among them are: Claudia “C.J.” Cregg (Allison Janney), Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), Leo McGarry (John Spencer), and Charlie Young (Dule Hill). The West Wing follows these dedicated staffers as they work extended hours behind-the-scenes to help keep the White House running smoothly. Along the way, the stress of the job and the characters’ personal lives make for an interesting glimpse into what many believe is an accurate portrayal of a real-life White House administration…

The West Wing DVD offers a number of dramatic episodes including the series premiere in which we meet each of the recurring characters for the first time. The White House has their daily routine interrupted when President Bartlet falls off his bike, and Sam realizes the girl he picked in a bar the previous evening was a high-priced prostitute. Meanwhile, several members of the administration become embroiled in an ongoing feud with the “religious right,” prompting President Bartlet to personally condemn a group of fundamentalists known as “The Lambs of God”… Other notable episodes from Season 1 include “The Crackpots and These Women” in which administration staffers spend their day listening to a number of crackpot, single-issue groups lobbying for federal favors, and “Take This Sabbath Day” in which President Bartlet grapples with the decision to commute the death sentence of a convicted killer following a Supreme Court ruling upholding his sentence…

Below is a list of episodes included on The West Wing (Season 1) DVD:

Episode 1 (Pilot) Air Date: 09-22-1999

Episode 2 (Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc) Air Date: 09-29-1999

Episode 3 (A Proportional Response) Air Date: 10-06-1999

Episode 4 (Five Votes Down) Air Date: 10-13-1999

Episode 5 (The Crackpots and These Women) Air Date: 10-20-1999

Episode 6 (Mr. Willis of Ohio) Air Date: 11-03-1999

Episode 7 (The State Dinner) Air Date: 11-10-1999

Episode 8 (Enemies) Air Date: 11-17-1999

Episode 9 (The Short List) Air Date: 11-24-1999

Episode 10 (In Excelsis Deo) Air Date: 12-15-1999

Episode 11 (Lord John Marbury) Air Date: 01-05-2000

Episode 12 (He Shall, from Time to Time) Air Date: 01-12-2000

Episode 13 (Take Out the Trash Day) Air Date: 01-26-2000

Episode 14 (Take This Sabbath Day) Air Date: 02-09-2000

Episode 15 (Celestial Navigation) Air Date: 02-16-2000

Episode 16 (20 Hours in L.A.) Air Date: 02-23-2000

Episode 17 (The White House Pro-Am) Air Date: 03-22-2000

Episode 18 (Six Meetings Before Lunch) Air Date: 04-05-2000

Episode 19 (Let Bartlet Be Bartlet) Air Date: 04-26-2000

Episode 20 (Mandatory Minimums) Air Date: 05-03-2000

Episode 21 (Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics) Air Date: 05-10-2000

Episode 22 (What Kind of Day Has It Been?) Air Date: 05-17-2000

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