I’ve watched all seven seasons of The West Wing in around eight weeks. Not particularly deliberately, I tended to watch a disk at a time (4 episodes) and a few times much more but not necessarily every night or even going out of my way to watch it. The program is simply and brilliantly addictive.
From just about the pilot episode they got it right. The casting, set, acting, production, camera work and above all the writing is amazing. The pace and sheer amount of plot in each episode makes it compelling to watch – the trademark “walk & talk” shots particularly involving Josh, Sam or Donna are always fun and speaking of fun there is so much slapstick humour woven into a show – which somehow works along side very serious subjects.
I am really glad that I didn’t discover this TV gem while it was being broadcast however, for the simple reason that the end of each season is such a clifhanger that I really enjoyed being able to play the opening of the next straight away.
However, in my humble opinion, the show goes downhill around seasons 6 and 7. These shows are still very compelling television but for some reason by then there are no more jokes, a lot of the action is no longer in The West Wing but out on the campaign trail and the cast are scattered all over the place. It is still very enjoyable but not in the same league as the earlier seasons.
Anyway, if you are like I was a few months ago and people keep going on and on about how good The West Wing is and you can’t see what could possibly be that good about what is after all just a TV show. Trust me – it is worth getting hold of, it is worth watching and you will get something out of it (even if that is just a vague idea of how US Politics might work).
PS, can I get seasons 1 and 2 back some time I want to start again.