Quick Review: The West Wing

Quick Reviews resulted as the alternative to an old poster style I would create when I didn’t have an extensive opinions on a particular movie or television series, and so these reviews are super short and sweet.

Version 2

Winner of seventeen Primetime Emmy Awards, The West Wing, written by Aaron Sorkin focuses on fictional democratic POTUS Josiah “Jed” Bartlet who suffers no fools and therefore alienates many. He and his dedicated staffers struggle to balance the needs of the country with the political realities of Washington, D.C., working through two presidential terms that include countless scandals, threats and political scuffles. The final two seasons focus on the race to elect the candidate to proceed from Bartlet as the leader of the free world.


While Gilmore Girls gets praised as the “feminine Sorkin”, I prefer to think of The West Wing as the masculine Sherman-Palladino. Minus the pop-culture references and instead heavy with political discourse, the style of the two shows, particularly the witty, intelligent dialogue and the quick pace are key drivers to the charm of both series.

Josiah “Jed” Bartlet may not be the hero Washington deserves, but he’s the one we need right now. It’s easy to create a perfect leader, and much harder to emulate them, and The West Wing portrays the king of governance we all like to think is pulling the strings. The show is also a very interesting insight into US politics for non-Americans. What the heck is an Iowa Caucus?

Side note, added after the initial publication of this post: I was certainly more knowledgeable about the recent Presidential election including the way of the electoral college and the idea of said caucuses.

A constantly evolving cast resulted from a tumultuous battle between showrunners and writer, and the loss of Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) in season four has its own negative impact on the run of the show, not to mention the fangirls. But with the combination of Allison Janney (CJ Cregg), John Spencer (Leo McGarry), Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman) and Martin Sheen (POTUS), not to mention supporting actors Dule Hill (Charlie) and Janet Moloney (Donna), we have a cast that manages to captivate an audience from season one.

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