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I don't watch many telly series anymore. They come, they go and by the time you get interested, they are cancelled. I enjoy movies, but series often just do not have the quality that I seek.
I resisted this series. I am not fond of politics; the process
often is more PR than real substance. It frustrates me, so why would I seek out a series about a subject that makes me want to toss a brick at the screen? Due to my husband getting hooked on it, I ended up catching bits and pieces as I would pass by. I found myself captured by the incisive writing, the amazing insight into the different characters, the humour, the pathos, the drama. The acting is top drawer, the casting amazing.
The show is simply addictive.
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on February 10, 2004
I never watched "The West Wing" when it aired on broadcast TV simply because I wanted to enjoy the show from season one, and more ORDER. Each of first season's 22 episodes are only 42 minutes commercial free minutes long and not one dog in the bunch! This show defines creative writing at its finest. It matters not what political persuasion you happen to be to enjoy this show for what it is, but for dramatic purposes the show's writers naturally had to pick a political party and run with it. So, like the proverbial coin toss, "The West Wing" happens to depict a fictional Democratic administration. Thanks to excellence in writing and acting, you may even learn some arcane details about our political process in a highly entertaining ways. The writers constantly challenge your intellect with amusing asides such as the President saying " Four words in the English language begin with the letters dw. What are they?" The rapid fire delivery of dialog by this superior ensemble cast is verbal poetry taking a brisk walk. This show is broadcast television striving hard to reach its finest potential. All the Emmys it has garnered speak for themselves. Highly recommended.
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on October 9, 2003
As a UK resident you would think that I would not be interested in American politics. You would have been right, that was until I began whatching The West Wing on UK TV. A soon as the DVD was avaialble I had to have it, I now have Season One and Two. In Season One we get to meet the characters that form a close community who strive to provide us with an insight to the everyday goings-on in the White House. You immediately begin to warm to people whom you have never met before yet feel you could hold a conversation with if you met them. Season 1 leaves you with needing to know more, Season Two will not be issued quick enough for you. Season One starts well and finishes even better, well worth buying even if you are not a political fan but someone who enjoys strong story lines about people, places and events that surround one of the most talked about residences in the world.
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on August 26, 2002
This DVD has the first eleven episodes with a bonus of interviews with the writer Sorkin and most of the cast.
West Wing is one of the better ensemble dramas ever screened on television. However it was only after seeing the interviews of Sorkin and the cast members that one realised how it was done. Sorkin is clearly highly intelligent and his scripts are powerful and the basis of the show. This becomes clear when you hear the cast members talk. They lack the presence of their on screen personalities and although they are talented actors one realises that it is the structure of the plot and their lines which creates the characters.
Sorkin also indicates how in reality the plots have a high level of sentimental resolutions. One doesn?t pick this up in watching it. Sorkin explains how he uses humour to break up the flow of the story and to prevent the material becoming mawkish. He also indicates that although the White House portrayed is a Democrat one, he interplays conservative and liberal story lines. On first viewing the show it appeared to be moderately liberal but on re-watching the episodes on the CD Sorkin is right. The second episode is highly nationalistic and the last scene is the character played by Martin Sheen regretting that Americans cannot walk the earth with the same protection that was afforded the ancient romans. In other episodes the character Donna argues strongly the Republican line on taxation.
Watching these eleven episodes after watching them on TV some years ago, one is still struck by the strength of the characters, the frantic pace of the action and the fact that the scenes are seldom static. Even though one begins to see that there is a sentimentality which initially slips by you, one can still be moved when Toby arranges the funeral and honour guard for the homeless war veteran. It is however the humour and intelligence which is the driving force of the series and what makes it so watchable.
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on September 1, 2002
This review refers to the Region 2 (PAL) versions of the DVD. The UK market gets a headstart in seeing the release of Season 1 of The West Wing in 2 DVD box sets (Set 1-Episodes 1-11 & Set 2-Episodes 12-22). The show itself is fast paced and brimming with intelligent dialogue. Once you put it in your DVD player, you wouldn't want to stop until you get to the end of it. Special features for Set 1 include TV spot & short interviews with major cast members and Aaron Sorkin, the creator of the show & DVD-ROM enhanced features. Set 2 extras include several TV spots and 'Making of' featurette for all TWW fans & DVD-ROM features. Extremely satisfying TV viewing. Can't wait for the new seasons to come out on DVD.
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on July 16, 2014
No longer on prime?!?! We were rewatching with our teen boys and really enjoying it. They are removing good stuff from Prime all the time. :-( Netflix has it...just went and got a free month so we can finish this.
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on March 13, 2003
Season one of my favorite TV series is a 5 star hit on Region 2 DVD. The best show imaginable without the commercials! The first part of season two is due out in April. The reason WHY The West Wing is not available on DVD in the US is because the producers have sold syndication rights to the Bravo cable channel for a reputed 1 million an episode. Bravo only broadcasts in the US and will begin the series at the beginning. Once Bravo feels they've got their moneys worth, THEN a region one West Wing will appear. This will probably take several years. It's all about money! Code free DVD players are available through several sources on the net, but most require a world system tv. Get one with a built in video convertor that will let you play DVD's from anywhere on your American NTSC tv and then buy the DVDs from Why wait for the best? Of course you could always get a DVD recorder and edit out the commercials, but the quality just isn't the same.
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VINE VOICEon May 26, 2006
Last night, I punished myself by watching the episode called "In Excelsis Deo" from the first season of "The West Wing." Now I am beside myself that I missed "American Idol." Oh, the humanity!

Watching the character, Toby Ziegler get caught up in a funeral for a homeless ex-marine veteran of the Korean Conflict was poignant and thrilling. Add the character of Mrs. Landingham and her story of what happened to her many Christmas Eves ago, and you have a classic. It reveals how you would like our government to treat and support, and I mean really support the veterans of our conflicts that is so sadly missing today.

As usual, "The West Wing" knows how to deliver a Christmas episode with a message of peace and caring for others who are simply our fellow Americans. No one sought to find out the dead marine's politics or beliefs. He was just accorded the honor that should be given to all our veterans. And this was just one episode. Wait until you get to Lord Marbury!

If I had to tell you which year of The West Wing to buy, I'd tell you only to buy one through five. I'm not sure that six has come out yet.

This season, as others, won every award in the book. Watch, and you will know why.
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on October 25, 2010
I'm a huge fan of the series (well, at least the Aaron Sorkin era), so I was excited when I saw the ads on Amazon saying that The West Wing was now available in HD. Out of caution, I only bought the Pilot episode, and I'm glad I did. I realize upgrading SD to HD can be an iffy process, but the premiere episode of the show really does just look like a bigger SD copy of The West Wing. (FWIW, I was watching it on a 42" 1080p HDTV.) Don't waste your money on the HD, stick with the cheaper SD.
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on July 17, 2014
Too bad it recently (July 16th, 2014) became no longer free with Prime Membership. I won't be continuing my Prime Membership nor will I pay the per episode/season price. If West Wing is available on Netflix I will try that.
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