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The West Wing: Season 1

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)

Experience the inner workings of the White House in this innovative, multiple Emmy® Award-winning drama series created by Emmy® winner Aaron Sorkin (Sports Night). Brilliant United States President Josiah Bartlet's folksy charm and country-lawyer charisma complement his deep conviction and his devotion to what he believes is right for the country. And his eclectic group of frenzied staffers tirelessly labors on behalf of those principles morning, noon, and night in The West Wing. Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now) leads an acclaimed ensemble cast.

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Conventional wisdom prior to season one of The West Wing was that the only successful television shows were half hour sitcoms and hour long police, legal, or medical dramas. Building on surplus ideas from his film The American President and the walk-and-talk style of comedy and drama from his critically acclaimed television show Sports Night, Aaron Sorkin bucked the trend and created his masterpiece, one of the most memorable American political depictions to reach the big or small screen. Season one introduces viewers to a Nobel Prize-winning economist and unabashed intellectual president Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his key staff members, a newly elected Democratic administration trying to find its footing amidst the corridors of the White House's west wing. To the credit of its cast and their brilliant ensemble acting, The West Wing manages to immediately conjure nearly a dozen distinct and memorable characters. Perhaps the greatest star of all is Sorkin's rapid-fire dialogue, especially as delivered by Press Secretary C.J. Craig (Alison Janney), Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), and Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (John Spencer). They carry on conversations while stalking purposefully and unhaltingly down corridors, around corners, and through doorways, and all of it unfurls with the choreographic precision of a classical ballet and the pace of an Olympic ping-pong rally.

What emerges is more than a collective liberal dream of an impassioned administration battling back ultra-conservative bogeymen ranging from the religious right to bigots to gun-toting militants. Wonderful episodes like "The Pilot" and "In Excelsis Deo" portray a government led by heroic, intelligent, and decent men and women. Whether or not one regards that as a political fantasy, it's a remarkably refreshing and appealing vision of politics and its practitioners, one that the public embraced with consistently strong television ratings. In a country whose citizens are used to viewing their elected leaders with mistrust and cynicism, that might be The West Wing's greatest accomplishment. --Eugene Wei


Special Features

Documentaries: The Primaries: The Making of the Pilot; The Inauguration: Season One Unfolds; Capital Beat:The Politics Behind "The West Wing" Gag Reel: "Gag Order" Other: Sheet Music: "The West Wing" Notes; The West Wing Suite; Off the RecordDocumentaries: The Primaries: The Making of the Pilot; The Inauguration: Season One Unfolds; Capital Beat:The Politics Behind "The West Wing" Gag Reel: "Gag Order" Other: Sheet Music: "The West Wing" Notes; The West Wing Suite; Off the RecordDocumentaries: The Primaries: The Making of the Pilot; The Inauguration: Season One Unfolds; Capital Beat:The Politics Behind "The West Wing" Gag Reel: "Gag Order" Other: Sheet Music: "The West Wing" Notes; The West Wing Suite; Off the RecordDocumentaries: The Primaries: The Making of the Pilot; The Inauguration: Season One Unfolds; Capital Beat:The Politics Behind "The West Wing" Gag Reel: "Gag Order" Other: Sheet Music: "The West Wing" Notes; The West Wing Suite; Off the Record

Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing, Allison Janney, Moira Kelly, Rob Lowe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 957 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,299 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLF3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,937 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The West Wing: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 3, 2004
Format: DVD
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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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Ian Heath on October 9, 2003
Format: DVD
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rick Galati on February 10, 2004
Format: DVD
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 importantly....in 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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105 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on August 26, 2002
Format: DVD
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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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Yeung on September 1, 2002
Format: DVD
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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fullscreen only?
I wouldn't think it would be; as HDTV is so recent, it probably wasn't filmed that way.
Jul 11, 2008 by NCTejana |  See all 3 posts
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