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The West Wing: Season 2

675 customer reviews

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Product Description

West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)

It's never politics as usual inside this Oval Office. The President and his staff have been targeted for disruption by rival politicians, soon after being targeted by would-be assassins. Yet the determined colleagues continue to serve the U.S. and its President as the administration heads through midterm elections and into a crisis that leads to allegations of criminal conduct. The West Wing's second season won the Best Drama Series Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.

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The second season of The West Wing takes up literally where the first season left off and, after a few moments of patriotic sentimentalism, maintains the series' astonishingly high standards in depicting the everyday life of the White House staff of a Democratic administration. The two-part opener covers the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt on President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), switching between the anxious wait on the injured and flashbacks to Bartlet's campaign for the Presidency. Other peaks in a series exceedingly short on lows include "Noel," the episode in which Alan Arkin's psychiatrist forces Josh Lynam to confront his post-traumatic stress disorder and the episodes in which President Bartlet, following a tragic car accident, rails angrily against God in Latin.

Other new aspects include the introduction of Ainsley Hayes, a young Republican counsel hired after she beats communications deputy Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) in a TV debate ("Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl!" crow his colleagues), as well as the revelation that the President has been suffering from multiple sclerosis. Tensions grow between him and the First Lady (Stockard Channing) as she realizes, in the episode "Third State of the Union," that he intends to run for a second term in office. It becomes clear to Bartlet that he must go public with his MS, and his staff is forced to come to terms with this, as well as deal with the usual plethora of domestic and international incidents, which apparently preclude any of them from having any sort of private lives. These include crises in Haiti and Columbia, an obstinate filibuster, and a Surgeon General's excessively frank remarks about the drug situation. Thankfully, the splendid Lord John Marbury (Roger Rees) is on hand to make chief of staff Leo McGarry's life more of a misery in "The Drop-In."

These episodes, though occasionally marred by a sentimental soundtrack and an earnest and wishfully high regard for the Presidential office, are master classes in drama and dialogue, ranging from the wittily staccato to the magnificently grave, capturing authentically the hectic pace of political intrigue and the often vain efforts of decent, brilliant people to do the right thing. The West Wing is one of the all-time great TV dramas. --David Stubbs


Special Features

Audio Commentary: Producer, Director, Writer, and Cast Commentary on 4 Episodes Featurette: Constructing Two Cathedrals Featurette with Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, Martin Sheen and others; Access Granted FeaturetteAudio Commentary: Producer, Director, Writer, and Cast Commentary on 4 Episodes Featurette: Constructing Two Cathedrals Featurette with Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, Martin Sheen and others; Access Granted FeaturetteAudio Commentary: Producer, Director, Writer, and Cast Commentary on 4 Episodes Featurette: Constructing Two Cathedrals Featurette with Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, Martin Sheen and others; Access Granted Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford
  • Directors: Thomas Schlamme, Chris Misiano
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • 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: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 990 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (675 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001HAGQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The West Wing: Season 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 86 people found the following review helpful By D. Meanea on February 23, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think that in many cases, the second season of a TV show is its best season. Why is TV so often completely opposite from sophomore efforts in music and movies? From my own observations it's because in the second season of a TV show, the actors have gained a comfortable grasp on how to portray the deeper parts of their character. At the same time, the show still has the freshness of a new show, the same rich texture that won it a debut to begin with; the writers are still developing plots that don't feel stale, so the show hasn't lost that "new car smell". Of course there are exceptions: shows that run out of steam soon after they start, and shows that just seem to keep getting better even after the second season.
I don't know if The West Wing's second season is its best, but it definitely includes some of the best episodes. Great writing, great acting, great sets and music, all come together to form what has become my favorite TV show ever.
Season Two includes these episodes:
In The Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part 1)
In The Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part 2)
The Midterms
In This White House
And It's Surely To Their Credit
The Lame Duck Congress
The Portland Trip
Shibboleth
Galileo
Noël
The Leadership Breakfast
The Drop In
Bartlet's Third State of the Union
The War at Home
Ellie
Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail
The Stackhouse Filibuster
17 People
Bad Moon Rising
The Fall's Gonna Kill You
18th and Potomac
Two Cathedrals
(You can look up an episode guide if you want a quick summary of the plots; I didn't want to spoil any surprises here.)
I doubt Warner will include the special episode "Isaac and Ishmael" in this set. This episode was written after the 9/11 attacks, and aired a week before the start of Season Three; thus, if it is included with a regular season, it will probably be the third.
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75 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Adam Dukovich on February 14, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For four years, the West Wing was largely considered the best show on TV, and not without good reason. Although this could have turned into a liberal lovefest, the show managed to tap into and rediscover a pride and optimism in our government that our founding fathers must have felt. Far from being venal, corrupt parasites, the politicians of The West Wing were talented and generous people who truly care about the country and struggle to make the right decisions, which often literally are between life and death. It's no wonder that this splendid little shade of fantasy continues to be popular, especially when we have becomed accustomed to expecting less and less from those who are running our country.
The West Wing's second season had the show really beginning to hit its stride. In my mind, the show hit its peak here and in the third season, with plenty of new drama and surprises. The season starts in the aftermath of the previous cliffhanger, with the President and Josh being shot by white supremacists and everyone else struggling to get through it all. Then, the season begins to move along. Among the highlights: Emily Procter begins her recurring role as Ainsley Hayes, a Republican lawyer working in the White House and constant sparring partner for Sam; another "Big Block of Cheese Day"; a great Christmas episode in which Josh is haunted by the news of a fighter pilot that shared his birthday who killed himself; an unexpected filibuster, and the discovery that the President has Multiple Sclerosis, which is impressively explored in the episode "17 People". The episode takes the form of a series of fiery dialogues between Toby and the President and is filled with tension, but is lightened up by its subplot of staffers trying (unsuccessfully) to come up with jokes for the President.
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137 of 157 people found the following review helpful By Eric Antonow on March 20, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The last season ENDED in a brutal cliffhanger with an attempt on the President or Zoe. The last scenes were the staff and bystanders diving for cover as gunmen shot from windows in a nearby building. This season opens trying to untangle the confusion of that night and opens a rich, second season of the best drama on television. We are also treated to some great pre-first season moments, when the staff was managing Bartlet's presidential campaign. From my count there were 17 Emmy nominations this season - for writing, acting, and more - I've noted the episodes that were winners. My only complaint is that they're making us wait so long for these sets, when people overseas have had them already for almost a year - come on, it's OUR idealist leadership. But to quote the deputy press secretary, "let's forget that you're a little late to the party and just embrace the fact that you showed up"
> In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1) (*emmy)
> In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (2) (*emmy)
> The Midterms
> In This White House
> And It's Surely to Their Credit
> The Lame Duck Congress
> The Portland Trip
> Shibboleth
> Galileo
> Noël (*emmy)
> The Leadership Breakfast
> The Drop In
> Bartlet's Third State of the Union (1)
> The War at Home (2)
> Ellie
> Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail
> The Stackhouse Filibuster
> 17 People
> Bad Moon Rising
> The Fall's Gonna Kill You
> 18th and Potomac
> Two Cathedrals
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