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The West Wing: Season 5
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$21.47+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on May 6, 2016
Continuing my WEST WING Binge to distract me from the 2016 political circus, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching these episodes again for the first time since they were originally aired. Although I do not always agree with their politics (often I do), I enjoy the process. I am always encouraged to see this fictitious group of hard working, big hearted people doing whatever they can to make this a better world. The casting is great from the regulars to the extras...there are those you love and those you love to hate, but all are well cast and well directed. The show sheds light on the good days, the bad days, and the rare mundane days -- there is a bit of dramatic license in some of the story lines, but it is a balanced "what if this happened..." that keeps the momentum going. Oh, that we could see this in today's politics~~
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on November 24, 2016
I didn't get into this show fully until the last couple of seasons (stupid mistakes there, huh?). I love having the series on DVD. Although these are currently available on Netflix and Amazon Video (with Amazon you do have pay extra to watch them), having them on DVD means I can watch them anywhere with my portable DVD player or at home on my Blu Ray. I will still be able to watch them if they ever disappear from Netflix or Amazon Video -- not an unheard of occurrence.
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on July 16, 2010
This show should be required viewing for all Americans, whether Democrat or Republican, elephant or ass, this is the story and script of the American political experience. Not since Mash has there been a better vehicle for the small screen to make such a poignant use of the video airwaves, raising the bar for both sides, giving us a long look at what our government is supposed to be, and how it is supposed to be run. Caring, honest, intelligent people governing for the basic good of the whole population.
As a writer want-to-be, I am amazed at the accuracy and overall knowledge that went in to the script-writing. Bringing real life storylines right from the front page headlines to our television sets, as if we were a "fly-on-the-wall" in the Oval Office. Not covering up and hiding, but facing "head-on" the scandals that have corrupted and brought down countless Presidencies and high level politicos. In a time when our country is in peril of darkness and our government can't come together to agree on turning on the lights, we have been given an owners manual, "American Government For Dummies" a/k/a "The West Wing" seasons I to VII. These actors, playing their roles with a sincerity and believability that would make you write in their names on a ballot and vote for them in real life, deliver the government back to the American People, where it belongs. If our real Politicians were as caring and as honest as these characters have been written to be, there would be no close elections. To borrow a line from an earlier West Wing episode,"The people are fed up with having to vote for the candidate that they dislike the least".
Once upon a time, being a politician was a "Call to Duty", much the same as joining the military or becoming a teacher. You wern't in it for the money or the fame. You put in long hours and scrificed time with friends and family for very low pay, you were doing your duty to God and Country for your fellow Countrymen. The West Wing Series reiterates that "Call To Duty", as the actors demonstrate the long hours and lack of personal time, in the day to day running of our country.
I urge you to buy and watch the entire 7 seasons in order, the knowledge and entertainment are without compare.
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VINE VOICEon February 13, 2009
The Sorkin-Schlamme years of the West Wing were scintillating, glittering, gripping television. Season five came after the departure of writer, creator Aaron Sorkin. Thomas Schlamme remained only as a consultant.

The series suffers also from the departure of Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborne.

But the West Wing on a bad year is still good tv, and if you got sucked in by the first four years or reruns of the show, season five is still worth it to get to the last two seasons.

Sam is gone and Will Bailey (played by Josh Malina) has taken over as Deputy Communications Director. Richard Schiff's Toby Ziegler, never Mr. Glad-n-Happy, at least entertained us with sarcastic wit as long as the words were supplied by Aaron Sorkin DeBergerac. In this season Toby just seems a dark and gloomy grump, although Toby achieves perhaps his greatest political accomplishment working behind the scenes to join both Republicans and Democrats in a measure to "save" social security (since it seems inevitably headed toward financial ruin.)

Bradley Whitford is still a legislative bulldog as Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman. The late John Spencer is still the White House rock as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. Allison Janney's Claudia Jean Cregg remains a strong and compassionate character, and Janney won the last of her four West Wing Emmies this season. Dule Hill makes Charlie Young even wiser and more mature as the President's body man and Martin Sheen keeps the show above water as President Josiah Bartlett.

The loss of Sorkin hurts the series both from a loss of snappy dialogue and a lack of narrative arc as many episodes have superficial connection to anything else in the West Wing Universe.

It looks like the West Wing and it's still good, but the flat writing make the shows look as if the performers are sleep-walking.
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on June 11, 2014
This is one of the very best written and acted television shows in the history of TV! The characters are interesting and the show touches on the pressure cooker that is the seat of power of the White House. No matter what you do, and how well you do it -- you're always going to make someone unhappy. Martin Sheen is phenominal! The late John Spencer, and Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Rob Lowe and Allison Janney are so great at delivering the fast-paced lines superbly written by Aaron Sorkin. This is the only season DVD sets that I have watched multiple times and don't get tired of watching.
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on June 9, 2011
Aaron Sorkin is one of the great storytellers of our time. A protege of William Goldman, he didn't recently secure himself an Oscar for Best Screenplay (The Social Network, dir. David Fincher) by some happy accident.

Tommy Schlamme, Sorkin's comrade-in-arms: Schalmme pioneered a number of visual storytelling techniques, the "walk and talk" (steadicam takes of various series regulars making their way through the halls of the West Wing while delivering necessary exposition as well as furthering previous mentioned plot-points in an active manner) being the most well-known. We see it on practically every television drama these days.

Together, they designed some of the best television in recent years. The first 4 seasons of The West Wing were masterfully constructed. Sure, they had a terrific cast at their disposal, but their ability to construct pitch-perfect narratives is what truly propelled the show into the spotlight.

So when both men were forced to leave NBC and The West Wing at the tail end of the 4th season, it was to be expected that the show would drop in quality as a result.

John Wells was left in charge. Competent? Sure, but nowhere near comparable to the Sorkin/Schlamme dream-team. Wells had previously worked on the mediocre NBC drama, Third Watch, one of numerous interchangeable, homogenized shows that rehash stereotypical, underdeveloped plots and two dimensional characters in attempts to maintain ratings.

So, yes, many things fell by the wayside in the 5th season, the show being held up exclusively through the formidable talents of its stellar cast.

Generally speaking, all the main characters were often hacked into 2 dimensional parodies of their former selves, caricatures (i.e. 1)the President begins acting like a petulant child, ignoring his duties due to emotional distress 2)Josh yelling at the Capitol building in a particularly embarrassing moment for the writing staff... and many more).

Sorkin was notorious for throwing new sub-plots into the mix at the last minute, but he would plan the overarching narratives out well in advance, subtly sewing them into the ongoing storyline piecemeal so that when they finally reached their climax, the collective effect was always a profound one. Also, he mentioned that it was of primary importance to him that viewers see how the main characters lived for their work, lived in service of their goals and philosophies, that their jobs in the White House always came first irrespective of whatever was happening in their lives. No longer...

Under Wells, we began seeing very familiar relationship cliches, characters appearing out of nowhere (i.e. 1)Toby's new assistant, Marina, cute with "aw shucks" folksy smarts... you can't just fall into a position as the Executive Assistant to the White House Communications Director 2)Jesse Bradford as the obnoxious intern who oversteps his duties, with Leo simply saying, "I want him on the staff. He's Pierce's nephew." What???), characters disappearing without mention (i.e. all of a sudden Mary-Louise Parker is completely gone and shortly after, Josh is having ongoing flirtations with other women, no reasons given as to why his relationship with Parker's character, Amy Gardner, is no longer any kind of issue), absurdly casual behavior around the President (too many incidents to mention... under Sorkin, we'd see the affection they all had for Bartlett, but always in appropriate context and the President would break through established formal conventions if need be... those moments were subtle and revealed a great deal about character, but under Wells, it was always the most obvious tacky sentimental cringe-inducing moment spit out over and over again), glaring inconsistencies (so, Hoynes and CJ slept together 10 years prior to Bartlett's 2nd term... HOW? She had never met the guy prior to joining the original Bartlett for America campaign... Hoynes was a Senator and she was a Hollywood publicist living in L.A.), and damned if they didn't reduce Josh Malina's role (yeah, let's give an incredibly compelling new character that Sorkin clearly intended to be a major part of the new Bartlett Administration less and less to do).

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Some of these ideas weren't bad on a conceptual level, but they were always executed with the skill of a student rushing to complete an essay at the last minute for a class they didn't know much about. Wells, his writing staff, and the network turned Sorkin's brilliant political drama into a feckless soap opera set against a political backdrop. The saving grace of the 5th season is the collectively and consistently outstanding performance of the acting ensemble.
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on February 26, 2016
My wife and I loved West Wing when it was on-air and we now use these for those periods when there are, basically, only reruns on TV. (We are somewhat selective about what we watch, so we sometimes have "dry periods" in our choices.)

If you haven't watched West Wing, you have missed out! The acting and scripts are unbelievably good ... my wife and I find ourselves asking each other what happened to the writers for West Wing because today's shows aren't this good!
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on March 12, 2017
Great writing, directing, editing, acting! And you learn a great deal about government in an entertaining way.
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on August 11, 2013
The WW 5th Season follows 2 politicians who are unafraid to ignore their campaign managers' advice. Both tell it like it is. You get to see the inside of their campaigns, with the expected Type A personalities sharing their opinions. Yet, it is inspiring to know that this group of passionate people suddenly mushrooms into a national presidential campaign, guided by the belief that "we can make a difference." We can, too. The quality of the DVDs in the 5th Season remains high. You can't beat the West Wing TV series on DVD.
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on October 21, 2012
I LOVE the West Wing. It was one of my favorites when it was on. What's so interesting about it is the relevance. Evrything that was discussed in the political areana then is the same care, secrets, scandals, foreign policy...the list goes on. I have an Asus Transformer Prime Tablet and while I was streaming the episodes for free and too many taps on the screen and I had bought the series, which I never intended on doing. There is no way to back out of it once it is gone and how in the heck do you contact Amazon to discuss a wrong purchase?? I have yet to figure it out. While I was watching season 7 I did the same thing, too many taps on the screen and now I own that one too! So while I rate the show with 5 stars, I rate Amazon with one star on reachability.
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