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The West Wing 7 Seasons

Season 1
4.6 out of 5 stars (166) IMDb 8.7/10

Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe, as the U.S. President and his deputy communications director, play politics in this innovative Washington, D.C., drama series from award-winning producers John Wells, Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme.

Starring:
Rob Lowe, Moira Kelly

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Season 1

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1. Pilot

The senior members of the White House staff are summoned to the office early in the morning to handle difficult situations: hundreds of Cubans are on their way across the Atlantic Ocean in search of freedom. Some members of the staff experience crises of their own.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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2. Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

Leo hires Mandy as a consultant to the President. Vice President Hoynes rebuffs C.J. when she tries to discuss a comment he made. Leo confronts Hoynes and insists that Hoynes understand his obligation to communicate with the President's press secretary.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 39 minutes
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3. A Proportional Response

When Danny, a reporter, learns about Sam's relationship with a call girl, he doesn't write a story about it because C.J. gives Danny a lead on a much bigger newsworthy item in exchange for his silence. The President plots revenge on terrorists as he gathers his advisors in the White House. His foul mood intimidates his new aide, Charlie, a college-age man whose mother was recently killed while ...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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4. Five Votes Down

The staff has 72 hours to rescue a gun-control bill that needs five more votes in Congress to pass. Eventually they get four votes, so Leo reluctantly visits the vice president, and Hoynes promises he'll get the other vote. After the bill passes, Hoynes accepts credit given to him by the press for the gun bill's passage. The vice president invites Leo to a secret Alcoholics Anonymous meeting ...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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5. The Crackpots And These Women

Leo assigns his senior staff the task of conducting private meetings with fringe groups that want attention from the White House. Toby discovers he was not the President's first choice for communications director. Bartlet, a former economics professor, impresses a meeting of economists with his knowledge. Josh discovers that the smallpox virus remains a threat to United States security. And ...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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6. Mr. Willis Of Ohio

A mentally unbalanced woman with a gun climbs the White House fence. The Secret Service foils her plan to target Zoey. Toby and Mandy convince a nonpolitician, the husband of a deceased congresswoman, to vote against a census amendment in committee. Sam privately tutors C.J. on the Commerce Bill with regard to the census. While accompanying Zoey, Sam, Josh, C.J. and Mallory to a bar, Charlie in...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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7. The State Dinner

The President and First Lady host a tense dinner at the White House honoring the president of Indonesia and his wife. Danny flirts with C.J. The President takes action against a group of survivalists in Idaho. Leo and the President try to forestall a strike by the Teamsters, a labor union composed of truck drivers. While a hurricane heads towards an American naval fleet, Bartlet reassures, by...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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8. Enemies

The President embarrasses Vice President Hoynes during a cabinet meeting, and Danny finds out. In order to keep the story from print, C.J. arranges a meeting between Danny and the President. A banking reform bill that Bartlet supports nears passage, but it comes with a rider allowing strip mining on federal land. The dilemma over the bill is resolved when Josh finds a way for the President to ...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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9. The Short List

The President confidentially chooses Judge Harrison as his nominee for the Supreme Court. His staff continues to search Harrison's past. When the President meets with the retiring justice, the justice insists that Bartlet consider Judge Roberto Mendoza (EDWARD JAMES OLMOS). Since he has not publicly announced his decision, Bartlet directs his staff to investigate Mendoza as well. When Sam unco...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 42 minutes
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10. In Excelsis Deo

Sam and Josh work on thwarting Congressman Lillienfield's accusation about drug abuse in the White House. Leo warns Bartlet that Leo may have to resign because of his former substance abuse. Toby arranges a full military funeral for a homeless Korean War veteran he never met. The murder of a homosexual high school student forces C.J. and members of the White House staff to reconsider hate crime...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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11. Lord John Marbury

When India invades Kashmir and Bartlet worries about a nuclear threat to both countries, he asks the colorful, inebriated Lord John Marbury (ROGER REES), a former ambassador to New Delhi and an expert on India, to help with the crisis. A Republican anti-Bartlet group accuses the White House of running an internal investigation concerning recreational drug use by White House staffers as a result...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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12. He Shall, From Time To Time...

The President and his staff prepare the State of the Union Address, but the President becomes ill. His naval doctor examines him in the living quarters. Mrs. Bartlet, a physician, orders various medical tests. She later reveals to Leo--and only Leo--that President Bartlet suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Later Bartlet further explains to Leo that his type of MS is called relapsing-remitti...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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13. Take Out The Trash Day

The parents of a brutally murdered gay student are invited to witness the President sign a hate crimes bill into law even though the father doesn't believe that Bartlet expresses a strong enough position on gay rights. Sam and Josh make a deal that ensures there will be no Congressional hearing about Leo's drug problem. Sam terminates the woman responsible for exposing Leo's personnel file, but...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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14. Take This Sabbath Day

On a Friday evening, the United States Supreme Court rejects the application for a stay of execution for Simon Cruz. The President of the United States is the only person capable of commuting a federal sentence. On Saturday morning, the Catholic President returns from a trip overseas. After Sam discusses the situation with the staff, Leo briefs the President on the Simon Cruz situation. Tha...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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15. Celestial Navigation

Josh lectures to a large group of college students, recounting one day in the life of the harried senior White House staff. Meanwhile, Sam and Toby rush to Connecticut to help Supreme Court Justice nominee Roberto Mendoza. A man who never drinks alcohol, Mendoza was wrongfully arrested for drunk driving simply because he's Hispanic. But Mendoza refuses to leave the jail because the arrest viola...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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16. 20 Hours In L.A.

The President and his staff fly to Los Angeles for a big fund-raiser, but the powerful Hollywood mogul hosting the event threatens to cancel if the President doesn't condemn an anti-gay bill. In Washington, Leo tries to coerce Hoynes to break a tie on a bill the President supports but the vice president doesn't support. Leo realizes that Hoynes' stance against the bill is the correct opinion a...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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17. The White House Pro-Am

The First Lady's public comments on a White House appointment create problems for the President because he's afraid of incurring his wife's wrath. So Sam explains to Abby the importance of working with the President'a staff in the future. Zoey cancels her high-profile date with Charlie at a club opening because of death threats from white supremacists.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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18. Six Meetings Before Lunch

The Senate confirms Mendoza's appointment to the Supreme Court. Josh interviews a nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights who favors reparations to African Americans for the enslavement of their ancestors. The son of a major Democratic fund-raiser is arrested for felony drug possession and distribution at a party that Zoe attended. And Mandy wants a new panda for the National...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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19. Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

Two members of the Federal Election Commission resign. Sam and Toby meet with military officers and congressmen to discuss homosexuals serving in the military. Admiral Fitzwallace enters the meeting and agrees that he doesn't believe gays should be in the military. But he adds that 50 years ago, no one thought African Americans could serve effectively. And an inflammatory memo that Mandy wr...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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20. Mandatory Minimums

Armed with a new resolve to take chances, the Bartlet administration tackles the drug enforcement policy. Refusing to consider input from party leaders, the President announces his two nominations to the Federal Election Commission. His candidates believe in campaign finance reform--something unpopular with party leaders. And Toby meets with his ex-wife for advice.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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21. Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

Bartlet works to reform campaign finance by changing the makeup of the members on the Federal Campaign Commission. Sam's relationship with a prostitute is revealed. And new poll numbers indicate the President's approval rating is up 9 points.

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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22. What Kind Of Day Has It Been

An American Air Force fighter plane gets shot down over Iraq, and, eventually, the pilot is successfully rescued. The space shuttle--with Toby's astronaut brother on board--can't land because of mechanical problems. During a town hall meeting on a university campus, the President impresses college students and others in the crowd with his answers combining fact with humor. While Zoey, Charlie,...

AGES-15-AND-OVER 1 January 1999 41 minutes
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The complete first series of Aaron Sorkins critically acclaimed 'The West Wing' is a must see drama for anybody with as television. This shows follows the innermost workings of the office of the President of the United States as he and his staff strive to guide the United States through a series of domestic and international crises.
The West Wing moves straight to the action in the first few episodes initially we meet the staff in the middle of a public relations crisis caused by both Deputy Cheif of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) mouthing off on television about Christians and by President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) crashing his bike into a tree. The action never stops moving into the presidents first conflict situation and continuing throughout the series with a number of suberbly written and directed incidents including The State of the Union, a possible Nuclear war between Pakistan and India and difficult confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Aaron Sorkins 'The West Wing' is a masterpiece. It is well written and directed throughout with a strong and believable cast. Even if one knows nothing of the United States political systems the show is easy to understand through the excellent use of the personal assistants (most notably Donatella Moss played by Janel Malloney) to explain any of the complex political workings.
See this show I guarantee it will enthral and even addict you.
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Format: DVD
I didn't catch any of the West Wing went it was broadcast on Channel 4 and was bought the season 1 box set as a present. I found the pilot episode to be a bit fast and furious and quite confusing. I also found it difficult to remember who was who, who did what and what the hell they were talking about: all this because the programme very rarely patronises you and just lays the story out for you to take in as you will. It made me read up on American politics and the staff structure of the West Wing and how that related to the president etcetera etcetera. What other programmes on mainstream television make you do that?
The West Wing is excellent television made to the highest standards with very good talent, sharp scripts and long term plots that immerse you completely. I have just bought season 2 (because, at the end of 1, you kind of have to) and am greatly looking forward to it. This is good, smart television - and that doesn't come along very often - so I unreservedly recommend it to the un-initiated.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered the first series of the west wing on a whim, I can't remember exactly why but I'd never seen it on television before apart from trailers and just fancied giving it a go based on the strength of online reviews.

I wasn't disappointed in the slightest, it exceeded my expectations in so many ways. The overall strength of the acting, the camerawork, the storylines, the whit and humour and the way in which you develop such likes or dislikes for certain characters is remarkable. I have since purchased all series up to series 4 and I'm gradually making my way through the episodes.

There are 22 episodes in the first series, each of 42 minutes in length. Thats at least a week and a half worth of entertainment for the price of a day out based on watching two episodes per night.

One thing I do recommend is that you purchase series 2 as well once you know you are enjoying the first series as the cliffhanger is unbelievable between the two series. I watched about 5 in one night at the point of transition from first series to second series.

Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD
The second best season in the series starts out as being just another day at the office, with the president riding his bicycle into a tree, Sam accidentally sleeping with a callgirl and political issues up to wazoo. The first season got a total of nine Emmy Awards, and they're well deserved. The script is magnificent, the cast exceptional, and the plot varies from ordinary to divine.

What makes this season so good? What makes this season one of the two I could (and do) watch over and over? Well, the cast members are still working their way into their respective characters, feeling their way on how to deal with their own acting and reacting, and the fact is, it just gets better and better from start to finish. Once you start, you can't stop. The plot is engaging enough to keep you interested from episode to episode, and then all of a sudden something happens which leaves you completely star struck. Toby's conversation with Mr. Willis and the other congressmen, the staggering (literally!) performance of Roger Rees as the Lord John Marbury, and the increasingly quick and amusing bouncing-back-and-forth comments by Sam, Toby, Josh and CJ sets the standard for all the other seasons to come.

It also sets the tone for what kind of president Bartlet's going to be. Intense, oratory and passionate, the president goes from quoting Roman emperors to saying "well, duh" in the same sentence. Toby later describes him as "the two Bartlets": one is the absent-minded professor with the "Aw, Dad" sense of humour; disarming, unthreatening, good for all time zones, and the other is the Nobel Laureate searching for salvation; lonely, frustrated, lethal, who's father never liked him because he was too smart.
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