on 27 July 2003
The West Wing rocks with the 2nd set of DVD's climaxing the second season of this fine TV show. We continue to chart the fortunes of the Bartlet Whitehouse, as this series hurtles towards its shattering conclusion with the revelations of the Presidents Illness and the shocking departure of a much loved character.
There are fine episodes here from The Drop in, through Bartlet's Third State of the Union, The Stackhouse Filibuster, 18th and Potomac ending with Two Cathedrals which sets us up for the thrilling third season soon to come on DVD and Video.
The performances are as usual excellent from a seasoned cast and supporting players. Truly a fine feast of fictional politics served with humor and more than a little pathos
on 18 August 2003
The second half of the second series of The West Wing must rank as the most consistently great eleven episodes of television ever made.
The set opens on a high with the two-parter detailing Bartlet's success at the State of the Union, but even this moment of triumph is tempered with sadness as a rescue operation in Columbia goes awry.
From here on in, not a single character makes it without a fall of somekind. Sam's personal and professional life clash in the episode 'Somebody's Going To Emergancy, Somebody's Going To Jail', an hour of television which would be the bestr if included on any other set. Here, it just goes to show the quality of the season by being average.
From the episode '17 People' onwards, the ongoing plot of Bartlett's MS comes to the fore. Enjoy his smile in the sixth episode on the set - it's the last until the closing moments.
Having said that, it's not all doom and gloom. Bradley Whitford gets to perform one of the greatest prat falls ever, and Ainsley Hayes provides a good vein of humour.
Mention must be made of the episode '17 People'. Scripted without any exterior locations, new sets or guest stars in order to save money, this riveting piece of drama best shows Aaron Sorkin's talent as a writer. Tight, tough and uncompromising, Bartlet's confession of his illness to Toby nearly wrecks the personal relationship between the two characters, and there are no easy fixes. Even by the end of the season these two have not made up.
But the absolute hands-down winner of best episode of The West Wing (possibly ever) goes to 'Two Cathedrals'. Martin Sheen is superb as the emotionally distraught President whose mind is locked in the past. It's been said many times before, but his soliloquy in Washington Cathedral in which he damns God in latin it the best dramatic moment of the year.
And the cliffhanger. Unlike season 1, in which the various plotlines played themselves out just in time for a shooting to occur, the last five episodes all lead up to Jed Bartlett (backed by Dire Straits) standing with his hands in his pocket, gazing into the distance, ready to say wether or not he will run for a second term as President. We know what the answer is, and it is extremely infuriating that the fade-out occurs before we can see this.
As with season 1, a question is left to be answered (back then, it was, 'Who's been hit?'), and fans will have to wait another year to own that answer on DVD. It can't come quick enough.
on 28 July 2003
Shows like The West Wing, restore my faith in television. Stunningly well written and beautifully filmed, The West Wing really is one of my favorite shows of all time. This DVD contains the second half of the second series of the show and include the episode 'Two Cathedrals'. This contains probably the finest scene I have ever watched on TV, where Bartlet gives God a piece of his mind.
Everyone should own this DVD for 'Two Cathedrals' alone.
on 28 August 2003
The states have provided us with great tv programmes recently: Law and Order, Alais, Boomtown and CSI. However, at the very top of the list is the West Wing. Season 2, part 2 adopts a more serious tone as the President Bartlet prepares to go public with his multiple slcerosis.
Highlights include "17 people" in which Bartlet tells Toby about his disease and the season finale "Two Cathedrals" in which Bartlet, after attending the funeral of a dear friend and telling the world about his MS, going to a press conference to the tune of "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits.
If you are looking for funny monents,you have got to see CJ's meeting with the Organisation of Cartographers for Social Equality in "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail".
The West Wing is educating, witty and brilliantly funny. Roll on season 3!
on 2 June 2003
this excellent second half to the second series of The West Wing carries on from its previous segments and continues the witty, paced happenings of the White House. Bartlett dealing with ill health and having to face the prospect of not running for president again (under his wifes guidlines) makes for some heated viewing as the team also hav to deal with the stresses that began in the first half such as Josh's stress and CJ's mounting hostility towards the presidents ways. they also have to deal with foreign affairs - drug companies, kidnappings. Then the inevitable accident that will always pop-up. Arin Sorkin's excellent screenplay looses none of its original wit and humour or serious tones that blend together to make this the best piece of fiction about The White House.
on 18 May 2003
Having already released the first of the best, Warner Bros now give us the rest of the best this is the second part of Series Two and the pace quickens as President Bartlett heads towards the presidential election with more on his mind than just governing the country.
The remaining eleven episodes are packed with humor, pathos and above all else DRAMA with a capital D. Be prepared for a few surprises along the way and perhaps a little heart-break.
This series is a must for all fans of the President, Josh, Toby, Sam, C.J, Donna, Charlie and Leo et al. And if you think this is great... Just wait till Season Three!!!!
on 28 December 2003
I do believe I am the biggest West Wing fan there is alive (I kid you not). I therefore find it not a little irksome that the US is currently televising Series - 5 and I can only talk about the Series 2:2 DVD.
This program is by far the best idea television ever had. Even better was the choice of creator in Aaron Sorkin. The man is a genius (weak words for my lack of Sam's literary skills). His writing is epitomised by the final episode 'Two Cathedrals'. Watching Jed Bartlett stand in front of God and bearing it all out in Latin is by far the best TV I have ever seen. And I don't believe that any one other than Martin Sheen could pull that off. The tensions flaring in '17 People' between Toby and The President, gave me goose-bumps and the introduction of Oliver Platt as new White-House Counsel Babbish was top-notch casting.
I can't believe the Americans have no West Wing DVD's available in their shops.
Some one phone up Warner Brothers and ask them hurry up with Season 3.
on 14 August 2003
I spent a year working in the States, hated TV over there, couldn't bear to watch for all the interuptions - Adverts, even the programs that I loved.
American TV churns out loads of rubbish but, the best, is the very best and currently, "The West Wing", tops the pile despite "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under" - both also brilliant !
I have them all and so far, my only complaint being the time it takes the 'Studios', to get them out on DVD, far too long a gap, they should and could do better.
Why buy them ? Brilliant characters/cast, great stories, very fast paced but with the added attraction that you will watch them again and again, I guarantee that you will have missed something first time round !
A personal wish. Stop messing around, there is no good reason to issue the series in two halves, I want series 3 whole, so I can really 'pig out' on the Wing !
on 25 August 2003
This series of The West Wing far outshines any that has come before. The writing is intelligent and witty and gives an insight into the tortured mind of a President who has the best interests of his country at heart, but who has hidden a progressive degenerative disease, which threatens his tenure in the White House.
The series climax, "Two Cathedrals", contains some of the most powerful writing of Adam Sorkin. It made me shiver as I watched and when I saw it on TV I just could not wait for the next series to begin.
This is the most intelligent political drama to come out of the United States for some time. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates excellent writing coupled with the acting ability of all concerned.
on 18 June 2003
The most powerful set of episodes yet. If your buying this you probably already know about the merits of the series, how brilliantly written, directed and acted it is. These episodes take it to a whole new level. The relationships deepend, Jed and Abby face off, Charlie grows more confident and the staff continuewith the policy of let Bartlet be Bartlet. The real clincher though are the final two episodes of the season as the president discloses his ms first to the staff and then finnally to the public. The episodes are sensitively written, with the usual Arron Sorkin verve, but it is the visuals and acting that are even more amazing. Some of the shots in the final episode are so brilliant at demonstrating the message and themes of the episode taht most hollywood movie directors would do well to tke note, the use of music is also brilliant. However it is the acting that once again tops it off. Martin Sheen turns in for me the best performance of his distinguished career gioving vent to Bartlets conflicted desires, to do what is right by the staff, his family, the public and himself. The emotional intensity given to the last episode is so unbelievable that i was in tears for large parts of it. The show really does diserve all the accolades it gets.