110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end to an amazing series
The West Wing has been one of the most-underated shows in the UK since Channel 4 started to air the show in the summer of 1999.
A hit since it began in the US, starring Martin Sheen as the President of the United States, it also starred Rob Lowe (until he left after a pay dispute in the 4th year) and the always fantastic Bradley Whitford as Dep Chief of staff...
Published on 7 May 2006 by Will
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Season 7 of West Wing review.
I've been a longtime fan of the West Wing because it so excellently blends political idealism and political reality in its portrayal of a Democratic Administration in the early 21st century.
From the departure of Aaron Sorkin as the creative crux behind the show at the end of Season 4, the series moved in a new direction towards grittier, less idealistic...
Published on 6 Sep 2006 by Mr. Dej Cremin
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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end to an amazing series,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)The West Wing has been one of the most-underated shows in the UK since Channel 4 started to air the show in the summer of 1999.
A hit since it began in the US, starring Martin Sheen as the President of the United States, it also starred Rob Lowe (until he left after a pay dispute in the 4th year) and the always fantastic Bradley Whitford as Dep Chief of staff Josh Lyman.
The 7th (and final) series of Wing continues to hurtle towards the election and the announcement of the new President. Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits return as the candidates as do their aides (Ron Silver, Janeane Garofalo, and ROB LOWE!!). All of the characters are on top form, as is the writing - which is great as the same could not be said for the 6th year.
The sad passing of John Spencer (Leo McGarry) towards the end of the season is handled as well as could be, with grace and dignity. He is a true actor who will be very badly missed. The show does not dwell on this, but does honour John (and Leo) in a very nice setting.
Buy this season today and enjoy every moment of the best TV show to come out of the USA ever!
80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the beginning,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)You have to remember that whilst The West Wing's been must-see TV ever since series 1, it's also had the ability to educate and inform our understanding of the political process. You may disagree with the politics (definitely a democratic leaning) and some of the scenarios may be a little warped, but the backbone - the fundamentals of the American political process - remains throughout.
So we return to the beginning of the presidential process. In series 6, Santos secured the Democratic nomination. So series 7 outlines what happens next, and what it's like to tick down the clock on the last 365 days of a presidency. We get to savour the full panoply of Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits leading the charge for the Republican and Democratic parties respectively, and also have time to honour the passing of John Spencer mid-series.
Despite the introduction of many new characters, I found the symetry and resolution that this series produced satisfying. Brief appearances in the final two episodes of a host of 'usual suspects' will round off any die-hard's viewing pleasure.
The last series 7 episode airs on More4 in the UK this evening, and I for one will miss this quality programming. Time to dust off those dvds and start my personal re-runs....
Fans of Aaron Sorking may wish to hold their breath to see if a uk network picks up his new series, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip". If they do, lets hope they have more consistency in scheduling than Channel 4 has given to TWW over the years.
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A swansong that recaptures the Sorkin magic,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)Season 7 of The West Wing sees the end of the Bartlett administration and the start of...well, you'll have to watch to find out who becomes the new President. The main contenders for the soon to be vacant Presidency are Republican Arnold Vinick (the sublime Alan Alda) and Democrat Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits). The race for the Presidency introduces new characters, while involving old favourites like Josh, Donna, CJ etc. In mixing old with new, the producers deftly avoid allowing the show to turn into a rose-tinted retrospect of the glory years, yet retains the focus on the Bartlett staffers. The death of John Spencer (Fmr. Chief of Staff Leo McGarry) is handled superbly, and several plot strands (including the Josh and Donna relationship) are wrapped up nicely. The show admittedly lost its direction in the fifth season (not to the extent that some Sorkin fans would argue), but returned to form with season six. This final season marks a fitting farewell to one of television's greatest ever drama series.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting finale, but we'll feel the loss,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)The West Wing, with its excellent writing and first rate ensemble cast, comes to an end in this, the seventh season. We join the White House in a period of change: President Bartlet (Sheen) and his advisers prepare to depart after serving two terms.
Outside, the Democrat Santos (Smits) runs a tight race against Vinick (Alda) and who will win (and ultimately become President) provides an electricity to the season. Both nominees, whatever your politics, are commendable characters who you will feel empathy for whilst casting a more disappointing glare at those who pass for real-life politicians. This is what the West Wing has always done best: it has managed to restore a sensibility to politics, showing that the previous attempts to portray them as either idiots, corrupt or overly noble are all false. In the show, they are people who strive to make a difference but are by no means infallable saints themselves.
This really is first rate stuff. The emerging campaign shows that both sides can have good, even great days. With it comes a whole catalogue of problems, some to do with campaign strategy and some unseen. And with the sad, untimely death of principal cast member John Spencer, who plays Vice-President nominee Leo, events towards the end of the season have to take a sad and unexpected turn. For long term fans, expect many storylines to come to a fitting close with relationships resolved, and old friends re-connecting(particularly with the brief and welcome return of Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn).
The West Wing is a fantastic drama that has rightly earned its accolades for sharp writing, excellent storylines and a truly wonderful cast. Whilst this is a fitting finale, I cannot help but feel a true sense of loss...
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end to a great series,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)After having watched this final series, I would fully encourage anyone, fan or not, to at least pick up a rental copy. At times, it can be tedious with the run up to the election, but it is pretty self evident who the successor to Bartlett will be. The handling of the untimely death of John Spencer was handled well with not too much smaltz and a certain amount of respect. 'tis a pity that there is to be no more but I think that there may be a reprisal at some time in the future with one off specials.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All good things must come to an end,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)West wing series 7 sees the superb american political drama come to an end. The west wing won many awards, and deservedly so becuase this US drama treats the audience intelligently and makes politics gripping. Series 7 includes the campaigns of the two candidates; Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) and Jimmy Smits, the end of the Bartlet administration and one of the live debates between them. The west wing in itself is fantastic, and this series adds to the collection of brilliance. The live debate was so superbly acted, that it makes you break down in tears that TV won't be showing the genius that is west wing. Long live the west wing!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end to the greatest of them all....,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)The West Wing is without doubt the finest television series I have ever watched. There are seemingly many critics of this series that state that the first 4 Series were superb and then it tails off. I am not one of them.
I sat through Series 5 expecting a downturn in the script/acting and found none. Series 6 did start off a bit slow but the interest level picks up at the start of the campaign trail and season 7 continues the Democratic and Republicans nominees run for the Oval Office. Perhaps the only negative comment I can make regarding Series 7 is the lack of air time for some of the old faces as the focus was not on the West Wing but the battle for it.
I find it hard to believe other comments made that the Series was cancelled early due to poor ratings. Thus being said, Series 7 is as fitting an end as one could imagine and the final episode perfectly hits the right level of sentimentality and you are left with clear understanding of the future plans and careers for at least most of the main characters.
All those who purchased Seasons 1-6 will buy Season 7 anyway because they are already devoted followers of this magnificent series. For those of you who are still wondering if this is worth a look, I can imagine no reason for you to delay your purchases any longer.
The acting is magnificent, the direction spot on and contains some of the best camera work to hit the small screen. Allison Janney and Bradley Whitford have been my favourite actors or maybe CJ and Josh were just my favourite characters. There are many things you should do before you depart from this world, and viewing the West Wing should be somewhere near the top of the list.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye, and God bless.,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)What can you say about the West Wing? Only that it has been probably the best television series of the last 7 years.
Characters Josh Lyman and CJ Cregg shedding tears for the loss of Leo are Bradley Whitford and Alison Janney shedding tears for John Spencer, and a series which has prided itself on being extremely close to the real-life events had finally blurred the boundaries between its fictional White House and reality.
The show has even affected real policy; The Daily Telegraph threw its support behind David Cameron in the Tories leadership election last year, saying he could bring 'West Wing politics' to parliament. Earlier this year, the Tories won a vote in the House of Commons by hiding their members in a backroom, fooling opposition Whips into a false sense of security; a ploy, it was said, 'borrowed' from an episode in Series Six. The West Wing has become a by-word for politicians and politics wishing to bring truth and decency before selfishness and status.
For the fans who've been around since Series One, Rob Lowe makes a welcome return (in a laugh-out-load momemt of history repeating itself), and for fans of Jon Bon Jovi, well, he's in it too - babysitting Matt Santos's kids!
Negatives? Well, if you're being hyper-critical; there are fewer witty lines than in earlier series, and there's enough storylines in Series 7 to fill two seperate series, so at times it feels rushed, and things that would have taken an episode to unfold previously now take 15 minutes, but put that down to NBC cutting WW short when it at least had one more year left in it. But the ending is apt and suitably emotional.
I'm going to miss it.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All 'Bout The Lyman...,
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This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)The last season of the series is an uprooting experience, taking a step farther away from the safe ol' White House and the good ol' days. Having now watched the whole marvellous series, I have a great feeling of nostalgia. The plot focuses on two things: the presidential campaign and its two opposing camps, and the ongoing politics of the current White House. Several long-time love stories of the series are brought to their conclusions, and political crises arise - as usual. The first episode features a short "three years later" flash forward, to the dedication of the Bartlet library, and through it you get a glimpse of the future without being told everything that will happen for the next few years. After this short intro, we are shot back into the present. And when I say "shot", I'm not kidding around. The pace is frenetic, and illustrates the true pace of a national campaign and the wear on the people running it. Josh Lyman is the centre of attention throughout, working himself to the brink of destruction to take his candidate to victory.
The fundamental problem of the last two seasons is that there is something missing. That thing is Bartlet. His wit and interactions with the staff. Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits do their parts very well, but their characters simply aren't as interesting as the president, who's not around much. Whenever the candidates say something enlightening, it just makes you feel like the writers are trying to make them look like the new Bartlet. You end up missing the good old days. Much of the fun is also gone; every moment is drenched in such a serious undertone that you miss the amusing puns and quick replies; when they try, more often than not does it fall short - the show has, in short, lost itself. The "magic" is what's missing. Another thing is the lack of a trademark exciting final episode; being the last of the series there is of course no need for a cliffhanger, but I'd still appreciate a bit more grandiose finale than this "back to the everyday doings of the new White House" stuff.
The acting is what keeps it alive. Allison Janney, Janel Moloney and Bradley Whitford are still central characters and as we all know, they've got some game. Whitford in particular is spectacular, centrepiece cast member as he is. The story is not strictly necessary, but the character interaction and development is something you'll want. I'd like to emphasize one episode as being better than the others...: "The Cold". The rest are decent, but nothing out of the ordinary. Seriously, you can stop after buying five seasons, but if you're a big fan, you should pick up the last two.
The only really BIG reason for buying season 7 is the developing story of Josh and Donna. He's been impossible as far as ANY romance is concerned for eight years, but despite her leaving him to find more serious work somewhere else he loves Donna like a sister... perhaps even a bit more?
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Political views aside, this is quality drama,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  (DVD)Much of the criticism of the West Wing is rooted in people not agreeing with creator Aaron Sorkin's left-wing tendencies. That strikes me as strange - it is like not watching Law and Order because the police aren't always right or ER because it simplifies hospital funding pressures.
The West Wing is simply a remarkable drama that takes place in the most stress-intensive, fast-paced setting imaginable. Ultimately, it is a show about people. And the characters of Josh (Bradley Whitford), Leo (the late, John Spencer), CJ (Alison Janney) and Toby (Richard Schiff) spend their waking lives making ethical and political decisions affecting 100s of millions of people. There is a real noble purpose behind how they spend their days that you can't help but envy.
Yes, much of the show is targeted at appealing to Democrats - as the Republicans are seen as the enemy. However, seasons 6 and 7 provide a wonderful insight to the nomination/election process that wasn't shown in the early seasons. These last two seasons follow the presidential campaigns of Republican Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) and Democrat Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits) and their respective trials and tribulations are eerily similar - despite their different political view points - as they fight for the presidency.
What perhaps is most impressive is how the show manages to contrast the frantic campaign trails of both candidates with that of the ongoing presidency of Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his remaining staff. Martin Sheen is again outstanding as he grapples simultaneously with the lasting effects of MS, a declining presidency, an emptying nest, nuclear disaster and trying to avert world war 3.
For fans of the show, season 7 is something you quite simply can't do without. If you have previously watched the show and thought it was too biased to the left, season 7 may appeal to you more as there is a lot of balance in the differing political views of Bartlet, Vinick and Santos.
From my point of view, I just think it is a rare treat to purchase 15 hours of work from Martin Sheen, Alan Alda, Jimmy Smits, Alison Janney, and the best group of actors, writers, directors and producers working today. We can only hope that work of this standing will one day return.
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The West Wing - Complete Season 7 [DVD]  by Jason Ensler (DVD - 2006)