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Santos for President ?!,
This review is from: The West Wing - Complete Season 6 [DVD]  (DVD)
The times they are a-changing.
So the Bartlett presidency is nearing the finishing line. You may have thought that this season would be all about tidying everything up and leaving a nice happy conclusion. Only you would be wrong, this season is all about Bartlet’s victory lap and perhaps the beginning of a new WW legacy.
I was one of the few who enjoyed Season 5 of the WW. I enjoyed the shake-up that John Wells brought to the show. However in this season he has really cranked things up a notch and in doing there are some major changes made to the show. Suddenly after all these years, no one is sure what their role is in the administration. Everyone is someplace different and personally I thought it made fascinating viewing watching them trying to adjust.
It’s difficult to divulge to much info about the events in this season as this has it been released straight to dvd before it airs on Channel 4’s new station ‘More Four’
At around the halfway mark of the season the show splits into two separate ongoing narratives. One focusing on Bartlets last term in office and all the usual issues and events that entails and the other focuses on the race to elect the Democratic nominee (the fantastic Jimmy Smitts) for the next presidential race. We do also get to follow a republican’s (Alan Alda; also fantastic) journey as he fights to become the nominee, although obviously this does get less screen time.
The acting performances from all the regulars are superb as usual; in my opinion this group of actors are the best ensemble cast of any television drama series. There is no weak link here. However special mention for this season must go out to John Spencer (R.I.P ) who is especially excellent in the role of Leo. Also Janel Maloney deserves a special mention as well. Donna is really given a chance to shine in this season and Janel definitely rises to the challenge. Season 6 also treats us to some old familiar faces. I won’t say who, but all of them are well loved characters.
The West Wing has also never looked better. Some episodes now look and feel like ‘mini movies’. The cinematography is fantastic, with lots of different innovative camera angles present. One episode (King Corn’) seems to have been shot using a hand held steadi cam ! This is definitely something that has remarkable improved under Well’s guidance.
So what next for The West Wing ? Amazingly at the end of the last episode gives you great hope that the show can go and retain its high standard without Martin Sheen being a part of it. If like me you found something to love in all the seasons of the WW, you’ve probably already have it on order. If however you disliked season 5 and where thinking of giving up on this show, I would definitely recommend you check out this season.
If you don’t get goose bumps after hearing Matthew Santos’s speech in the last episode of this series, I would question your appreciation of this great show.
I’ve said this at the end of all my West Wing reviews and this season is no different. It’s still the best show on television.