182 of 189 people found the following review helpful
Missing 2 key players but still way above the rest,
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This review is from: The West Wing: Complete Season 5  [DVD] (DVD)
After the cliffhanger at the end of season four, and as the first series with no creative input from Aaron Sorkin, and missing Rob Lowe's Sam Seaborn, series five has a lot to prove.
It partially (in my opinion) manages it, a new balance is being achieved with the characters as Lowe's Sam is no longer there as a moral compass and as the writers try to fit this role onto one of the other already established characters I sometimes find myself thinking ' but X wouldn't have reacted like that'...
Josh Malina's Will seems to become less likeable as the series progresses and again I find myself curious as to what Sorkin had intended for the character, there seem to be several plot threads (and I'm avoiding spoliers here) that take characters in directions that you wouldn't expect and seem a little 'out of character' with the history already established by series 1 - 4.
On the other hand, the acting remains excellent and the series is still head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Sheen's President Bartlett remains the guy I wish would run for office, John Spencer's Leo keeps the ship afloat making the tough decisions at times when no one else can. Allison Janney's C.J keeps me laughing & thinking - watch out for the 'big bird moment'. And the Josh and Donna 'will they wont they' continues - though Brad and Janel keep their chemistry and the dialogue snapping back and forth even if the script doesn't have the flow they had before.
All in all it remains a great show, and I remain a 'wingnut' but there are times I find myself missing Sorkin and Lowe....gone but not forgotten