Nice little set of reviews from Will Howells on re-viewing the seasons of the West Wing (he's up to 3 so far).
You can catch them here, here and here.
It's well documented on this blog (here, here and here for example) how much we loved The West Wing. Though it undeniably trailed as the seasons progressed, and the shift from Aaron Sorkin to John Wells was generally frustrating, it retained much of its charm and as others have noted, the latter seasons disappointments were mostly because the high mark had been set with those first four seasons.
That said, I would qualify this by saying that Season 3 was possibly more disappointing than I would have liked it to be. Yes, CJ was great as ever. Yes, John Spencer got his Emmy episode with "Bartlet for America". But the 'special episode' and the reasons for it overshadow the whole season and that is saddening.
I would be hard pushed to choose a favourite episode from the first two seasons especially, which to my mind constitute a great level of consistency, whereas the other seasons have highlights but lack that consistency until - arguably - season 6 (which I STILL haven't properly caught up with).
Still, I guess my point is that this was a fantastic series. But hopefully it will continue to draw its audience on DVD etc. It certainly deserves to.