Saturday, August 19, 2006

West Wing Reviews

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.


Anonymous said...

More4 have started showing it again from the beginning. I think it's episode 3 season 1 this weekend. They claim they're going to show Season 5 as well, which wasn't ever shown to terrestrial/freeview viewers.

Anonymous said...

Best episode from the first two seasons? Easy — Two Cathedrals. Bartlett sparking up a ciggie in a catherdral purely so he could crush it out on the floor and then cursing out God in Latin. Some of the best telly ever.

Anonymous said...

I would agree the first two seasons were stunning television which it never quite lived up to again (and the Zoe kidnapping was a bit of a jumping the shark moment for me). Hard to choose a best episode but I always have a soft spot for "Mr Willis of Ohio", because it has some of Toby's best moments.

Anonymous said...

I'd second Two Cathedrals

It was the use of the rain and cinematography as well

From later on 24 Hours in America "I'm Toby Ziegler and I work at the White House"