Just finished watching all 7 seasons of "The West Wing"

Over the last few years, I’ve spent time catching up on some great TV shows from the 90s and 00s that I missed when they originally aired. Some were good shows that I watched for a while but for some reason (usually my short attention span) I quit watching (24, SVU, Criminal Minds). But there were a few amazing shows that I inexplicably missed entirely.

I just finished watching all 155 episodes of “The West Wing”. I can’t believe that I deprived myself of this incredible series for so long! I think that C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg is one of the best characters in the history of television! But I already knew that Allison Janney was amazing, so I had high hopes for her character before I ever watched the first episode…

I’m about eight years late to the party, but I’ll bet that I’m not the only “West Wing” fan around here…???

I remember being a big fan, but it’s been so long I don’t recall what I liked best about it. Martin Sheen, obviously. The politics. The dialogue was often clever. … Good show.

Its one of those shows that I enjoyed watching then one day realized I had lost interest and had stopped watching without really thinking about it.

I’ve watched the whole series several times. The later seasons are regarded as weaker by many, but I thought they had their strengths as well.

I bought the box set on sale at Christmas and plan to watch it over the summer. Now that I’ve cut the cord for cable, I’ve been searching for good series to buy and have been somewhat disappointed with the recent programming*, so I figured West Wing was a sure bet since I enjoyed it when it was originally shown.

*Breaking Bad and The Wire didn’t do anything for me, The Good Wife is great though.

Aaron Sorkin, who created the show, left at the end of of the 4th Season. The show had 13.5 million viewers in Season 4, 11.8 in Season 5, 11.1 in Season 6 and dropped to 8.1 million in Season 7. It peaked in Season 3 at 17.2 million!

There was a discernible difference between the 4th and 5th Seasons, but I still enjoyed the 5th. More than the writing, I think the departure of Rob Lowe’s character, Sam Seaborn, changed the group dynamic. But the addition of Lily Tomlin to the 4th Season cast was a brilliant move, in my opinion.

I thought the 6th Season was especially great because C.J. was promoted from Press Secretary to Chief of Staff.

Season 7 was my least favorite because it was focused so heavily on the Santos Campaign and not really the daily lives of the Staffers. I also didn’t like what they did with Toby in the 7th…

Loved “The West Wing”. I always thought that Martin Sheen had an odd way of putting on his suit coat. I read that he has a bad joint in one arm and that’s the only way he can comfortably do it.

Really? Because years earlier he perfected the cool jacket flip

Haven’t seen it, but I’m always about 10 years behind the curve. I felt the same way last year when I started watching The Sopranos.

I don’t remember where I read the original info on this. For what it’s worth a comment below that video notes:
“Martin Sheen’s arm was severely damaged by forceps when he was born, leaving him without the use of the his left arm for the first few years of his life.”

When it originally aired it was on at a time that it wasn’t convenient for me to watch consistently, but my mom assured me I’d like it and I did watch a lot of it, but not all of it.

I recently started from the beginning on Netflix and still enjoy it. I was surprised at how many plots open up in just the first two episodes. Without rewatching I’d have told you that Sam’s date with the law student call girl happened much later in the season.Same with Charlie and Zoe starting to date and a few other things.

I know that I never saw all of the last two seasons. I intend to stick with it.

I loved the series. It did bog down a bit in season 5, but I thought it really picked up in Season 7.

I was hoping that Arnold Vinnick would win the Presidency and they would carry on WW with a Republican Administration.

Read, hell; at the moment, if you click on “The Jacket Incident” right there on the same page, you can see and hear Sheen himself explain that he’s donned shirts and jackets that way since he was a kid because of what forceps did to his arm at birth. (Plus a montage of him doing it on The West Wing, swooshing like a superhero’s cape.)

A sweet comfort blanket for the domestic audience: Liberal wank.

I seem to remember that they were leading up to Vinick winning but the death of John Spencer made them go the other way.

Yes, I have the whole set and watch it every 10 years or so.

You’ll probably like some of Aaron Sorkin’s earlier work:

  • Sports Night (comedy about a TV sports show)
  • Studio 60 (drama / comedy about a satirical TV show)

In both series, Sorkin uses several of the actors who later appeared in West Wing. They are a bit ‘lighter’ than West Wing, but definitely have their moments.

Well,…you might like “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”, but you’d be in the minority.

Also, Studio 60 came after West Wing, not before.

Then so am I. “Studio 60” is what the vastly inferior “30 Rock” should have been.

Preachy and unfunny?