The West Wing : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 22, 1999
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
The West Wing Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 70 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The West Wing provides a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation's capital as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidential administration. These interesting characters have humor and dedication that touches the heart while the politics that they discuss touch onThe West Wing provides a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation's capital as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidential administration. These interesting characters have humor and dedication that touches the heart while the politics that they discuss touch on everyday life. The first six seasons focused on the administration of President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet (Martin Sheen). The seventh and final season transitioned to the 2006 Presidential Election between Democrat Congressman Mathew Vincente Santos of Houston, Texas (Jimmy Smits) and Republican Senator Arnold Vinick of California (Alan Alda). Broadcast History:
    Seasons 1-6: NBC, Wednesdays, 9:00pm EST
    Season 7: NBC, Sundays, 8:00pm EST

    Theme Music:
    The theme tune is an original composition by W.G. Snuffy Walden. There is a CD available of his work, which includes not only a suite from The West Wing, but also his music from Felicity, Once and Again, & thirtysomething, plus other non-TV compositions. Walden can be contacted at his official website wgsnuffywalden.com.

    Awards:
    As of October 24, 2008:
    The show and its stars have won 26 Primetime Emmys, 1 ADG Award, 2 ALMA Awards, 2 Artios Awards, 2 ASC Awards, 1 Banff Rockie Award, 2 CAS Award, 1 Christopher Award, 2 DGA Awards, 1 Eddie Award, 2 Family Television Awards, 2 Golden Globe Awards, 4 Golden Laurel Awards, 5 Golden Satellite Awards, 3 Humanitas Awards, 2 Imagen Awards, 2 Peabody Awards, 1 Prism Award, 6 SAG Awards, 2 Shine Awards, 4 Television Critics Association Awards, 3 TV Guide Awards, 3 Viewers for Quality Television Awards, 2 WGA Awards and 2 Wilbur Awards.

    The show has been nominated for a total of 93 Primetime Emmys and holds the record for the most Emmys won in a single season for a single show which is 9 (for its first season).

    The show also was named 1 of the 10 AFI TV Programs of the Year, received 1 Special Recognition from GLAAD Media Awards and 4 Commendations from the Prism Awards.

    Syndication:
    Airs all the time on Bravo (which is also part of the NBC Universal empire) and in some local areas during the "midnight hours."

    DVD Releases:
    All seven seasons have been released in all regions. There was complete series box set released in November 2006.
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  • Genre(s): Drama

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. The Hollywood Reporter
    Reviewed by: Barry Garron
    Apr 21, 2013
    100
    A compelling, intelligent and wonderfully engaging drama. [22 Sept 1999]
  2. Dallas Morning News
    Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 21, 2013
    91
    All the president's men and women are deftly drawn and seamlessly woven through a crackerjack opening hour. Whether they'll be able to hold our interest remains to be seen. [22 Sept 1999, p.1C]
  3. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 27, 2013
    91
    The West Wing sure looks like a winner.
  4. Chicago Sun-Times
    Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Apr 21, 2013
    88
    One serious failing of the pilot is that, well, the group is nearly all white. There's barely a healthy tan in the bunch. Sorkin and Wells claim this is true only of the first episode and that more people of color will be added in subsequent hours....They better be. Not only is their absence an affront to minorities everywhere, it's an insult to our intelligence in what otherwise is a very smart show. [22 Sept 1999, p.47]
  5. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Apr 22, 2013
    80
    Tonight's premiere tries to be too cute, but Sorkin is good at creating likable characters. Blessed with a great cast, he may have given NBC a two-term lock. [22 Sept 1999, p.C10]
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 12, 2013
    75
    One of The West Wing's executive producers is ER's John Wells, and the new series replicates that show's swooping cameras and frenetic pace. Combine this visual style with a slightly toned-down version of the overlapping dialogue Sorkin uses in his other series, ABC's Sports Night, and you've got one zippy little hour. That's good, because when you stop and examine each plot strand, the show starts to unravel.
  7. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Apr 21, 2013
    40
    That still makes the series more daring than most of what's on television; the problem is, its creators know that and the show's self-satisfaction becomes annoying. The floundering first episode (the only one available for preview) is sometimes smart, sometimes stupid, eventually gooey and, despite its sharp cast, not often entertaining. One of the season's most hyped and anticipated series, The West Wing is by far its biggest disappointment.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Apr 21, 2012
    10
    The best TV series ever. Period. And quite weird that not more people have written that here. This thing really is better than real life. IThe best TV series ever. Period. And quite weird that not more people have written that here. This thing really is better than real life. I miss it so much. Give me back Bartlet! Expand
  2. Oct 22, 2015
    9
    The first five seasons are some of the best television I've ever watched, but seasons six and seven aren't even close to being as good. TheThe first five seasons are some of the best television I've ever watched, but seasons six and seven aren't even close to being as good. The writing took a major step backward and the newly introduced characters (especially Jimmy Smits and Kristin Chenoweth) are forgettable. Despite the last few seasons, though, this is still one of the best shows I've ever watched. A great cast with great cohesion that has the writing and dialogue to make brilliant show. Expand
  3. Oct 11, 2015
    8
    A great series, no doubt about it. An optimistic and hopeful dramatization of governance and public service. Season 1 is a bit rough, and theA great series, no doubt about it. An optimistic and hopeful dramatization of governance and public service. Season 1 is a bit rough, and the Mandy character is painfully out of place, fortunately she's gone by the time the good stuff starts (believe me that's not a spoiler, that's a tip, it gets better). You won't go far wrong watching the whole series, but the real meat comes in seasons 2-5. The stakes are high, the drama is well executed, and there are plenty of pitfalls for the characters. After that, it starts to tail off. In seasons 6 and 7 the show starts to go from left-leaning political drama and turns into liberal-fantasyland. The show starts having President Bartlett come up with magical solutions for the country's and world's most enduring problems.

    I'm not going to go through and review each individual season, but here's the rough idea:
    - Season 1 = 6/10
    - Seasons 2-5 = 9/10
    - Seasons 6-7 = 7/10
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  4. Apr 2, 2013
    7
    The opening season to the acclaimed drama followed the administration of President Bartlett and their first year in the oval office. OnThe opening season to the acclaimed drama followed the administration of President Bartlett and their first year in the oval office. On occasions the show arguably gave a slightly idealistic portrayal of what those in power are like but with a fantastic cast, that included Hollywood heavyweights Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe, it quickly established itself as one of the smartest and most intelligent shows seen on TV in a long time.

    Being a character lead drama The West Wing was obviously not going to be for everybody, particularly those that prefer action to dialogue heavy scenes. Aaron Sorkin's scripts were however fast paced, witty and even humorous in places allowing the focus to remain firmly on the well realised characters and their attempts to deal with apparently endless demands of working in the White House. The stories were complex, knowledge of US politics or having Wikipedia on stand-by was essential, and based firmly in reality. Any concerns one may have as to how a political based show would hold up when this first season is now over ten years old are unfounded and the issues raised are every bit as relevant today, most likely promoting many a debate amongst family or friends watching alongside you.

    Give it four or five episodes and those interested in thought provoking drama will be hooked.
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  5. May 29, 2012
    0
    Unfortunately, this has been a bland show with a very skewed telling on internal dealings. As a part time political editor, the sheer amountUnfortunately, this has been a bland show with a very skewed telling on internal dealings. As a part time political editor, the sheer amount of dramtic juxtaposition present is somewhat unbelievable. Whilst we're not business-like all the time. A degree of proffesionality within any public sector is expected. Whilst dwelling into private lives as well; it offers the textbook, stressed situation. I do, however praise the good, subtle acting. Even if it feels that the actors aren't quite throwing themselves into their respective roles. Oh well, maybe another political drama might satisfy the grey areas and not the grittiness of work in public sectors. Expand

See all 6 User Reviews

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