The best of all worlds. Even now, at the age of nearly 42, I am still these things.
In addition to these larger storylines, each episode also contains smaller arcs that usually begin and end within an episode.
Most episodes follow President Bartlet and his staff through particular legislative or political issues. Plots can range from behind-closed-doors negotiating with Congress to personal problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, from which Josh suffers during the second season.
The typical episode loosely follows the President and his staff through their day, generally following several plots connected by some idea or theme. A large, fully connected set of the White House allowed the producers to create shots with very few cuts and long, continuous master shots of staff members conversing as they walk through the In heather havrilesky essay.
These " walk and talks " became a trademark of the show. The final two seasons presented a narrative change, with the focus of the show divided between plots in the West Wing with President Bartlet and his remaining senior staffers and plots revolving around the rest of the main cast on the campaign trail for the election.
In the first season, the Bartlet administration is in the middle of its second year and is still having trouble settling in and making progress on legislative issues. The second season covers the aftermath of a shooting at Rosslynthe midterm elections and dealings with a new Congress, and sees scandal when the White House is rocked by allegations of criminal conduct and the President must decide whether he will run for a second term.
The third and fourth seasons take an in-depth look at the campaign trail and the specter of both foreign and domestic terrorism.
In the fifth season, the President begins to encounter more issues on the foreign front, while at home he faces off with the newly elected Speaker of the Housebattles controversy over Supreme Court appointments and oversees a daring plan to save Social Security.
The sixth season chronicles the quest to replace President Bartlet in the next election, following the primary campaigns of several candidates from both parties, while the President himself attempts to build his legacy, but finds his ability to govern compromised by his illness.
In the seventh season, the President must face a leak of confidential information about a secret Department of Defense program from inside the White House, while the Democratic and Republican candidates battle to succeed him in the general election. Development[ edit ] The series developed following the success of theatrical film The American Presidentfor which Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay, and in which Martin Sheen played the White House Chief of Staff.
However, Bartlet's screen time gradually increased, and his role expanded as the series progressed. Positive critical and public reaction to Sheen's performance raised his character's profile, decreasing Lowe's perceived significance.
This shift was one of the reasons for Lowe's eventual departure from the show in the fourth season. Fellow executive producer and director Thomas Schlamme championed the walk and talka continuous shot tracking in front of the characters as they walk from one place to another that became part of The West Wing's signature visual style.
Sorkin's hectic writing schedule often led to cost overruns and schedule slips,  and he opted to leave the show after the fourth season, following increasing personal problems, including an arrest for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms. John Wellsthe remaining executive producer, took the helm after their departure.
NBC elected to move the series to Sundays at 8: The show's legitimacy, political slant, and idealist representations of Washington, as well as its notable writing and film merits, have generated considerable discussion.
Realism[ edit ] While The West Wing is not completely accurate in its portrayal of the actual West Wing,  former White House staffers described the show as capturing the feel of the real West Wing.
They turn left and right where you are not supposed to. A documentary special in the third season compared the show's depiction of the West Wing to the real thing. Television critic Heather Havrilesky asked, "What rock did these morally pure creatures crawl out from under and, more important, how do you go from innocent millipede to White House staffer without becoming soiled or disillusioned by the dirty realities of politics along the way?
She concluded, "While the series' purpose is for-profit entertainment, The West Wing presents great pedagogical potential. However, the merits of a particular argument may be obscured by the viewer's opinion of the character. Beavers also noted that characters with opposing viewpoints were often set up to be "bad people" in the viewer's eyes.
These characters were assigned undesirable characteristics having nothing to do with their political opinions, such as being romantically involved with a main character's love interest. In Beavers' opinion, a critical analysis of the show's political views can present a worthwhile learning experience to the viewer.
The plan was allegedly hatched after a Conservative Member of Parliament watched the episode " A Good Day ", in which Democrats block a bill aimed at limiting stem cell research, by appearing to have left Washington D.
The name came from the fact that President Andrew Jackson had a large wheel of cheese placed in the White House from which the public were invited to eat during a reception,  while discussing issues of the day with politicians.
Cregg during a White House press briefing.
He obeys the Constitution and the law. He is devoted to his wife and daughters. Being unfaithful to his wife would never cross his mind. He is no wimp when it comes to foreign policy—no quid pro quo for him. In its first season, The West Wing attracted critical attention in the television community with a record nine Emmy wins.And it only takes one essay from Alanna Okun's book to realize the same thing.
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