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The West Wing-Pilot Episode

April 20, 2008

This is a show I’ve been meaning to watch for years now, but it’s also one of those shows I never really wanted to start in the middle.  Nonetheless, I acquired the first four episodes and have dove in head first.  In the inspiration of a much better writer than myself, the show had me at  hello.  Here’s my elaboration:

Show Synopsis

The show focuses on the Presidents closest officials.  For example Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg, the Press Secretary.  It shows both their personal and professional lives and how each interfere with each other.  Relationships are quickly established, and it becomes apparent that not everyone on the same team is friends, but they all do what they can to work for the same common goal.  Martin Sheen plays the President though the show is actually not structured around him or his Presidential responsibilities, but everyone  who responds and reacts to them.

My Reflections

From the pilot episode it’s obvious this show has a ton of possibility.  With a ridiculously strong cast, the actors fall into their roles naturally instantly.  There is no awkwardness involved.  It’s as though they’ve all been playing their character’s for years already.  The show is focused on the people who work for the President, and instead of names and faces these are real people exploring how their dealing with realistic Oval Office issues.

The character’s are all very intriguing and very complicated, but each is obviously very strong.  What some will take a stand on and some wont.  The things that are acceptable to some and aren’t to others is a constant topic of debate.  These character’s have a lot of manueverability and room to grow and change.  It’s apparent that some of their role structure’s have been set up to take plumits and rises.  It’s very compelling.

Moreso, it’s just plain interesting and entertaining.  Yes, it’s a very smart show meant for intelligent viewers, but it has a real wit and intellect about it that plays with the same clever sense of humour.  The comedy is often subtle, but it’s definitely there.

The Point

This is serious quality programming that I can see myself getting very hooked on.  The only negative issue I have is it has been on for many many seasons and a typical theme in shows like this is the plotlines stray from their simple story telling and venture into the world of outrageous events and unlikely character arcs.  As good as it seems on a first view, I hope it stays on the same path, because this is good tv.

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