What if you had access to the lives and minds of the President and his cabinet members? What if you could follow them around on a day-to-day basis and see exactly what it means to run the United States of America? Well that is precisely what Aaron Sorkin brought us on September 22, 1999.
The West Wing is set primarily in the West Wing of the White House, where the Oval Office and offices of presidential senior staff are located, during the fictional Democratic administration of Josiah Bartlet. The show, which won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards, includes a cast of memorable characters played by amazing actors. The cast includes the likes of Stockard Channing, Dulé Hill, Jimmy Smits, Alan Alda, Rob Lowe, and Martin Sheen.
All seven seasons are on Netflix, and though I have fallen behind on watching the show in the last few weeks, it is one of my favorite television shows of all time. The West Wing mixes dramatic, triumphant, comedic and thought provoking moments while providing you with enough insight into what it is like to be there, running the country. Most episodes follow President Bartlet and his staff through particular legislative or political issues. The typical episode loosely follows the President and his staff through their day, generally following several plots connected by some idea or theme.
The West Wing captivated my interest for its use of the political landscape to create its characters and grow them into people you know, people you love, people you can’t stand. There really isn’t much else to say about the show without going into spoilers or criticisms about the layout of The White House being a bit off, like Susan Ford (daughter of former President Gerald Ford) commented many years ago. The West Wing is one of the best television shows in the last few decades and is very much worth viewing. I encourage you to live through the Bartlet presidency.