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The West Wing

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West Wing is brilliant. I have watched the "Celestial Navigation" episode countless times. It's a classic.

 

17 people was my favourite. Toby at his indignant and frustrated idealist best. I was reading The Last days(Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate account) at the time as well so this scene had particular poignancy:

 

[YOUTUBE]CQoGfOBTx6E[/YOUTUBE]

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The above scene doesn't include the best parts, namely Bartlett revealing to Toby he has M.S and the subsequent discussion Leo and Toby have about his possible impeachment; that's when it finally became really obvious, to me, that the show was extremely special.

 

[YOUTUBE]y_hn_bAz6eQ[/YOUTUBE]

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Guest Numero Veinticinco

One of the best scenes is from season 6 episode 9, where the president falls in the bathroom and shouts 'look at me' and talks about how he can't do the job. He's a fucking brilliant actor, is Martin Sheen. Brilliant.

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Fuck you cunts. I had a bit of free time and had all these grand and wonderful plans as to how I was going to spend it. Then, having glanced over this thread I decided to watch an episode of The West Wing to see if it was any good. But of course, what happened is one episode turned into a thousand episodes as it was so cunting addictive. So all my free time has now gone and I've achieved nothing.

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You ever see Arnie Vinick campaign up close? He'll go into those high school gymnasiums in Iowa and New Hampshire and blow them all away. He'll shake every hand in the joint, kiss every baby, hug every widow on Social Security; and he'll sound smarter and more honest than any Republican they've ever seen. Because he is.

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Is it right the series wasn't going to feature the president originally, just his staff? But Sheen was too good to be a bit-part?

 

When Sorkin first conceived of it, it was going to focus on the President's staff - with Josh and Sam the main characters (who, speaking of which, were originally cast the other way round. Can you imagine?). At this point, the audience were always just going to miss seeing the President, or only catch the back of his head. But it was decided - rightly, in my opinion - that this would be too hokey.

 

So they looked around for a President, and I believe, funnily enough, that Alan Alda was one of those considered, until they cast Martin Sheen. The plan at this point was that the President would only feature in 20% of the episodes. Not sure whether this means of each episode, or just 20% of the series (as Stockard Channing does as First Lady). But then, as you allude to, Sheen just came in and blew the roof off the White House, and they knew - probably from his opening line ("I am the Lord our God...") - that he just had to be in the main cast.

 

On a related note, I'm almost certain that CCH Pounder - Claudette in The Shield - was originally cast as CJ. Until Alison Janney auditioned and they changed their minds.

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Guest Numero Veinticinco

Sidney Poitier was also being considered for the president. Rob Lowe talks about Martin Sheen here:

 

akaaL4JIlDA

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Just finished the second episode now and I'm completely hooked. The writing is absolutely fantastic!

 

I missed the first series and swore I wouldn't start watching it until I could start from the very beginning and I'm so glad I did.

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Done The Wire, The Soprano's and The Shield all multiple times now and looking for my next box set.

 

A mate insists this is better than The Wire but he's a yank, from Texas, so fuck him. What do the good people of the GF say?

 

Also the bird's not really into politics, is there enough to keep her interested or am I going to end up watching this alone?

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Also the bird's not really into politics, is there enough to keep her interested or am I going to end up watching this alone?

 

Considering she's into that Honey Boo Boo shite, I'm going to say no.

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Guest Numero Veinticinco

The first few seasons are stellar. It's quite US-centric and sometimes a little overly-patriotic. Still, it's a really superb TV show. Certainly in my top five of all time. As good as the other characters are, the president - played by the brilliant Martin Sheen - is one of the best characters in TV history, in my opinion. Played it brilliantly.

 

S1-ip47WYWc

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My favourite tv show ever.

 

Brilliant writing and acting.

 

I would echo this.

 

I finished both Studio 60 on the sunset strip and Sports night recently, purely because I had seen every episode of the West wing too many times and I needed something Sorkiny to help me through the day. Neither were brilliant, but they did the job.

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I could post literally hundreds of clips but won't - obviously - I wanted to add this one as it makes me laugh and I'm a big sucker for Ainsley Hayes.

I'd have also posted the 'you're fired' clip from Sam and the Gilbert and Sullivan clip also featuring Ainsley.

Oh and when Toby demands Mendozza from some local plod.

Actually I'd upload the first four seasons plus season 7

Agree with Paul it lost its way seasons 5&6 but even at its worst WW was better than most offerings on tv.

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Abby: You can say it, you know. It's not like I haven't heard it, before.

Josh: Your husband's a real son of a bitch, Mrs Bartlett.

Abby: He doesn't like being handled.

Josh: I think if he looked around, he'd see nobody is handling him.

Abby: He's not ready yet, Josh. He's terrified.

Josh: Well, is he going to be ready?

Abby: You bet your ass he will.

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[frustrated at not being able to get a Bible he likes for his swearing in] Okay, you know what? Washington didn't bring his own Bible, he just assumed one would be provided, which, frankly, isn't unreasonable. Guy wants you to swear an oath on a Bible, he 'ought to be packing a Bible. Washington didn't bring one; he just assumed one would be provided. Just common courtesy, I think. "Place your hand on this Bible. And, oh, can I borrow your Bible?" That's not right.

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Guest Numero Veinticinco

Some great dialogue writing, mate. Top stuff. Bartlett is right up there as one of the best characters in TV. Knowing as we do that he wasn't meant to be in it much is almost unthinkable.

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