Review of "The West Wing" Seventh Season From The TV MegaSite
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Review by Suzanne 11/14/06

The West Wing - The Complete Seventh Season

I watched "The West Wing" off and on for years...I always loved it, but sometimes I would miss some episodes and get lost about the relationships on the show and stop watching, only to pick it up again later. I watched the last two seasons religiously and enjoyed them. It seemed like the show had lost its way but found it by the end of the 6th season when they started on the campaign trail.

The last season was particularly fascinating because it was half about the election (including the "enemy camp" - the Republicans) and half about the "old guard" getting ready to leave the White House. Some great characters were introduced the last two years, especially Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Vinick (Alan Alda).

The West Wing has always been a fantasy show for Democrats. The show started in 99, and the Republicans took over in real life in 2000, so it coincided well. Even though we had a Republican president in real life, we had a Democrat as president on The West Wing. Not only a Democrat, but a liberal one at that. How many of us liberals wouldn't want either Martin Sheen or his alter ego Bartlett as President? And by the time of the 2004 election, we woudl be happy to have just about anyone but Bush. By the time they introduced Smits and Vinick, we were all wishing that either of them could be president instead (or even, you know, any random person on the street).

Even though the show is well-written and well-acted, with snappy yet intelligent dialogue, it's main purpose has always been to give us what we want. And by us, I mean liberals. There is no way that a pro-choice Republican that doesn't go to church would win the Republican nomination in this day and age, yet it was still great fun to watch Vinick become the Republican choice on The West Wing. It was almost hard to know who to pull for in the last season because they were both so great.

The high point of the season was the "live debate" between the two candidates. This was a real-life debate where the actors had to debate each other live, and it really worked. And again, we were all wishing that the real-life candidates could be as intelligent, articulate, and honest as the ones on The West Wing. And when Santos gave his speech defending "liberals", we all wondered, why can't the real-life candidates say something like that? It's great to have that debate on the DVD (although I did already record it and save it to DVD). the DVD has a special feature all about the live debate with a multi-angle view from the truck as the diector calls the episode. That is definitely worth watching for any TV fan. I wish there were more special features, though. It does come with a nice little booklet with pictures and descriptions of each episode.

The show is awesome, the writing is awesome, the acting is awesome. If you are a staunch Republican, you may still enjoy the writing, the acting, and the political intrigue. If you are not political, it might be enjoyable to you as well. If you enjoy soap operas, you might like the show for that aspect as there are plenty of relationships explored as well. If you are a Democrat or liberal who somehow missed the last season, buy this DVD! You will not be sorry.

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Updated 11/14/06 


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