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The West Wing Script Book [Paperback]

Aaron Sorkin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 3 2002 The Shooting Script
First-time publication of 8 full scripts from the hit NBC show—winner of 9 Emmy® Awards, including Best Drama writing—selected and introduced by the acclaimed show creator and screenwriter of The American President and A Few Good Men. Here is the first collection of scripts from the show's first two seasons, including the Emmy® Award-winning episode "In Excelsis Deo." The NBC show, named "TV Show of the Year" by Entertainment Weekly, stars Rob Lowe, Dule Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, John Spencer, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen. Reviewers and fans of The West Wing agree that one of the very best aspects of this series is its writing, which blends an unstoppable sense of urgency with strong character development against the background of the day-to-day activities of the highest office in the country. In this book, readers can revisit their favorite episodes, following the fictional American President Bartlet and his key White House staff, his family, and the press as they deal with the urgencies of the moment. As compelling to read as they are to watch, these scripts represent the most complete source for the writers' and creators' visions. 20 b/w photos.

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About the Author

Aaron Sorkin serves as creator, writer, and executive producer on The West Wing. He previously created and executive-produced the ABC series Sports Night, and wrote the feature films The American President and A Few Good Men.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As vibrant as the finished TV show June 25 2002
Two very important things first: this has six scripts, not the eight it was planned to and it doesn't include the episode In Excelsis Deo; also, people who have claimed that the scripts are available online are mistaken. It appears that a version of the pilot is, but the rest are transcripts. That's like comparing a symphonic score to the instructions to key music into your mobile phone. These published scripts come complete not just with deft scene-setting but also errors that give you a sense of a working document and, reproduced here as they were given to the cast, their inate sense of pacing and rhythm is kept. It's difficult not to hear the cast's voices as you read but that's a measure of how distinctive each character is and the scripts work quite marvellously on their own. Then, too, Sorkin's introduction and later short notes probably contain more information than we've had on The West Wing DVD extras here in England and if there's anything you'd wish for in the book, it would just be for a Volume 2.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Impact upon Politics in 100 Years Jan. 29 2004
Whoever thought of the idea of portraying the White House environment and its operations was truly brilliant. It is by far the most significant impact upon politics in the last 100 years if not since the creation of the nation. The ability to assess the dynamics of integrated factors and people by demystifying the office and its methods is by far its greatest contribution to American patriotism, as well as to define the obligations and problems which occur there - for any President. Its appeal to young and old alike show the power of illustration. Coming as it did near the end of the Clinton administration, it would have been wonderful to view the complications of his Presidency during it to help appreciate the criticism of Janet Reno, Madeline Albright, Robert Reich, Robert Rubin or any of the other persons who passed through that period. Viewing Stephanopoulous within that context comes rather automatic even now, in 2004, in reflection. It might also have been useful to more clearly evaluate the impact of the first female press secretary who was fired from there at the time, in light of the current makeup of the show. As it is, the most obvious benefits have accrued to the Bush White House, however, since the understanding brought to the American people because of it may prevent the degree of animosity that existed within the Clnton White House at the time, for whatever reason. To the extent that it continues to be an inspiration, as well as an adequate forum in which to air the complexity of issues, how they are handled, and how they might be handled, remains to be seen. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reruns at Your Own Pace Dec 27 2002
By Janefpl
The episodes presented in "The West Wing Script Book" were obviously chosen because they have two strong points in common. First, these are the scripts which introduce each main character in "The West Wing" and which tell the stories of how each came to travel the road that brought them to work together in Washington. Second, the scripts contain the most powerful scenes that reveal the personalities of the characters. The book includes those pivotal events such as the President's flashbacks about his relationship with his father, Toby's moral dilemma in finding out about the President's MS, Josh and Donna's reasons why each depends on the other, Sam's accidental tryst with a call girl and C.J.'s damage control with the press, Ainsley's anti-ERA speech, and Charlie's initial job interview to name only a few.
If you're a "West Wing" fan, you can now fully digest the subtlety and cleverness of the writing you may have missed during the rapid-fire pace of the show. If you are not a fan, this book is a good introduction to the dynamics of the cast and the premise of the show. These are the episodes that not only "let Bartlett be Bartlett," they are the ones that show the entire cast at its best.
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If you're smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you. This quote from Sorkin's earlier, wonderful TV venture "Sports Night" appears in the introduction to this book of teleplays from the best show in the history of TV. I'm not trying to suck up to anybody or anything, I mean that sincerely. Even if you don't plan on voting for Bartlet in the next election, there has never been a show like The West Wing but I hope, I hope, I hope that there will be more. This show proves that TV can be something more than a dumbed down interpretation of "average America" designed by networks to keep their audiences as stupid as possible. With the West Wing on the air, we have a higher order of television to live up to. As the program itself references animosity toward Bartlet because he's an intellectual snob, but their point is my point. We shouldn't be ashamed of intelligence. We shouldn't try and lower ourselves to the level of others. We should be raising our standards, otherwise how can we grow as a people? And even if you didn't go to an Ivy League school like most of the cast of characters did, you can still enjoy their company for an hour every Wednesday, or in these scripts by the greatest writer of our time, Aaron Sorkin. If you're stupid, surround yourself with smart people. Why not these people?
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!
"The West Wing Script Book" is a must for fans of this fabulous show! It's great to see the scripts and to see what the actors worked with. Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by MAB
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Sorkin is the master of the fast-paced choppy dialog, that was so popular with films in the 50's. But unlike those films, the words have more of a wit to them. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by 2wsxWSX
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Watching the Episode Without Turning on the TV!
I was so happy when the script book finally came out. Even though it only contains six scripts of Aaron Sorkin's incredible writing, it's much better than nothing at all. Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2003 by Lisa Siegel
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Review of Script and Characters
I found the West Wing Script Book to be a real page turner. Often promising my better half that I'd only read a few more pages before turning out the light, I'd be called a liar... Read more
Published on June 30 2003 by Susan E. Nelson
This excellent book, along with the Topping book, gives great details, as to what was said, especially when the actors speak in a whisper. Read more
Published on March 10 2003 by michael d. chlanda
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but book description is WRONG
DON'T get this book if you want the script for the series' best episode to date, "In Excelsis Deo" I bought it solely for that and was sorely disappointed to find out... Read more
Published on Dec 11 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for the introduction!
I love little pieces of trivia that no one else knows, which is why I bought this book. I love The West Wing, and I love reading the scripts, but honestly, there are quite a few... Read more
Published on June 22 2002 by Jenna
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