5.0 out of 5 stars No Complaints
West Wing is an excellent series with superb acting.
I have nothing more to say but this stupid review thing wants more words so here they are. :-)
Published 7 months ago by Neil Toner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for content, 1 star for construction
I do not think it is necessary to describe how awesome the first season of this show was, but it is necessary to say how crappy the DVD's are constructed. They are double sided (old style) which can lead to a lot of scratches if you aren't very careful with them.
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by John Porter
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5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say, it "Wow",
By A Customer
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)I was skeptical about buying the series before I've even seen it but I've always been a fan of movies with a theme like this one. "The American President", for example. While deployed with the US Military, I took a chance and didn't buy just the first season, but both season I and II at once. I was hooked within the first few minutes of the pilot episode. The mix of drama, suspense and humor have been done with expert precision and I couldn't wait until I saw the next episode. The clifhanger from season I to II had be ripping the disk from my computer just to plow the next one in. All I can more is I really wish Season III was available as I have so much more time deployed and really want to watch more of this show. Several of us at work are now watching it as well. This show has my backing!
5.0 out of 5 stars Widescreen would be a travesty,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)This series is, of course, the best on TV. I can't add anything to the praises in other reviews, but I will repeat that the writing and camera work are without equal. That said, I need to correct some misunderstandings. Comparing it to the Simpsons, as one reviewer did, is silly; it's like comparing Robin Williams's standup routines to Kenneth Brannagh's Henry V. Both are brilliant, but they're entirely different creations, and are incomparable. Second, calling for a widescreen release of Season One is clear evidence of ignorance. Season One was shot for 1:33-1 showing; it was only in the second season that it was shot for widescreen. This collection is as it was meant to be seen. As for the extra (or lack thereof), with a show of this quality, extras are just that: extras. The show alone is worth the price.
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Dramas Ever To Grace TV Screens!,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)I, like many other people, am very glad Aaron Sorkin created "The West Wing". Seasons 1 through 4 of the series (written by Mr. Sorkin) represent, in my view, the best drama program on commercial television since ...... umm ...... give me a few months and I might be able to come up with something (but it won't be an easy assignment).
It would be extremely difficult indeed to come up with a TV series that had a rookie season as spectacular as "The West Wing". Each and every one of the 22 first-season episodes located on this 4-Disc DVD collection is truly memorable. Not a bad apple in the bunch, in my opinion -- which is remarkable for any series that was just getting its feet wet.
This tremendous batch of programs includes "Five Votes Down", "Enemies", "In Excelsis Deo", "A Proportional Response", and "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet". These episodes, and all the others in this 1999-2000 campaign, are so darn good, I felt like re-watching each one of them two minutes after viewing them via these DVDs.
The crafting of each episode is absolutely remarkable and worthy of high praise. The effort (and obvious care and precision) that goes into shooting just one scene is amazing. Take for instance one of the very first scenes ever filmed (for the Pilot; which is discussed by actor John Spencer in one of the very informative Making-Of documentary pieces contained on Disc 4 of this set) -- As Mr. Spencer explains in the featurette, the scene in question (one of those long, walking-the-White-House-corridors-while-talking-a-mile-a-minute type of scenes, a "West Wing" speciality) was originally written by Aaron Sorkin to be EIGHT different shots! But, instead, they filmed it as just ONE continuous "hallway walking" scene....and it's simply amazing.
The acting on "The West Wing" is equal to the excellent writing of Mr. Sorkin. Every character is drawn well and realized to their full potential by the great collection of actors and actresses that were assembled for this TV series. It's very difficult (I would imagine) for ANY "West Wing" fan to choose his or her "favorite" character on this show. They're ALL favorites. They're ALL that good.
We're not likely to see a TV program this well done for a long, long time. And it's a privilege now to be able to own these hall-of-fame-caliber shows on the DVD format.
These episodes look and sound just fine on DVD. Video is in the originally-aired television ratio of 1.33:1. (NOTE: Season Two's DVD set goes to Widescreen, even though that season, like this first season, was also originally shown in the Full-Frame (1.33:1) ratio. Season #2, however, WAS "composed" through the camera lens for EITHER a Full-Frame OR a Widescreen ratio presentation. And Season 2, just like #1, looks great on DVD.)
Sound comes from Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround tracks. Even though the shows are Full-Frame here, the Menus are anamorphic in nature.
A very nice bundle of Special Features is served up here, including Audio Commentaries for five episodes (in which Aaron Sorkin participates). Many other bonuses are located on Disc 4. Here's a look ...........
>> Two terrific behind-the-scenes Making-Of documentaries, entitled "The Primaries" (17 minutes long) and "The Inauguration" (29 minutes), which both give us interviews with many members of the cast and crew, including Mr. Sorkin and "President Bartlet" himself (Martin Sheen). Fabulous stuff here.
>> Two other shorter featurettes are "Capital Beat" (8 minutes), which includes interviews with real-life political "consultants", who helped put a true-to-life political face on the series. And "Sheet Music" (6 minutes), which talks about the show's music.
>> 4 Deleted Scenes (total run time of just over 5 minutes). These scenes can be accessed individually, or played back-to-back via a "Play All" selection.
>> "Gag Order" -- A three-minute gag reel of bloopers and assorted oddball on-set happenings. There are a couple really funny screw-ups presented here. But this is way too short. It leaves you yearning for more. But -- it's fun while it lasts.
>> "The West Wing Suite" -- This is a montage of some scenes from Season 1 of "The West Wing", with appropriate musical accompaniment. But I'm not entirely sure what purpose this bonus is supposed to serve here. It's nice, I guess, as a kind of "trailer" for Season One. It has a running time of just under 2 minutes.
>> "Off The Record" -- This bonus segment (of 3.5 minutes duration) is a collection of outtakes from the four featurettes/documentaries on the DVD.
>> Easter Egg -- There's a nifty little 2.5-minute "Egg" hidden on Disc 4 (the "Special Features" only disc). It highlights "Manny: Head Of Security", who is in charge of keeping people off the West Wing set when scenes are being filmed. This is a really fun Easter Egg, which also shows West Wing actor Richard Schiff having fun with "Manny" while riding around aimlessly on the studio lot in a golf cart-like vehicle. Kind of neat.
You access the "Egg" by hitting your remote's Left Arrow key followed immediately by the Right Arrow key from any of the eight Special Features Menu choices on Disc #4. After performing this "Left then Right Arrow" combination you'll see a "Star" come on the screen. Pressing "Enter" or "Play" with the star on the Menu screen will access the "Manny" Easter Egg.
Overall, it's a pretty satisfying batch of supplements offered up for this boxed set. But, in the end, this DVD collection would have been worth the price even if the 4th disc of bonus materials was excluded altogether. For it's the twenty-two magnificent episodes themselves that are truly the stars here.
5.0 out of 5 stars Aaron Sorkin Turns American Blunders Into A Smash Hit Drama,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)This is a very smart written show. It is funny and has a lot of character. You easily fall in love with Martin Sheen as President Jed Barlet. The rest of the cast are also uniquely talented and fit well with each other.
C.J, Sam, Josh, Leo, and Toby are just some of the familiar faces. You will get to know and love.
You also learn quiet a bit. About what happens in the White House. The stress that comes with being the President. Really interesting family problems. That concerns for the President, his wife, and his daughter.
The other characters also have equally good story lines.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking persons TV,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)I had only seen perhaps one show, about a year ago (to catch Danica McKellar's character), before I bought the first season.
I must say this was a pleasant surprise. Well-written by Aaron Sorkin, who also wrote two Rob Reiner films "A Few Good Men" and "The American President", the depth of the political and social subject matter is very good.
As most people know, the series has garnered many Emmy awards. I believe one was for episode #10 "In Excelsis Deo", in which a homeless vet dies overnight on a park bench wearing the coat Toby (Richard Schiff) donated to the Goodwill. This deeply unnerves Toby, who is determined that "no one in the US should be left behind". In a later scene, Toby is trying to arrange to have the man buried at Arlington national cemetery with an honor guard. President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) at first is against it and asks..."Toby, if we start pulling strings like this for everybody, you don't think every homeless veteran will come out of the woodwork?" Toby replies "I can only hope, sir."
There is humor in the series as well. In one funny scene, the president had taken some medication for his bad back, and was higher than a kite. "You mean you're not supposed to take them both?"
I've just finished season two...waiting for season three.
4.0 out of 5 stars The West Wing - Intelligent Television,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)Intelligent television. It seems like an oxymoron. But, as with his earlier series Sports Night, Aaron Sorkin again shows that he can write dialogue as good or better than anyone in television today. The first season of The West Wing is cleverly crafted, fast moving, and politically idealistic. One thing many people not familiar with this drama may not realize, the earlier episodes of The West Wing were funny.
The ensemble cast works great together from day 1 as if they'd been doing it for years. Throughout season 1, you can see Rob Lowe in action at the time when he was considered a central character. Of course in susequent years, Martin Sheen and others gradually took the spotlight which ultimately led to Lowe's departure.
Good acting. Great writing. Some of the best television in the past 10 years.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)This is amazing stuff, amazing writing. I haven't heard dialog like this since "His Girl Friday". I'm a republican and I like this show!
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing despite hating politics,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)That's right--I hate politics. However, this show is utterly amazing. It's not so much about the politics and bills they're trying to pass, as it is about the human nature, and amazing fast moving dialogue.
Even if you don't like politics, give this one a shot. It's more amazing than you might think.
5.0 out of 5 stars Aaron Sorkin succeeds again...,
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)Aaron Sorkin succeeds again in creating a witty and intelligent series that will make you think about important issues and endear you to its characters. The first season presents a democratic president (with some right leaning political views) and his staff, a group of hard working, caring, yet also flawed individuals. It is edgy and fast paced, but without the need for guns, explosions, or sex.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Writing on TV,
By A Customer
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete First Season (DVD)There is no question that this entire series is the best written on TV. If you have a saterical, understated sense of humor, this is definately the series for you! If you are at all interested in politics or law, this is the series for you! If you enjoy great acting and the best ensemble casting on tv, you should definately get this (especially because Rob Lowe is still on the show in the first season)! Just GET IT!!!
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The West Wing: The Complete First Season by Don Scardino (DVD - 2003)
CDN$ 33.74 CDN$ 14.98