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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uh, where's the widescreen
This DVD would have been a 5 star rating (and it is, for the content), but the widescreen is seriously off. I'm not sure if I got a faulty one (for some reason Future Shop here in Canada had it out this weekend, though the release date's not till the 18th) but there are vertical black bars on the rolling of the credits and scenes from previous episodes, and during the...
Published on May 16 2004

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BUY THIS FROM THIS STORE
I received one copy from amazon.com last Tuesday- widescreen was not working, DVD was basically crap. Exchanged it for another one- got it yesterday- EXACT same problem. I'm returning it and getting it somewhere else. This is ridiculous.
But on the other hand- I've seen WORKING copies of the DVDs and they're awesome- what a great season!
Published on May 25 2004


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uh, where's the widescreen, May 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
This DVD would have been a 5 star rating (and it is, for the content), but the widescreen is seriously off. I'm not sure if I got a faulty one (for some reason Future Shop here in Canada had it out this weekend, though the release date's not till the 18th) but there are vertical black bars on the rolling of the credits and scenes from previous episodes, and during the actual episodes, there are no horizontal bars at all (as is usually the case with widescreen). Has anyone else experienced this bizarre flaw? (And yes, all the other widescreen DVDs I have work fine with my DVD player).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Drama at its best!, June 20 2004
By 
Cherian Abraham "FPS freak" (Richmond, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
Words cannot express the sheer euphoria that one feel after watching the season finale "Two Cathedrals". It was drama at its finest, pure unadulterated form. Heck, I would become a US citizen if it had a president and senior white house staff as what Bartlet got. It shows what we aspire our politicians to be, what we hope they would turn out to be, in the annals of power.
Aaron Sorkin has conjured up an array of characters and their stories which defy description and blows away every other show on TV. I have never loved a series such as this, Seinfeld and CSI comes close but still nowhere near The West Wing.
Once again, you dont have to be an american to enjoy what this series has to offer. It would help to understand the political scenario a bit, but you just need to be capable of enjoying a good drama. And once in a while if you forget its all fiction and actually begin waiting for the day for people with integrity and character to serve you from the West Wing, then get out there and vote them in to power.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong, June 13 2004
By 
K. Gittins (CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second 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.
Season two literally takes up where season one ended, thanks to the season one cliff-hanger ending involving an assassination attempt. Season two continues to investigate a wide range of issues - from drug-company motives and profits, political asylum for persecuted Chinese Christians, education measures, and the president's muscular dystrophy.
The series still has some humor amid the drama. In one scene, after three months, the president finally meets an attractive young Republican attorney in her White House basement office - as she is drunk and dancing and singing in her bathrobe. He gives her a greeting humorously suggested earlier by Rob Lowe - "Yeah, Ainsley. I wanted to say hello and to mention, you know, uh...a lot of people assumed you were hired because you were a blonde Republican sex kitten, and, well, they're obviously wrong. Keep up the good work."
Waiting for season three.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply great television, June 13 2004
By 
Matthew R. Stiver (Fort Worth, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
OK, so its hopelessly idealistic president leans left of center. And the score often resembles that of an afterschool special. Look beyond it, because "West Wing" is simply great television.
What made this show, and set it vastly apart from the rest of network television, from the first shot of the pilot was the peerless writing. The always witty dialogue, at equal moments sarcastic and sincere, comedic and tragic, delivered at breakneck pace is a sheer delight.
I've long felt this show to be the best comedy on TV. The moments of humor are deep, biting, and uncontrived; in other words, completely unlike any so-called "comedy" program. "And It's Surely to Their Credit" is a brilliant episode: Great humor, great drama. I laughed more often during this episode than in two entire seasons of "Friends."
Others have listed the 22 episodes. All are above average; most are excellent. Season Two has more polish than Season One; less of a liberal infomercial-feel than Season Three or Four (though Three and Four's allusions to Bush are entertaining.) This is the crème de la crème of the finest program network television has offered in the last decade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply great television, June 13 2004
By 
Matthew R. Stiver (Fort Worth, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
OK, so its hopelessly idealistic president leans left of center. And the score often resembles that of an afterschool special. Look beyond it, because "West Wing" is simply great television.
What made this show, and set it vastly apart from the muck of network television, from the first shot of the pilot was the peerless writing. The always witty dialogue, at equal moments sarcastic and sincere, comedic and tragic, delivered at breakneck pace is a sheer delight.
I've long felt this show to be the best comedy on TV. The moments of humor are deep, biting, and uncontrived; in other words, completely unlike any so-called "comedy" program. The episode, "And It's Surely to Their Credit" is a brilliant episode: Great humor, great drama. I laughed more often during this episode than in two entire seasons of "Friends."
Others have listed the 22 episodes. All are above average; most are excellent. Season two has more polish than Season One; less of a liberal infomercial-feel than Season Three or Four (though Three and Four's allusions to Bush are entertaining.) This is the crème de la crème of the finest program network television has offered in the last decade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who says people don't want smart television?, June 3 2004
By 
Eugene (Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
After viewing this season's DVD set numerous times, I'm convinced that it represents not only the best season in terms of the WW series, but also some of the finest television today. Starting off with a bang (no pun intended), we see the roots of the Bartlet campaign as Josh Lyman holds on for his life following the VA shootings that ended season 1. As the characters slowly recover from the traumatic experience, the series shifts to President Bartlet's MS and his bid to run for reelection. You get the feeling that Aaron Sorkin picked up on some of the criticisms of last season's so-called grandstanding and soapbox sermonizing, as he delved deep into the personalities of each of the cast members to show a kind of pain and longing that binds them together through thick and thin, this time through standing behind Jed as he admits to the country that he lied about his health. The season (along with Season 3's two-part opener "Manchester") takes a swooping bow into the reelection year with the kind of heart and vigor that's rarely seen by movies nowadays.
The highlights are a plenty throughout the magnificent season, peaking with the focus pieces on each staff member: Sam's father in "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going To Jail", Josh's post-traumatic stress disorder in the emmy-winning "Noel", Toby's ethical battles and toe-to-toe face off with POTUS in my personal favorite, "17 People", and a look into Jed's past with what has to be one of the most sublime and superbly acted episodes in the season finale "Two Cathedrals".
We get a gentler and smoother hand guiding us this season, a contrast to last season's desperation leading up to the semi-forced "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" that finally brought the gang ready to play. In season 2, you see a more serious and deeper exploration of above all things, a surrogate family struggling to survive and depending on eachother as things get tougher, leading up to Jed's announcement for reelection, done with such great skill that you want to cheer, you want to cry, you want more.....which is a shame, since Season 3 just can't compare to the first two...
Especially this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the season to get, May 30 2004
By 
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
Before I get to my review, I just want to say that this talk of widescreen not working for the credits is mistaken. The reason why is that the second season of the show was originally filmed in widescreen, but it was shown, at least in the US, in fullscreen. Therefore when they made the masters of the credits and the "previouslies," they were done in fullscreen. Later, in order to match them with the widescreen shows on the DVDs the fullscreen credits are "boxed" with black bands on either sides. You may or may not like the effect, but it's not a mistake, and the widescreen does work, if you watch the actual show.
Now, to get to my actual review, the second season of "The West Wing" is simply some of the best television ever made. If you can only own one season, this is the one to get. The season is bookended by some of the best episodes of the entire series, with gems such as "Shibboleth," "Noel," and "Somebody's Going to Emergency..." in between. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll learn, but most of all these episodes are just a delight to watch again and again. "The West Wing" has the perfect blend of comedy and drama that is so rare in TV today. The picture and sound on this DVD set are just gorgeous. In short, I can promise you won't regret this purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Television at its finest, May 21 2004
By 
Michael S (Midlothian, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
While I may not be an experienced critic, I like to think I'm capable of distinguishing the good shows on TV from the, well, not so good shows. Put simply, The West Wing is an amazing television show which provides for a viewing experience unparalleled. As I say in my title, this is television at its finest. Without trying to sound too corny, the West Wing allows for escape--to a place larger than life (so much for not sounding too corny). To me that's what entertainment is all about though. And that's why I recommend The West Wing wholeheartedly to all of you reading this review. I don't just recommend it because the acting is amazing, though it is. Nor do I recommend it because the direction and production of the show displays such polish (It does). Even still, I don't recommend it because the writing is, at times, truly inspiring; trust me it is. I recommend it because the amazing acting, the polished direction/production, and the inspired writing all mesh together to provide for a show that is above all entertaining at its core. With that said, go buy West Wing. You won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-boggling stuff, April 16 2004
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
Aaron Sorkin is a prodigy. Nobody can write dialogue that simultaneously sounds so polished and natural like he can. He also can write well for people: his characters are believable, flawed, and heroic, and his view of the world is realistic, yet optimistic. I find myself missing my weekly dose of Sorkin's West Wing these days, but there is a prescription that can help: the West Wing DVD sets of yesteryear.
The West Wing's second season had the show really hitting its stride. The season starts in the aftermath of the previous season's cliffhanger, with the President and Josh being shot by white supremacists and everyone else struggling to get through it all. Interspersed throughout the episode (In the Shadow of two Gunmen) were flashbacks to Bartlet's presidential campaign, a framework which really worked for the episode, although I cannot put my finger on how. Then, we were off to the races. I'll never forget Bartlet's vitriolic speech to the Dr. Laura-type pundit in "The Midterms," good material to remember if you ever get engaged in a debate with someone who likes to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they like to follow. "Do I have to kill my brother for planting different crops side by side?" Great stuff. Among the rest of highlights: Emily Procter begins her recurring role as Ainsley Hayes, a Republican lawyer working in the White House and constant sparring partner for Sam. Her best episode here was "And It's Surely to their Credit," which evoked much empathy for the poor soul. Plus, an impassioned speech at the end by Sam really got the juices flowing. The episode that just blew me away was "Noel", a haunting and poignant foray into Josh's head that really showed his pain underneath the facade of composure. The scene with Yo-Yo Ma alone was unbelievably intense. Perhaps the defining moment in the season is the discovery by Toby, and subsequently everyone else, that the President has Multiple Sclerosis, which is impressively explored in the episode "17 People". The episode takes the form of a series of fiery dialogues between Toby and the President and is filled with tension, but is lightened up by its subplot of staffers trying (unsuccessfully) to come up with jokes for the President. The juxtaposition is inspired, and the episode sets up what would become a key issue in the show for the upcoming season. "Two Cathedrals" was another episode with such raw emotional power -- the president announces his M.S. and contemplates whether or not to run. The final shot alone will send chills down your spine. This was surely Sorkin's best season on the show, in terms of narrative power (and that says a lot). It's what he does best: portraying the complex and jagged emotions that pervade us, consciously and subconsciously. Lord knows I miss him. Come back, Aaron. Please! We need you now more than ever.
In conclusion, whether you're a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative (or whatever in between), this is a show that you can enjoy. This is substantial entertainment, there's comedy, but also pathos, problems to solve and the interplay of emotions, ideas, and forces outside our control. Words cannot convey my deep respect for this show (and I don't even consider myself liberal). Get it, and see television as it once was, and as it might again be one day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Series Dips Deeper, March 20 2004
By 
Eric Antonow (Palo Alto, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The West Wing: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
The last season ENDED in a brutal cliffhanger with an attempt on the President or Zoe. The last scenes were the staff and bystanders diving for cover as gunmen shot from windows in a nearby building. This season opens trying to untangle the confusion of that night and opens a rich, second season of the best drama on television. We are also treated to some great pre-first season moments, when the staff was managing Bartlet's presidential campaign. From my count there were 17 Emmy nominations this season - for writing, acting, and more - I've noted the episodes that were winners. My only complaint is that they're making us wait so long for these sets, when people overseas have had them already for almost a year - come on, it's OUR idealist leadership. But to quote the deputy press secretary, "let's forget that you're a little late to the party and just embrace the fact that you showed up"
> In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1) (*emmy)
> In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (2) (*emmy)
> The Midterms
> In This White House
> And It's Surely to Their Credit
> The Lame Duck Congress
> The Portland Trip
> Shibboleth
> Galileo
> Noël (*emmy)
> The Leadership Breakfast
> The Drop In
> Bartlet's Third State of the Union (1)
> The War at Home (2)
> Ellie
> Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail
> The Stackhouse Filibuster
> 17 People
> Bad Moon Rising
> The Fall's Gonna Kill You
> 18th and Potomac
> Two Cathedrals
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The West Wing: The Complete Second Season
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