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The West Wing: The Official Companion Paperback – Jan 8 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (Jan. 8 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743437403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743437400
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 1.8 x 27.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #535,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

I thumbed through this book in a bookstore and by the time I got home, I realized I had to own it and I was online ordering my own copy. This book is more than just a rehash of the first two seasons. We are treated to a real behind-the-scenes tour of what goes into filming the show. Talk about your West Wing trivia!
The asides from the actors on the characters they play are filled with gems of inside information. For instance, what do Brad Whitford and Janel Moloney think the roles of Josh and Donna are all about; how does Martin Sheen get the cast to treat him like the President and why is this adulation so important; and why is Allison Janney everyone's favorite? We are treated to a tour of the West Wing to fully understand the layout of the staff's offices and the dynamics of the characters in relationship to each other. Then, the decorations in the offices are explained, and nothing is so minor to be included by chance.
Sorkin claims he doesn't have a political agenda. He asks his staff to write a pro-con memo on each episode, and he is most comfortable when two people disagree. If the points are good, he incorporates them into the show's dialogue. You have to be a West Wing fan, and a pretty serious one at that, to fully appreciate this Official Companion, which brings to light the fine points of all that went into creating the first two seasons of this amazingly written and performed show.
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I know that there is a collection of scripts from the first two season of "The West Wing," including the the Emmy Award-winning episode "In Excelsis Deo," but that only offers up a half dozen scripts. This volume is "The Official Companion" to the television series created by Aaron Sorkin and covers the first two seasons of the series in a rather interesting way. Each episode is given, on average, six pages, in which the episode is described in narrative format with choices quotations and exchanges of dialogue included. I have to admit I like this approach, because it saves fans of the show from going through dozens of pages of scripts to find their favorites lines (e.g., Sam's "This is bad on so many levels" from the Pilot episode).

These 44 episode summaries are enhanced in various ways throughout this volume. There are comments from Sorkin, the cast, and even a few real former West Wing staffers highlighted in the margins, usually talking specifically about the scene they appear next to on the page. You will also find references to alternate scenes that students of the show will find fascinating. There are even footnotes: Barlet might spare his senior staff list listing all fourteen of the punctuation marks in standard English grammar, but here they get named (along with the point that Toby only knew the last seven in the list). In between episodes at various points in the volume you will find profiles of the eight principle actors and insights into the show's creation and a photo tour of the West Wing. Consequently, "The West Wing" provides both a walk down memory lane and insights into the stories, characters, and actors.
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They say that one should read the book first, then see the movie. Well, this time its the book that's living up to the show. This book is absolutely phenomenal. There are indepth recaps for each episode of Season 1 and 2. Highlights on each of the regular actors and some behind the scenes info, including a "tour" of the White House. Although I've seen each of these episodes more than once I enjoyed reading the recaps, I even found some scenes even more humurous and/or touching by reading them rather than watching them. The quotes from the Actors, Consultants, Aaron Sorkin, Tommy Schlamme, John Wells and Lewellyn Wells are fantastic - they give a great insight into the behind the scense of the show and how they feel about working with each other. The pictures are phenomenal too - there are many of them, some of onscreen footage others off screen, and not just the NBC/WB promo pictures either. I can't recommend this book enough. Its a definitely must have for all who enjoy the show.
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By A Customer on Jan. 3 2002
I can not recommend enough that fans get a copy of this book! After reading 'Inside the West Wing', I was a little skeptical about getting this book. I didn't want to get another book that said the same thing.
BUT OH, MY. This is such a great book! :) Absolutely filled to the brim with beautiful color pictures, interviews( original, not rehashed clips from previous interviews) with cast and crew, cast/character bios (great!), alternate/cut scenes, episode summaries (not half page summaries either. three or more pages that walk you through the episode and are fill up with quotes. Also, you can tell the person who wrote these summaries actually WATCHED the episodes!), a tour of the White House with GREAT pictures, and little facts not even the most die-hard fan knows!
There is so much in here! An alternate scene with POTUS and Donna that'll make you smile; a great quote from Emily Proctor that will make the Sam/Ainsley shippers out there cheer; banter between Richard and Allison that'll make you laugh out loud; John Spencer's take on his relationship with Margaret, and a million and one other things that'll you'll just have to see for yourself!
Get this book. I consider it a must have for any Wingnut!
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