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program reviews

The West Wing

Moral Rating: usually OK
Primary Audience: Teen to Adult
Genre: Drama
Length: 1 hr.

    TV CREDITS

    Starring: Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford, John Spencer, Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, Dul Hill, Janel Moloney, Stockard Channing | Produced by: John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television

Show Synopsis: (from the producer) A behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Oval Office as seen through the eyes of its eclectic group of frenzied staffers and the devoted First Family. This sophisticated, one-hour drama series stars Martin Sheen, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford, Rob Lowe, Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, Dul Hill, Janel Moloney and Stockard Channing.

Cast of 'The West Wing'. Copyright by NBC.The series centers around New Hampshire Democrat Josiah Bartlet (Sheen), the U.S. President who exudes a country-lawyer charisma that belies his brilliance, his deep conviction and devotion to what he believes is right for the country. The First Lady Abby Bartlet (Channing) is a dedicated doctor and mother who staunchly supports her husband, but does not hesitate to put the President in his place. Among Bartlets loyal staffers are Leo McGarry (Spencer), the Presidents Chief of Staff and his closest ally and confidant. He possesses the sort of street smarts that enable him to keep in touch with the sentiments of the nation. Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Whitford) is a skilled strategist, who helped get Bartlet elected. At times he can be too opinionated for his own good, but his sarcastic assistant, Donna Moss (Moloney), is often there to take the wind out of his sails. Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (Janney) spends most of her time deflecting the press questions with grace and skill, working alongside Toby Ziegler (Schiff), the rumpled and sleepless Communications Director whose cynical sense of humor gets him through many dicey political situations. In contrast to his boss, Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn (Lowe) is a strictly political animal, easily able to craft an appropriate presidential response.

Viewer Comments   

Always OK—This is my favorite show on TV. It is so far above much of the trash that is on right now. It addresses moral and political issues that are important in a way that makes many normally mundane topics interesting. As a liberal Christian, I am impressed by President Bartlett, who I think is an attempt to show the viewer a different kind of Christian (He's a devout catholic). There are many Christians that share his (and to some extent my) views, but they are overshadowed by the more radical elements in Christianity such as Jerry Falwell. Also, the characters always try to do the right thing, and that deserves respect, whether you agree with their definition of “right” or not.
   —Drew, age 18

Usually OK --The President is telling the radio host that her using Old Testament law is wrong and hateful, he tells her by example that she should follow the New Testament. He felt she was using false Christianity and hate to stir controversy which draws her more listeners. He was defending Christ's teachings. Christ gave us the new law, putting 'Love' first.
   —Henry, age 37

Always OK—In spite of its vocal detractors, those who take time to watch the show will notice its pro-family messages as well as its deep well of patriotism and intelligence. Rob Lowe and Martin Sheen are the emotional core of this network television powerhouse. The best show on television.
   —Jordan Kendall, age 22

Caution—I don't care for this show only because of the typical left-wing ideology that is presented a fact by the scriptwriters. This show attempts to paint evangelical Christians a pig-headed and stupid. Yet paints liberals and far left persons as thoughtful, wise and somewhat enlightened. I would prefer to stay away from politically charged television shows.
   —John, age 31

Caution—I have to disagree with the "usually O.K." rating given. The times I've tried to watch, it was blatantly pro-homosexual and attempted to make a mockery out of Christians who believe against that. Plus, the shows producer is a convicted drug abuser and avid liberal that attempts to force his socialistic ideas into the hearts and homes of the American public.
   —B Ariaz, age 29

Usually OK—Any person who says that left-wing/liberal causes are not Christian should really take the time to watch this show. Jesus Christ was in many ways a liberal and many pharisee-like conservative Christians forget that. Do yourself a favor and watch the West Wing. It'll make you see both sides of an issue and be able to realize that sometimes good people can disagree on issues. Some issues aren't black and white. Sometimes Christians can be on different sides of an issue. The President, a devout Catholic often disagrees with other Christian people on important issues… but they still respect one another. A great lesson in civility.
   —James, age 28

Usually OK—Although some Christians may be offended by the sometimes liberal political thoughts of the Democrat White House portrayed, this show refers to Scripture more than any other show on network TV (excluding Touched By An Angel.) And more often than not, a viewer with an open---Jesus like heart, can have an opportunity to see both sides of an issue. The episode that showed how the Taliban is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity was awesome. Pres. Bartlet portrays a man truly struggling in a relationship with God. Sometimes people who have known church and God all their lives, forget that not all have been so fortunate. This show makes you think. It has caused me to open my Bible after episodes. It has allowed me to have opportunities to share Christ with others. Go for it. Put on your armor and watch it.
   —Joe Kennedy, age 39

Usually OK—This is a left-wing political show. If you enjoy politics, you will enjoy this show. However, be careful, because the values this show promotes are very liberal and often unbiblical…which, sadly, is reality today.
   —Esther, age 21

Avoid—I think the West Wing is the Worst Thing on tv. I've caught 3 episodes thus far and have been left feeling offended, angry and sad. The writers have made the West Wing a show targeting anyone outside if the liberal agenda as intolerant. I especially was bothered by “Shipileth”. This show is heavy on Christian so called “intolerance” and its adverse affects on the human race. It promotes sin and homosexuality and belittles the sanctity of marriage. It also offends life as we know it by announcing it's pro-choice views on abortion. Every Republican is made a doofus by the writers and the Christian church is vilified as well as made to look either like "bumbling idiots" or "close-minded fools"…
   —Billy Lavel, age 22

Usually OK—This show has definitely become my favorite over the past two years. A dynamic cast (including Bradley Whitford and Allison Janney, the most talented cast members, in my opinion), impressive writing from Aaron Sorkin, and a unique style of filming and storytelling make for a quality show. President Bartlet is a moral man who honestly struggles with his relationship with God. Many have complained of his angry words shouted at God in Latin from the second season finale, but they should notice the point later in the episode when he realizes his error. I am most impressed with the humor of this show and the way it deals with bi-partisian issues. True, it is definitely a liberal, left-wing show, but it often fairly and accurately portrays Republicans, Christians, and the right-wing. In "Shibboleth," Pres. Bartlet must decide if Chinese refugees are really facing persecution where they're from. In the episode mentioned by another reviewer, it was not the President who did wrong in stating Old Testament scriptures to come against the Dr. Laura-like radio host. The fault lies with the host, who could not come up with a better argument against homosexuality than, "well, in Deuteronomy, it says…" This show is well worth watching and entertaining on all levels… I'd recommend it to anyone interested in an intgriguing, intelligent television show!
   —Lize, age 18

Caution—I have only seen this show a couple of times, but the last episode showed the president insulting a radio talk show host who viewed homosexuality as wrong. The only Scriptures they quoted on TV were from the Old Testament. They portrayed the Bible only in context to Old Testament laws from Leviticus and Exodus. The show also portrayed implied relations between unmarried people.
   —Stacy, age 27

Usually OK—Where else can you find the Commander in Chief kneeling to pray in the Oval Office? This show takes a look at current issues and does so without apology. At the same time, some may wish to criticize the show's take on the Religious Right. Relax. The "good guys" take their falls as well as the "bad guys".
   —Andrew Cadzow, age 23