The West Wing: Season 1 (1999 - 2000)


Season 1
The West Wing

Critics Consensus

The West Wing is a gripping fantasy of lawmakers and government operatives looking to make a difference, presenting an idealized vision of politicking that audiences can strive toward.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 46

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 185

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 22, 1999

The president (Martin Sheen) and his White House staff make up an eclectic group; with John Spencer, Brad Whitford, Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Rob Lowe, Moira Kelly.

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Air date: Sep 29, 1999

Seaborn (Rob Lowe) ignores warnings from co-workers and pursues a relationship with a call girl (guest star Lisa Edelstein); C.J. (Allison Janney) involves herself in a public dispute between the president and vice president (Martin Sheen, Tim Matheson). Ruben Santiago-Hudson also gue.

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Air date: Oct 6, 1999

After an American jet is downed in the Mideast, President Bartlet urges an attack that could result in thousands of casualties.

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Air date: Oct 13, 1999

The chief of staff (John Spencer) seeks five more House votes to get a bill passed restricting the sale of automatic firearms.

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Air date: Oct 20, 1999

Josh is troubled when he receives privileges denied to most White House co-workers; Toby opposes President Bartlet's plans for a California trip.

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Air date: Nov 3, 1999

Toby and Mandy work to convince some congressmen to approve a commerce bill that includes a census provision.

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Air date: Nov 10, 1999

Amid the festivities of a fancy state dinner, the president (Martin Sheen) keeps his eye on multiple problematic situations; a reporter (guest star Timothy Busfield) flirts with C.J. (Allison Janney); Sam's (Rob Lowe) call-girl friend makes an appearance.

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Air date: Nov 17, 1999

The president's political rivals threaten the future of his banking bill; Leo isn't pleased having his daughter date Sam; a reporter tries to woo C.J.

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Air date: Nov 24, 1999

A clash of ideologies forces the president to have second thoughts on nominating a favorite judge to the Supreme Court; accusations of substance abuse hit the White House staff.

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Air date: Dec 15, 1999

As the president (Martin Sheen) leaves the White House to do some Christmas shopping, Toby (Richard Schiff) finds out about a war hero who died alone; a persistent reporter (guest star Timothy Busfield) begins to win over C.J. (Allison Janney) for a date.

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The West Wing: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Martin Sheen
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet

Actor
John Spencer
Chief of Staff Leo McGarry

Actor
Rob Lowe
Sam Seaborn

Actor
Bradley Whitford
Dep. Chief of Staff Josh Lyman

Actor
Richard Schiff
Communications Dir. Toby Ziegler

Actor
Allison Janney
Press Secretary Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Actor
Moira Kelly
Mandy Hampton

Actor
Dulé Hill
Charlie Young

Actor
Janel Moloney
Donna Moss

Actor
John Amos
Percy Fitzwallace

Guest Star
Elisabeth Moss
Zoey Bartlet

Guest Star
Timothy Busfield
Danny Concannon

Guest Star
Suzy Nakamura
Cathy

Guest Star
Renee Estevez
Nancy

Guest Star
Kathryn Joosten
Mrs. Landingham

Guest Star
NiCole Robinson
Margaret

Guest Star
Kim Webster
Kim

Guest Star
Devika Parikh
Bonnie

Guest Star
Kris Murphy
Katie Witt

Guest Star
Aaron Sorkin
Executive Producer
Thomas Schlamme
Executive Producer
John Wells
Executive Producer
Ken Olin
Director
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Critic Reviews for The West Wing: Season 1

Audience Reviews for The West Wing: Season 1

  • Apr 11, 2022
    Satisfying television with heart and intelligence
  • Jun 25, 2020
    Excellent cast. It was an idealized view of what apparently Hollywood thinks that Democrat politicians are, which is not based in reality that the last few years have clearly revealed. It seems kind of bland because of that since real life political drama is far more exciting.
  • Jun 13, 2020
    Although I am a great fan of Aaron Sorkin, and I know this was the TV series who made it famous, and despite I appreciate the accute dialogs, the episodes look so light to me, maybe because they lack of conflict in this too idealistic vision of the politics. At the moment, I have seen 5 episodes, and I don't know if I would see any more.
  • Dec 13, 2019
    Some of the best TV every written or produced. The pilot alone sets a very high bar, and by the 5th episode, you know this is gonna be awesome.
  • Feb 19, 2019
    As a Republican: Aaron Sorkin is a literary genius, and i'll watch anything this man shells out. On his worst day, he is at a lot of peoples best days.
  • Jun 11, 2018
    dramatic propaganda about far left democrats in the only universe in which their policies actually work--the land of make believe. Masturbatory propaganda one would only expect from a totalitarian regime..
  • Nov 17, 2017
    Sharp and witty, but still able to carry emotion
  • Aug 07, 2017
    It is unusual that I score something so high, especially a piece of television. But in this first season of the West Wing, Aaron Sorkin has created a truly outstanding political drama. As with any television programme, a few episodes are needed for the West Wing to find its feet; but, once it does, my God, this show delivers. Telling the tale of Democrat, Jed Bartlet's fictional White House, The West Wing is a delightfully fast-paced, intellectual (yet not pompously so) and frenetic show, tackling contemporary American politics head on, as well as establishing and developing on an interesting, likeable and compatible cast of characters. Rare is to see a television season without a duff episode, but this first season of the Emmy-winning drama jumps this hurdle with ease providing a plot that stretches over the season with delightful single episode narratives in between. The season finale is also exceptional, heart-wrenching and dramatic. The season finds its real strength, however in its cast. With the exception of Moira Kelly's Mandy Hampton (who Sorkin realised was a non-character and dropped after this season), the show's cast work very well together as an ensemble, helping to enhance the walk and talk style of the show. The whole cast are worthy of notable mentions so I must applaud them all for fear of making this review too long. The style of the show takes some getting used to, being very frenetic, yet once it is second nature it only enhances the show further, showcasing the true mania of the Bartlet administration delightfully. Sorkin's first season of The West Wing is simply fantastic; it's clever, it's funny, it's relevant. it's thoughtful and it's simply just well-written, well-directed and well-made as a whole. I can only hope that this show does not drop in quality over the next six years! Great television.
  • Feb 25, 2017
    As a fan of political fare in general, I gave "The West Wing" a try because it was so highly ranked. I am a huge fan of "24" and "Homeland" and was looking for something else politically-minded to dive into. What I found, however, is that even though this is a decent show, it isn't "must see" television by any means. For a basic plot summary, "The West Wing" (at least in this first season) is the story of a new presidential administration in the White House under President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen). The main cast of characters includes... -Leo McGarry (John Spencer), Chief of Staff -C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney), Press Secretary -Charlie Young (Dule Hill), Personal Aid To The President -Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), Deputy Chief of Staff -Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), Communications Director -Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), Deputy Communications Director -Mandy Hampton (Moira Kelly), political consultant The basic format of each episode consists of a problem (or number of problems) that must be solved in the hour time-frame. The show is probably best known for its frenetic, "walk-and-talk" format as the key players pound the White House carpet back and forth. There is also always a bit of character development in each episode, with some cast members featuring more heavily into the plot during some weeks than others (classic ensemble cast). The main positive about "The West Wing"? Each week, the show presents a scenario that could indeed happen in the real world. It then portrays the way a fictional administrative (loosely Democratic in nature during this season) would handle such a situation. This is very different from the Jack Bauer or Homeland-esque style of political drama that current viewers are a bit more accustomed to. These are stories (at least so far) about "the world before terrorism", which of course makes sense considering it premiered in 1999. Why the three-star rating then? Well, unfortunately I don't consider that formula to be "must see TV", or at least not enough for me to get excited about watching it. I really got into the first 7-10 episodes, but after that my interest really started to wane (by the end of the season it had become a chore to watch). I want to say this is because the episodes "got worse", but I don't think that was the case. I actually think it was because the format didn't change enough to keep me interested. It was "the same thing" over and over again. Simply put, it is a "case of the week" procedural that just happens to take place in the White House. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the more serial aspect of TV programs in recent years, but the fact is that I lost interest in "The West Wing" very quickly. I know that it is a well-made show created with lots of care by Aaron Sorkin, but I wonder if perhaps it is more a show for its times. I could see myself coming back for the Second Season at some point, but for now I will be moving on to other fare. I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of others about how this First Season fits into the overall context of the show. Does it stay pretty much the same all the way throughout, or do they go to more plot/character arcs in subsequent campaigns?
  • Jan 13, 2017
    As with most TV dramas, you need to give The West Wing some episodes in order to unfold what is at the heart of the show. What we witness is a group of people infuriated with the status quo, yet, by continuing to abide to current conditions, end up being those most responsible for why the status quo does not change. They find solace in small victories, in order to compensate for the larger losses they do their best to swallow. The Republican Party, mainstream press, congresspeople and ambassadors looking for raises, and even the Vice President are not too fond of President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), and they test how willing he is to compromise for the sake of keeping Democratic majority in Congress and a second term for his presidency. Throughout several months in the early stages of Bartlet's presidency, we get a glimpse at how trust within the primary set of staff is tested, despite everyone being very good and loyal friends. Fantastic performances from everyone, with the standout cast members certainly being Martin Sheen as President Bartlet and John Spencer as Leo McGarry, White House Chief of Staff whose impeccable dedication to his work is his saving grace for an objectively shaky personal life. Some episodes are more frivolous than others, and some can be downright preachy, but there still remains strong focus in the aforementioned themes. I have faith in the show continuing to improve upon itself.

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