Before my mass media class, I had never seen an episode of The West Wing. Because the show aired over 10 years ago I was hesitant as to whether or not I would enjoy the show. Although some might argue that all good shows are timeless, I don’t believe that is the case for every show. Sometimes shows become outdated and irrelevant depending on how long the time gap is from airing to re-watching. I have to say, that aside from outdated jokes (expected), I thought the show was still enjoyable years later from the kick off. This is the type of show that if I watched it during its original air date I wouldn’t have even liked it, forget understand it.
Without knowing much about the show I had a small idea of what it would be about just because of the buzz circulating about it over the years. Just by the first episode I can’t sit here and say whether or not I would like something like this but I got a few first impressions. I thought the script was quick and funny for the most part. In my opinion, a script can be amazing but it won’t mean anything unless you have good actors involved. Fortunately for The West Wing, they are equipped with a number of talented actors who help the show move along at an enjoyable speed.
When a show releases a pilot they have a lot of things to take into account. First impressions are important and it is vital to have your pilot hit certain levels in order to assure yourself the ratings and a fan following. The pilot of The West Wing, for me, was a success. I felt like they did a good job with giving the audience a foundation of what’s to come and who will be there to show us along the way. I thought the writers did a great job with introducing the setting and of course the characters. I like how it felt like we were somewhat a fly on the wall in what seemed like a typical day at the White House. I thought the idea of a minor conflict within this episode was a good route to take because it allowed us to see the characters live their regular lives without too much attention being focused elsewhere.
I appreciate the flow of the story line and I tip my hat off to the writers because it comes off almost effortlessly. It takes real talent to SHOW the audience things instead of telling us and it also makes the show fun to watch for the viewer. I have experience in both acting and writing and I was thoroughly impressed with the dialogue. I give most of the credit to the writers but it takes a true actor to deliver and it seems the cast was made for their roles.
Overall, I was impressed by this “old” television show. My favorite part would have to be when the Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn spends the night with a call girl, and then accidentally tells the White House Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry’s daughter, Mallory O’Brien, about it not knowing whose daughter she was. I didn’t expect the show to be funny and have all of the elements of a great show but as they always say, expect the unexpected.