The West Wing: Season 1

The West Wing: Season 1

The West Wing: Season 1

The Golden Globe-winning series from heralded screenwriter Aaron Sorkin follows the lives of admin staffers in the West Wing of the White House. Martin Sheen won a Globe for his performance on the show while Allison Janney, John Spencer and Bradley Whitford each picked up an Emmy.



The senior members of the White House staff are summoned to the office early in the morning to handle difficult situations: Hundreds of Cubans are on their way across the Atlantic Ocean in search of... MORE freedom; and klutzy President of the United States Josiah Bartlet accidentally sprained his ankle riding a bicycle into a tree.


Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

The Vice President refuses to fall in line with Bartlet. Sam discusses the problem of Laurie with Josh and Toby. Bartlet hires Mandy as his consultant.


A Proportional Response

Still enraged at Morris's death, Bartlet makes a show of deadly force. C.J. is upset about being kept out of the loop about Laurie. Josh hires Bartlet's new personal assistant.


Five Votes Down

Five votes keep a very important gun-control bill from being passed and the staff has 72 hours to track down the errant congressmen. Toby is accused of manipulating the stock market by having a friend... MORE testify to Commerce on internet stocks. Leo's wife gets fed up with his long hours.


The Crackpots and These Women

The staffers spend the day ("Big Block of Cheese day") dealing with private organizations, aka the crackpots. Throughout the day, Sam deals with a UFO nut, CJ gets a proposal to build a wolves-only road,... MORE Toby and Bartlet clash over everything, and Josh is overwhelmed by guilt regarding his sister's death.


Mr. Willis of Ohio

Toby and Mandy push for a commerce bill with a census-counting provision, with three votes as the deciding factor. Sam tutors CJ on the finer points of the census. Josh & Sam take Charlie out... MORE for a beer and are joined by Zoey and Mallory.


The State Dinner

The president of Indonesia is honored at a state dinner. The staff deals with Hurricane Sarah, a potential teamster strike, and a raid involving children in Idaho while a reporter flirts with CJ.



Bartlet and Hoynes argue in front of the Cabinet. CJ fends off Danny's advances when she suspects he's after a big story. Mallory asks Sam out. The staff leaps hurdles to pass a banking bill.


The Short List

Bartlet struggles to name a nominee to the Supreme Court when the perfect nominee turns out to be not so perfect. A congressman attacks the staff, claiming that 1 in 3 use drugs.


In Excelsis Deo

Toby tries to arrange a proper funeral for a homeless veteran. Josh and Sam try to set up a preemptive strike against Lillienfield, who is attacking Leo because of his prior drug and alcohol problem.... MORE CJ tries to get the staff to revisit the hate crimes issue. Bartlet sneaks out to do some last minute shopping.


Lord John Marbury

War breaks out between India and Pakistan and Bartlet consults with Lord John Marbury. Toby accuses CJ of being too friendly with the press when she objects to being kept in the dark. The staff... MORE realizes that Lillienfield's efforts to bring down Leo are going to get ugly when Josh gets a subpoena.


He Shall, from Time to Time

Bartlet collapses before his first State of the Union address. Leo publicly admits to his former alcoholism and drug abuse. Things get interesting romantically for both Sam and CJ. Lord John Marbury helps the staff... MORE negotiate an agreement between India and Pakistan.


Take out the Trash Day

Josh and Sam are able to make a bargain to keep Leo from going through a hearing, at the expense of a new sex education report. Mandy doesn't think a couple should be present at... MORE the signing of a new hate crimes bill instigated by the death of their son. Toby contends with some of PBS's detractors.


Take This Sabbath Day

After the Supreme Court refuses to stay the execution of a convicted murderer, Bartlet has forty-eight hours to decide whether or not to commute the sentence. Josh faces off with Joey Lucas about his staff's... MORE not backing her candidate as vigorously as she'd like.


Celestial Navigation

Toby and Sam travel to Connecticut to get Roberto Mendoza released from jail; Josh must run a press briefing when CJ has an emergency root canal.


20 Hours in L. A.

Bartlet and the senior staff fly to California to attend an important fundraiser. Hoynes must decide whether he will support Bartlet's stance or go with his convictions when the Senate is deadlocked on an ethanol... MORE tax bill.


The White House Pro-Am

Abbey keeps the staff busy with the fallout when she leaks her personal preference for a Federal Reserve Board appointment and discusses child labor on a talk show, prompting a Congresswoman to offer an amendment... MORE which could shoot down the entire international tariff bill. Charlie's date with Zoey is cancelled because of threats by a white supremacist group.


Six Meetings Before Lunch

Mendoza is confirmed by the Senate; Mandy needs Toby's help to replace a dead panda bear; Sam angers Mallory when she reads a position paper that he wrote supporting school vouchers; Josh meets with Jeff... MORE Breckenridge, who is irritating certain Congressmen with his stance on slavery reparations.


Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

Mandy's old memo about Bartlet administration weaknesses surfaces; Josh tries to get administration nominees appointed to the Federal Elections Committee; Sam works to get a better policy on gays in the military.


Mandatory Minimums

Andrea Wyatt insists that mandatory minimums be added to a new drug policy the staff is developing; C.J. makes a mistake and sets them back.


Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Bartlet gets closer to making the FEC campaign finance reform-friendly, but his opponents strike back by making Sam's former dalliance with the call girl public knowledge; CJ waits anxiously for the administration's approval rating.


What Kind of Day Has It Been

The staff deals with the crisis of an American pilot who was shot down in Iraq; Toby's brother is in danger on a space shuttle whose doors won't close; Bartlet and the senior staff walk... MORE into trouble as they leave a town meeting.

The West Wing: Season 1 / Reviews

The New York Times

The New York Times

That still makes the series more daring than most of what's on television; the problem is, its creators know that and the show's self-satisfaction becomes annoying. The floundering first episode (the only one available for preview) is sometimes smart, sometimes stupid, eventually gooey and, despite its sharp cast, not often entertaining. One of the season's most hyped and anticipated series, The West Wing is by far its biggest disappointment.

Full review
Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

One of The West Wing's executive producers is ER's John Wells, and the new series replicates that show's swooping cameras and frenetic pace. Combine this visual style with a slightly toned-down version of the overlapping dialogue Sorkin uses in his other series, ABC's Sports Night, and you've got one zippy little hour. That's good, because when you stop and examine each plot strand, the show starts to unravel.

Full review