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The West Wing
The West Wing

For a long time a walk-on part in The West Wing was the pinnacle to which all jobbing TV actors aspired. Smart and funny, Aaron Sorkin's political drama showcased the writer's gift for rapid-fire dialogue and layered, politically resonant storylines, proving that television can be funny and insightful all at the same time. The series took a temporary downturn after Sorkin's departure at the end of season four but rallied soon after with a number of surprising changes to both character roles and format. It all came to a natural close at the end of President Bartlet's second term in office but The West Wing remained one of the most intelligent shows on television throughout its run and a comforting image of what a more benevolent White House could look like.

Best Episode
Two Cathedrals (Season 2, Episode 22). The episode with Mrs Landingham's funeral and the closing scene on the podium where Bartlet decides to run for re-election.

Did You Know?
The president was originally written as a minor character with little actual screen time. Audience reaction to Martin Sheen was so positive, however, that he soon became a leading role.

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