The West Wing: Season Five Review

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Still going strong despite the depature of head writer / creator Aaaron Sorkin


Struggling with the departure of writer/creator Aaron Sorkin, Season Five of The West Wing stands as one of the show’s weaker years. A formulaic structure belies the new writers’ attempt to give every character equal weighting (which Sorkin never bothered to do) and the show’s trademark snappy exchanges, while present, have lost a little vim.

This remains superbly entertaining TV, but is best viewed as a transitional bridge between the chaotic genius of the early years and the more structured, narratively superior Season Six. Stand-out moments include the President’s dramatic walkout in ‘Shutdown’ and that explosion in ‘Gaza’.