Follow the drama when the government is temporarily passed from a Democratic Administration to the Republican Speaker of the House, as President Bartlet copes with the kidnapping of his youngest daughter, Zoey.
Five stars for the best tv show ever, could be a long time before we see its equal!
Meghan A. (bookreadera) Reviewed on 1/7/2010...
Compared to most television programs, The West Wing: Fifth Season is great TV. Compared to the first four seasons, not so much. Still, I'll be adding this to my keeper shelf as it is worthy of rewatching.
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Not the disaster it is made out to be
James Walsh | Dublin, Ireland | 07/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Of course Season 5 of The West Wing was different. Losing (or dropping) Aaron Sorkin was a major problem for the series as it was his vision and tone which had guided it through its first four sucessful seasons. However the backlash against the series from some fans was completely over the top. To them Sorkin could do no bad and John Wells & Co. could do no good.
There were problems in style at the start of the season. The main worry expressed by fans at the changeover was that the series would become soap opera and relationship based rather than content/issue driven. Instead the series went the complete other way and became far too heavy and dark, as if the writers needed to prove their dramatic creditenials. A lot of the wittiness and humour of the dialogue disappeared in the first couple of episodes as the new writers struggled to understand the characters and find a level that could be both funny and serious at the same time.
However from mid-season (around the execellent "Shutdown" episode) the series began to find its feet again and began to deliver episodes of quality some of which would have no problem with being matched against their Sorkin counterparts. In particular the standout "Supremes" episode is as good as the show had ever been.
By the end of the season a new level had been found. It may not have soared to some of the dizzying heights that the series had under Sorkin. There were still bad episodes but there had been bad episodes in earlier seasons. However The West Wing was still a damn sight better than practically any other television series around capable of being clever, funny, intriguing and thoughtprovoking at the same time."
Cry me a river. Build a bridge and GET OVER IT
soozeq54 | Lafayette CO | 06/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The majority of the fans vilify Season 5, in reviews and chat rooms. Yes there were changes and some of the transitions were choppy. But, please not all of Seasons 1-4 were pearls of wisdom. Starting with the kidnapping of Zoe with no apparent reason other than to create a cliffhanger for the end of the season. The resolution to that story was poor at best with the only shining moment being the 'amazing act of patriotism and fairly common act of fatherhood' by relinquishing the presidency. On to Season 5. Was no one moved by the episode 'Han' about the Korean pianist who wanted to defect and the moral and political struggles that caused? Ended only by the pianist choosing the greater good. 'Shutdown' where Bartlett refused to be held hostage again by the same bunch that had forced Bingo Bob on him and by the way refused to be held hostage by some of his own staffers. 'The Benign Prerogative' about the pardoning process and the damage that mandatory minimums has caused in our country. 'An Khe'- 'corruptio optima pessima' friendship, betrayal and government contracts. CJ's performance in 'Full Disclosure' was one of the best she's given. 'The Supremes'was as good as anything Sorkin ever did. Any group, real or fictional, changes and grows. People learn grow, make horrible mistakes and great strides. Did everyone expect everything to stay the same? I miss the oratory ("the streets of heaven are too crowded tonight") but these speeches are getting better. The fan base that moans and rend their shirts over Lord Sorkin's departure need to keep some of that sense of wonder that the show originally brought to us all. These fans remind me of the Rockies fans who still talk about Joe Girardi's trade. "
West Wing Season 5
Alan Kirk | UK | 05/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being from the UK I already own this DVD, We do get them earlier than the US does, on average it's about 6 months earlier, however the US versions get extras when they are released, whereas the UK and other parts of the worlds versions do not get any.(Also ours tend to be about twice as expensive!) So it's a tough decision wether to get it early without extras or wait and get them.
As far as the season goes, sure it is different from the first four, it was always going to be after Aaron Sorkin left. The season opener is fantastic, the piece of music at the end will give you that same feeling as any of the best moments of the last four years.
Over all that are some great moments in this season; there are some weak moments too, but this is still the best written, best acted, witty, intelligent and engrossing piece of television around at the moment. (Oh yeah, the moment with big bird is hilarious) "
Strictly a quality in manufacturing issue.
Simple Simon | 12/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are enough reviews involving the quality of content for this excellent show, you don't need mine. My gripe is with the packaging. I prefer the fold-out style of the first three seasons. The fourth and fifth season cases are less appealing. The fifth actually fell apart in my hands upon opening. Binding plastic sleaves with tape; "hey thats quality!". Enough said, I yield the floor."
Season Five...fumbling a bit
a fan of education | Washington, DC | 01/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
West Wing Season 5 shows clearly the departure of the talented Sorkin and Schlamme team. Nonetheless, the ensemble cast is so strong and compelling that the show lives on. Janney deserves more credit for her brilliant, complex portrayal of C.J. - an addictively watchable unfolding story of a brilliant woman with a lot of power which she wields responsibly. Whitford does yeoman's work as the probably very life-like Josh Lyman but is somewhat laughable as a nearly 50-year old man playing a thirty-something wearing a suit and carrying a ridiculously incongruous backpack. John Spencer made acting the part of Leo look easy, but his seamless elegance must have been the product of a lifetime of work. His face and voice logged a thousand miles and every scene he played was a brilliant character piece. I don't know what they will do without him! The editorial reviewers for this site should be ashamed of their illiterate staff. I count several glaring typos in the very brief blurb describing Season Five of The West Wing. That's "Bingo Bob," not "Bongo Bob and it's Leo McGarry, not McGRarry. Nice tribute to departing Jonathan Schlamme - you couldn't even bother to spell his name right. Doesn't anyone care about publishing standards on the Internet? I don't think mis-spellers ought to be granted space on billboards or web pages."