A critique of the television show "The West Wing". Classifies the show as a melodrama with discussion of the genre.

Essay by upplepopUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2003

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The West Wing

The show that I have chosen to critique is The West Wing, which is shown on NBC, Wednesdays at 9:00. The first episode that I watched is called Hartsfield's Landing. It broadcasted on Wednesday, February 27 2002.

The West Wing was created by producers Aaron Sorkin ("A Few Good Men"), Thomas Schlamme ("Tracey Takes On") and John Wells ("ER"). This episode was directed by Vincent Misiano. It stars Rob Lowe ("St. Elmo's Fire"), Dule Hill, Allison Janney ("American Beauty"), Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff ("Relativity"), John Spencer ("L.A. Law"), Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen ("Apocalypse Now"). For its debut season (1999-2000), "The West Wing" was honored with nine Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, which it won again in 2001. It holds the record for most Emmys won by a series in a single season (its first). Other awards include a Peabody Award for excellence in television, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama Series and three Television Critics Association Awards (official site).

In the first episode I watched, "Hartsfield's Landing", President Bartlet (Sheen) returns from a visit to India to face a major foreign affairs issue. The Chinese government wanted to practice war scenarios where they would invade Taiwan. China threatened this because Taiwan was going to test weapons they bought from the United States. While in his trip to India, the President acquires some chess sets that he gives to his staff. As the President is playing games of chess with his staff (his friendly games used as a metaphor for his diplomatic strategy game he is playing with China) he decides to bluff and send several Destroyers to Taiwan. Meanwhile, it is the night of the New Hampshire primary elections. Hartsfield's Landing is the first city to vote, and...