The Definitive History of the West Wing

There’s so much to Empire’s Definitive History of the West Wing, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s a 5-part overview of the TV show, and a really impressive amount of legwork – lots of interviews with the cast members, and a lot of behind-the-scenes details.

Fair warning: there are a lot of spoilers included. The article assumes you’ve already seen the show, but if you haven’t yet… it’s available online via both Netflix and Amazon.

While there’s a lot of great, quotable content in the article – I got stuck on this comment by Martin Sheen:

It’s the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done. Every now and then I’ll see an episode somewhere and I’m just intrigued by it. We actually did that and I was actually a part of it! I think it came at a time and it occupied a space that it might not have been possible to do before or since.

Sheen is someone that has made a lot of movies. At a quick glance, he’s been making movies longer than I’ve been alive. And for him to describe the West Wing as the most satisfying thing he’s done says a lot to me. There’s a reason why so many people seem to love this show (including me – someone who isn’t all that much into politics at all).

If you’re a fan of the show, this is a must-read. I’ve gone through it twice now, and I keep stumbling over new things I missed the first time (outside of the main article, the sidebar pieces are numerous and great). Just this morning I happened to see a thing that’s dedicated to the various fishbowls that appear on CJ’s desk!

Seventeen People – Meticulously Illustrated Tribute to One Man’s Favorite West Wing Episde
An Oral History of The West Wing

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