|The West Wing - The Complete Second Season
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It's never politics as usual inside this Oval Office. The President and his staff have been targeted for disruption by rival politicians soon after being targeted by would-be assassins. Yet the determined colleagues continue to serve the U.S. and its President as the administration heads through midterm elections and into a crisis that leads to allegations of criminal conduct. The West Wing's second season won the Best Drama Series Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.Running Time: 990 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: TELEVISION/SERIES & SEQUELS UPC: 085393162122
The second season of The West Wing takes up literally where the first season left off and, after a few moments of patriotic sentimentalism, maintains the series' astonishingly high standards in depicting the everyday life of the White House staff of a Democratic administration. The two-part opener covers the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt on President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), switching between the anxious wait on the injured and flashbacks to Bartlet's campaign for the Presidency. Other peaks in a series exceedingly short on lows include "Noel," the episode in which Alan Arkin's psychiatrist forces Josh Lynam to confront his post-traumatic stress disorder and the episodes in which President Bartlet, following a tragic car accident, rails angrily against God in Latin.
Other new aspects include the introduction of Ainsley Hayes, a young Republican counsel hired after she beats communications deputy Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) in a TV debate ("Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl!" crow his colleagues), as well as the revelation that the President has been suffering from multiple sclerosis. Tensions grow between him and the First Lady (Stockard Channing) as she realizes, in the episode "Third State of the Union," that he intends to run for a second term in office. It becomes clear to Bartlet that he must go public with his MS, and his staff is forced to come to terms with this, as well as deal with the usual plethora of domestic and international incidents, which apparently preclude any of them from having any sort of private lives. These include crises in Haiti and Columbia, an obstinate filibuster, and a Surgeon General's excessively frank remarks about the drug situation. Thankfully, the splendid Lord John Marbury (Roger Rees) is on hand to make chief of staff Leo McGarry's life more of a misery in "The Drop-In."
These episodes, though occasionally marred by a sentimental soundtrack and an earnest and wishfully high regard for the Presidential office, are master classes in drama and dialogue, ranging from the wittily staccato to the magnificently grave, capturing authentically the hectic pace of political intrigue and the often vain efforts of decent, brilliant people to do the right thing. The West Wing is one of the all-time great TV dramas. --David Stubbs
- Beware of Faulty Disks!!!!
This is an EXCELLENT SERIES! Like others I absolutely recommend purchasing any of the series. However, I wanted to offer a warning.
I have all of the seasons. I received them all from Amazon (most were Christmas gifts).
4 of the sets had defective disks. There would be at least one episode that you could not play without it skipping. Please make sure you watch the episodes completely within the 30 return period to be sure that there are no defective disks. Amazon is very good about replacing the set if there are defects but there is a time limit. It is hard to get through 20+ hours of tv watching in 30 days!
Also- Sets 1-3 (and maybe 4) have programming on both sides of the disks. Seasons 1 & 2 are my favorites and have been watched many times. Over time the disks seem to "split" in the center and skipping occurs now throughout the programming. There are no scratches on the disks and the skipping is inconsistant (always happens on the disks now, but not always in the same place).
This issue does not seem to occur with the later sets (programming only on one side). There is no way to replace the disks once this starts happening. If you have a way to "backup" the first few sets I would recommend it if you plan to watch them often. Not an issue if you are only likely to watch them once. ...more info
- The West Wing, Season 2
Love this show. Fantastic dialogue and the characters are great. I had issues ordering this from Amazon though. They sent me a damaged set twice which I had to return. ...more info
- West Wing
This TV series is really on target as we look to the next election. Well acted and written - it holds up well....more info
- Damaged disk
I love the tv series The West Wing. Its fast paced and current. I actually learn things from this tv show. Unfortunately one of the disks was damaged. The second disk/second episode breaks up. I had the same problem with another copy of the 2nd sesaon-second disk....more info
- Another solid season, keeps up momentum!
This series is clever, witty and the pace is fantastic. As in season 1, this series keeps the show moving and builds the characters at warp speed. No minute is wasted and you learn an enormous amount about the characters, politics and the complexity of governing and negotiation. Fantastic writing, acting-this show continues to capture my interest. Not to be missed!...more info
- Great shows unwatchable due to faulty disks
I cannot fault the series in any way other than the characters frequently talk too fast for me to hear. The writing and acting are exquisite. I tried again recently on a new DVD player to watch this season, expecting to not have the disks skip throughout the programs as they did on my older player. I was wrong. I thought to come here to see if others might have posted that they had the same problem, and I see indeed they did. It is far far too long in time to expect Amazon to replace this season, but if the skipping is a known issue, it would be nice if they would. I wonder also, was there ever a recall for this defective collection?
I imagine after all this time, the problem was quietly resolved, but I urge anyone buying this to play it right away....more info
- It's great to watch something so well written & intelligent
Well, maybe I shouldn't have rented this while it was still new -- we paid two nights worth of late fees -- but it was still worth it to feel my IQ slipping back up... At least for a little while. This is "West Wing" at its peak -- well-written, well-produced, beautifully shot and, of course, beautifully acted. Highly recommended....more info
- Defective disc
I am a fan of this show and loved the second season. However, my spouse received this DVD set as a gift and it contained a bad disc. When we contacted Amazon.com, they told us there were numerous customers with the same problem and that they were investigating it. That was months ago. Amazon.com never got back to us. I would strongly recommend against buying this on DVD until there is another DVD printing available from the distributor....more info
- The Episodes are entertaining but one of the DVD's was defective and skips.
The show is witty, informative and entertaining. However the second disk skips in episode twelve and sixteen....more info
- I love the west wing
This season is just as wonderful as the first- still brilliant and witty and intellectually stimulating. ...more info
- Amazing series, amazing season
This was one of the best TV series ever. If you like comedy, politics, and drama, you should check this out. I have the entire series on DVD and I cannot tell you how many times I've watched it. This series has massive replayability so it's worth the buy. It is also not "dumbed down" so they deal with a lot of hot-button topics and you can actually learn a little of how the government actually works and how cutthroat life is like in Washington, D.C.
The first few seasons and the last two seasons are the best. There are a good deal of special features and this season was amazing. It has a liberal bent so if you are conservative you may not like this show as much as someone who is more liberal. That said, I still high recommend this series and this first season to anyone and everyone....more info
- West Wing
We are enjoying the Season two DVDs, however, Season One was a disappointment as the last three episodes were not readable on my VCR/DVD device....more info
- Hard to stop watching
Has there ever been a season of television quite like season two of "The West Wing"? The cast and crew--masters of their crafts to start--hit their peaks here, striking a virtually perfect balance of drama and comedy, from the pulse-pounding energy of the two-part season opener, "In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen," straight through to the sheer power of "Two Cathedrals." Those two, along with "Noel" and "17 People," are easily at the top of the short list of best-ever "West Wing" episodes, and "Two Cathedrals" may very well be one of the best hours of television, ever, period.
"17 People," I'd argue, is really the quintessential "West Wing" episode. It's certainly all you need to know about Aaron Sorkin's talents as a writer: on the one hand you have the emotional gravitas of the President revealing his M.S. to a staff member (Toby) while assessing a national security threat; on the other hand you have the rest of the gang trying to "find the funny" in a boring speech. And yet the lasting emotional sting comes from the Josh and Donna storyline, in the form of some of Sorkin's greatest rapid-fire dialogue.
Favorite moments from the second season...
--The revelation, in the teaser of "In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen (Part I)," of the fallout from the first season's cliffhanger
--Bartlet presenting Charlie with a gift in "Shibboleth"
--Yo-Yo Ma in the climactic scene of "Noel"
--Josh and Sam attempting to start a fireplace in "The Leadership Breakfast"
--Meeting Oliver Platt in "Bad Moon Rising"
--The superb marriage of song and theater at the end of "Two Cathedrals"
9/11--which happened between the second and third seasons--had a strange effect on this show, in that while other forms of entertainment became escapes for us, the fictional world of "The West Wing" suddenly felt hopelessly pass¨¦. Which is to say, I think that the levity and optimism of the first two seasons renders them a cut above even the later seasons of this show. And to watch them over and over again is to enjoy unique and unparalleled television....more info
- Truly outstanding television
With the benefit of retrospect over the past four years of the West Wing, years that have ranged from uneven to irrelevant to awful, it now becomes clear the show climaxed in season 2, a rousing, magnificently plotted, unforgettable season. The first half of the season - that is, after the jaw dropping how'd-we-come-this-far two parter "In The Shadow of Two Gunmen" - is occupied by the weekly duties of the righteous - i.e. granting asylum here, falling satellites there. That sort of thing could get tedious and self-aggrandizing easily, but with Sorkin writing at his fluid best, it makes for the stuff of compelling left wing fables. That's true even when they include the right wing - the addition of Emily Proctor's spunky and endearing Ainsley Hayes is an inspired setup that, out of nowhere, brings into focus all the dreams and hopes of people that work in Washington. Of course, the first half of the season is just there to get us complacent for the long narrative of the season - the unveiling of President Bartlett's run for a second term and the admission of his MS. This plotline, stretched as it is, never lost dramatic momentum and had the rare ability to bring out the fiery best in every single cast member, from Toby's stirring discovery in "17 People" to Abby's ferocious and heartbreaking scream of "We had a deal!" in "Bartlett's Third State of the Union." The build of this plot is so involving, that by the time it reaches its elegant and even understated conclusion in "Two Cathedrals," we can scarcely remember ever seeing anything like it. And, to put in my two cents for the best West Wing episode ever, may I cast a vote for "The Fall's Gonna Kill You," an episode that, in barely trying, brings out the complex moral middleground of its great female characters CJ and Abby. The moment CJ, with cold focus, finally answers the question "Have you ever lied about the President's health" feels like the foundational moment for arguably The West Wing's most memorable senior staff member....more info
- If Only All TV Were This Good
Watching this show is so rewarding it's painful: you end up despairing of almost everything else that's on!
First, the subject matter is a source of fascination for almost every American: the White House and how political power works in this country.
Without cloying, this series gives us so much to be proud of. First, the president, as played by Martin Sheen.
My friend described President Barclay as the president we wished Bill Clinton had been. He is a principled New England catholic who doesn't need women. H'mmm. Maybe he's the president we wished John Kennedy had been.
Anyway, Sheen did such a good job in the first season that they wrote a lot more stuff for him here in the second season. He struggles here with more ethical concerns, many of which occur close to home. My favorite moment: when he tells a trusted advisor who operates as an ethical canary-in-the-coal-mine to shut up.
But the series was really about the senior White House staff: the operatives, press handlers, and political muscle men. It teaches at the same time as it entertains - somehow avoiding a fatal cynicism, we're fascinted by both how little and how much can be done within our system.
Worst thing about Season Two: Season One. The bar was set so high by the first season that you begin to see a little deterioriation here. A gradual descent into cheaper entertainment occurs, especially soap opera type stuff and lurid plot twists.
That said, though, you won't be disappointed. It's as good as network TV gets......more info
- The cast and writers are at the peaks of their game
Season 1 of the West Wing was a bit uneven at times, and lacked a season-arching continuity. Season 2 does not suffer this problem, and so makes for enjoyable watching from end to end, with recurring plotlines stretching over the entire season and consistently high levels of quality in acting, directing, and screenplays.
So what is going on at the White House? Well, it turns out that the President has multiple schlerosis, which could cause him to lose consciousness at unpredictable times. This is obviously a problem for someone with the nuclear launch codes, but is early enough in the disease that it's not an acute problem. Unfortunately, if the president intends to run for reelection, there's the issue of whether he maliciously covered up the fact that he has MS, and what the public should know when voting. In fact, very few of the senior staff (only Leo, the VP, and a couple cabinet members) know, and as the others are let in on the secret, they do not take it well. Toby takes it particularly badly, and some of the best shows (17 People, the Stackhouse Filibuster) focus on the relationship between Leo, Toby, and Bartlet.
Then there is the question of reelection - should the president, with his MS, actually run again? If not, should he even finish his term? What about getting his legislation through? What about international crises like a military coup in Haiti? What about the aftermath of the assassination attempt? Will Leo gain any converts to the idea of "Big Block of Cheese" day?
Oddly enough, special mention must be made of both the (2-part) premier and the final show, which are flashback episodes. "In the Shadow of 2 Gunmen" gives us flashbacks to the hype and excited optimism of Bartlet's winning of the Democratic nomination for president. In a nifty contrast, "Two Cathedrals" at the end of the season provides a flashback even further back, when Jed was in high school and first debating politics with Mrs. Landingham, which helps shape his decision on whether to seek reelection. Viewers who pay attention during the episode will be rewarded with the answer to the question "Will you seek reelection," even though the show stops before Bartlet verbally answers.
So, pick up Season 2 of the West Wing for the best examples of the show's wit, relatively even-handed politics (Ainsley, the Republican lawyer, scores not a few points for the Right in a number of episodes), and fast-paced verbal action. It well deserved the Emmy for best drama. Unfortunately, there are precious few extras on this DVD package - don't be fooled by the box's list, they are quite short and deal entirely with the mechanics of the show. Again, I have to ask, where are the extras on actual politics? Why not do documentaries on the issues in the show? Why not show us some of the "extra material" the producers supposedly make available to schools that use the show as a civics lesson?...more info
- Out of sync plus 2 Shows Faulty
In the season 2 DVD of West Wing that I purchased from Amazon.com, the 3rd and 4th shows were defective, freezing the picture and stopping the sound for around 30 seconds to a minute, apparently skipping about 30 seconds to a minute several times, early in each of the 3rd and 4th shows.
In addition, the picture and audio are slightly out of sync, which is annoying at times.
I am disappointed in Amazon.com.
- The West Wing - The Complete Second Season
I had problems with this DVD and when I tried to get the vendor to help me they didn't answer. I had to go direct to Amazon to get a refund. I probably will not buy from this vendor again...more info
- The pinnacle of Television drama
I remember watching the finale to the First season, and thinking "How are they going to top that?!!?". Much to my amazement, they knocked it out of the ballpark with "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen". And then it was all uphill from there, right up until the final few magnificent moments of the season finale "Two Cathedrals".
What makes this series so creatively daring is Sorkin's injection of humor and whimsy. In 'Shibboleth', the CJ gets stuck with pardoning two turkeys which have taken up residence in her office. In 'Galileo Five', the President is reluctantly dragooned into attending a concert with the Finnish Symphony. Aren't TV series about the White House meant to be serious all the time? Obviously Aaron Sorkin and co. never got the memo.
The West Wing is a rarity on modern television. It is neither grim, nor gritty, nor postmodernist. It does not present a cynical view of the world, or revel in the 'bleak reality' of modern life. Instead, through its excellent writing and outstanding performances, it encourages us to actively and constructively engage with the world. For that alone, this series should be commended....more info
- West Wing at Its BEST!!
If you enjoy the fun interaction between castmembers and the unique style of humor that makes West Wing one of the best shows on TV, then you'll love Season 2! I'm a fan of the show in general, but the second season was right on target for the perfect blend of humor and drama....more info
- Product excellent but quality terrible
West Wing is a great show and can be viewed any number of times without wearing out its welcome. The plot and dialogue lines are consistently interesting, thanks to the expertise of the creative staff. But the quality of my purchase left a great deal to be desired. Instead of buying a used set at a lower price I paid full bore to ensure quality. Was I ever wrong! Two sides of the first four had intermittent distortion. Now, I've already unwrapped and played it (obviously.) What do I do now? I was planning to buy the rest of the set, but now I'm not so sure....more info
- The West Wing Second Season
I recently started watching the West Wing on DVD again after a long layoff. Season two is where they really hit their stride. From the suspenseful 2-part conclusion to season one's cliffhanger to the amazing finale where we say goodbye to a dear friend, Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme and crew fire on all cylinders with witty dialogue and great characters dealing with realistic issues and storylines that could have been ripped from the headlines (most must be loosely based on actual events).
The series is not afraid to have fun at the same time, like when Press Secretary CJ Cregg spends "The Portland Trip" wearing a Fighting Irish baseball hat because she dare make fun of President Bartlet's alma matter. Charlie spends most of the "Shibboleth" episode (directed by Laura Innes of ER fame) trying to pick out a knife for the President to carve his Thanksgiving turkey.
Aside from the superb regular and recurring cast there are guest stars galore from Adam Arkin to Marlee Matlin and so many more. I really enjoy Aaron Sorkin's work, including Sports Night and the West Wing - it's clever, smart and witty (three things that mean the same thing, but if you watch you will understand)....more info
- Defective item - Amazon won't replace it.
I realize Amazon has a time limit on refunds and replacements, but I wonder if they expect customers to order the complete six seasons and watch every single episode immediately? I ordered and paid in good faith, and Amazon will not replace the set with a defective disk. Yes, a lot of time has gone by, but I have only now opened and watched this set for the first time, or attempted to watch it. I trusted Amazon to send me a new product in good condition, which is what I paid for. I might add that I have purchased several dozens of other books and DVDs from Amazon over time. This is a very poor way to treat a customer, and one who uses the Amazon Visa card. Or, former customer and former cardholder....more info
- Great Show, Really Hits its Stride
This fantastic television show really hit its stride in this phenomenal season. From the resolution of the Assassination attempt on President Bartlett to the entire MS Saga.
Special mention for episode: Two Cathedrals, which in my opinion is the best episode of the series.
A must-own for any fan of great television. ...more info
- Great New Characters!
I thought the first season could not be beat! I was wrong! This new season had a great new cast of characters (you will LOVE Ainsley Hayes). The plots are even better than the first season, and you will go online and purchase the third season before you are halfway done, just so that it will be at your home by the time you finish. This is a truly great season!
- Fantastic Television Series
Very happy with my purchase! Each episode in season two impresses me in both writing and acting. The story lines are very interesting and I am thoroughly enjoying the banter between the different characters....more info
- A fascinating series...
Premiering in September 1999, the original NBC series West Wing built an instant cult following with its seemingly realistic weekly excursions into the inner sanctums of the White House. The series became such a hit that some pollsters claimed that certain people actually believed Jed Bartlet was the real president (although, if true, this is more of a negative reflection on the intelligence of the electorate, and not necessarily an indication of West Wing's realism). But regardless, the truth of the matter is that West Wing definitely strikes a chord with certain audiences, providing entertaining brew of action, suspense, and drama on a weekly basis...
Seasoned Hollywood actor Martin Sheen plays the lead role of President Jed Bartlet. The day-to-day affairs of Bartlet's administration are run by a number of individuals who surround him, among them are: Claudia "C.J." Cregg (Allison Janney), Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), Leo McGarry (John Spencer), and Charlie Young (Dule Hill). West Wing follows these dedicated staffers as they work extended hours behind-the-scenes to help keep the White House running smoothly. Along the way, the stress of the job and the characters' personal lives make for an interesting glimpse into what many believe is an accurate portrayal of a real-life White House administration...
The West Wing (Season 2) DVD offers a number of dramatic episodes including the season premiere "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part 1" in which the staff awaits news relating to the gunshot wounds suffered by Josh Lyman and President Bartlett, prompting them to reminisce about their initial involvement in Bartlet's campaign and how they all came to know each other. Meanwhile, Leo, Toby, and C.J. examine the formal inquiry into the Secret Service's policies as well as the legal implications of Bartlet's surgery and the transfer of his executive power... Other notable episodes from Season 2 include "In This White House" in which the White House staffers host a contingent of pharmaceutical executives and leaders from Africans nations in relation to ending the AIDS crisis, and "The Leadership Breakfast" in which the staffers participate in a bi-partisan breakfast which they hope will actually substantively tackle an issue...
Below is a list of episodes included on the West Wing (Season 2) DVD:
Episode 23 (In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part 1)
Episode 24 (In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part 2)
Episode 25 (The Midterms)
Episode 26 (In This White House)
Episode 27 (And It's Surely to Their Credit)
Episode 28 (The Lame Duck Congress)
Episode 29 (The Portland Trip)
Episode 30 (Shibboleth)
Episode 31 (Galileo)
Episode 32 (Noel)
Episode 33 (The Leadership Breakfast)
Episode 34 (The Drop In)
Episode 35 (Bartlet's Third State of the Union)
Episode 36 (The War at Home)
Episode 37 (Ellie)
Episode 38 (Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail)
Episode 39 (The Stackhouse Filibuster)
Episode 40 (17 People)
Episode 41 (Bad Moon Rising)
Episode 42 (The Fall's Gonna Kill You)
Episode 43 (18th and Potomac)
Episode 44 (Two Cathedrals)
The DVD Report...more info
- TVs Best Show presents: it's 2nd Emmy-Winning Season
The West Wing pulls together all elements of great "shows" - writing, directing, acting, sets, costumes, lighting and music - in a way that always has me at rapt attention.
At the end of Season one the cliffhanger had gunmen raining a hail of bullets down on the President's entourage leaving a televised town meeting - the shooting and editing of that sequence was intentionally confusing and as season one faded to the final credits a voice cried out "Who's been shot? Who's been shot?"
The 2-part opening of Season Two tells us who was shot, and the motivations of the shooters - and the scenes following the shooting are intercut with scenes from the beginning of the Bartlet campaign, back when Senator Hoynes had the nomination all sewed up and Jed Bartlet was only a liberal intellectual Governor from New England. We get to see how Josh and Sam and Donna join the Cinderella campaign. We get to see how Tobey goes from the guy who has overseen a half dozen losing campaigns to trusted advisor to the President. We see C.J. go from press secretary for Hollywood's fattest egos to the job she was meant to have - as President Barlet's Press Secretary.
The writing has always come from a liberal/democrat perspective, but I think Aaron Sorkin and his team have also tried to show a balanced perspective. Ainsley Hayes, a brilliant young Republican Lawyer, is first shown trouncing Sam on a Sunday morning talk show over education. President Bartlet recognizes her intelligence and fire and has Leo ask her to become a White House lawyer - which provides more opportunities for "opposing viewpoints".
The season progresses in a realistic manner, and although I've been a Republican my entire voting life - going back to Reagan's first election against President Carter - I only hope and pray that the men and women who are actually running my country are doing it with as much intelligence and compassion as the fictional Democrats of "The West Wing".
Bravo, Sorkin and company....more info
- Excellent series continues.
First of all, I'm a political science/history major and I'll still be the first to admit that I was a bit sceptical of this series. I just didn't think that they could make this show as interesting, informative, and especially funny as it ended up being. After watching about the first disk of the series, I was hooked and it had become my favorite show. The first season just blew my mind. I've now watched the rest of them, and they haven't let up a bit.
This is anything but watching an hour of Capital Hill voting on CNN, though. There's an incredible cast including Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe who take you into the show and the world of politics. It's nowhere near stuffy; full of humor, love interests, and interesting information. From the first frame of the episode, you'll be glued to the TV. If you're interested in politics, or even if you're not, give this series a chance. You won't be sorry you did.
Martin Sheen is my President....more info
- Every bit as good as season one!
The day my family finished season one, we ran out and bought season two. This season has one of my favorite episodes of all time in it, Noel. I can remeber seeing that episode on tv when i was about eleven. Even then it took my breath away. That episode has some of the best editing I've ever seen. It is a work of editing art. "In the Shadow of 2 gunmen parts one and two" are also two of the best episodes all season. I highly recommend this Dvd. It is the intelligent, well written tv show that is missing from tv now adays. ...more info
- West Wing Season 3
I loved this season. The dvd was perfect and the vendor send it faster than I imagined. I would definitely order from them again....more info
- West Wing is amazing
There never has, and never will be, another show quite like West Wing. I will dearly miss this show....more info
- Television at its best
Aaron Sorkin is a genius and it shows in each and every episode. That said, the special features on this DVD set are pathetic. The few commentaries are banal and the gag reel is a whopping three minutes long....more info
- Good to the last drop
The second season is surprising and quirky and as always, pithy and terse. It never fails to entertain and endears the characters all the more. My favorite is Toby Ziegler. He is amazing. After Leo, he has the last word with the rest of the staff and is usually right, unless it's CJ, and she's usually right. He rarely ever pulls rank with her, even though he's her boss. I like that immensely.
I can't praise this series enough. Brilliant writing and exceptional timing. ...more info
- Steam pipe trunk distribution venue
Over the last few weeks I've bought the first 4 seasons of the west wing. The 2nd season is a pleasure to watch, on many levels. With repeated viewings I've come to critique the writing and acting in a new way, but theres never a blatant let-down from episode to episode. Theres a handful of 'devices' in the writing that are used to convey the intelligence of the characters that gets repeated a lot.. and theres the over riding tendency of all the characters to, you know, use the same key phrase ('you know'.)
But the first 4 seasons are a treasure. Desert island material. The kind of television show you'd choose to watch if you were shipwrecked.. if it werent for the lack of, you know, electrical wall sockets and such. :-) ...more info