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The West Wing, Season Three

Containing more drama than most shows get in their entire existence these days.



- Still no movies watched or re-watched, which is quite possibly the longest time I've gone without watching a film in many, many years and is a situation I need to change very fast.


- In contrast to above, while no games have been finished in the last week, good progress has been made going through Mass Effect 2 (again), while I've started playing The Quarry and Harold Halibut for the first time.


- So it's down to The West Wing's third season to carry the load, which it does more than admirably.

- It's also one of those seasons that proves scoring is rubbish, being marginally less good than season two, but still better than season one and I don't hand out 9.5s!

- It really is ridiculous that a show can have its first three seasons be as good as this and I don't think there's any show that's matched The West Wing in doing so.

- Don't get me wrong, there may be some modern shows that match the number of good seasons, but with far, far fewer episodes in comparison.

- The only real downside of this season is how quickly the hearings around President Bartlet's concealing of his multiple sclerosis are disposed of in order to move on to the next major storyline.

- There are a lot of episodes dedicated to the build-up around the hearings, so to be robbed of them happening in full feels a little anti-climactic.

- On the other hand, it could've also got the show seriously bogged down in repetitive processes and procedures, so maybe it was ultimately for the best.

- On the other other hand, Bartlet having to deal with a terrorism threat and the potential assassination of a member of a government nominally allied to the US is excellent.

- When combined with the greater focus on the characters' personal lives and relationships, everything in the last third of the season builds to an incredible climax in the finale, "Posse Comitatus".

- Some people might prefer the focus to remain on the workplace relationships and politics, but seeing these characters get to be actual people was very enjoyable for me.

- Saying that, it felt to me like Richard Schiff's Toby and Dulé Hill's Charlie did get a little bit lost in the shuffle as a result, which was a little frustrating as they're two of my favourite characters!

- Ultimately, this third season of The West Wing just continues to keep the high, high bar the show set from the beginning while showing no sign of letting up at all. [10/10]



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