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The West Wing, Season Two

Secrets, death and blonde Republican sex kittens, oh my!

President Bartlet meets with the leader of an African country whose people are dying of AIDS in the second season of The West Wing


- Still no more movies watched or re-watched in the last week, although the reason for that is detailed in the Games section below.

- I'll try and force myself to watch something new in the next week though, or this is going to basically be a West Wing blog for the next month and a half.


- The reason for no movies being watched and no progress on other games: Mass Effect obviously.

- I've played through the damn trilogy enough times you'd think I'd get over it, but I've been sucked right back in again.

- One week and I'm a couple of hours away from the end of the first game, although the next two might take slightly longer...


- Well, isn't The West Wing's second season just about one of the most perfect season of television ever created?

- Much like the first season, this one starts off with a lot episodes that are effectively self-contained, albeit with bits and pieces carrying over into later stories.

- There's still a big shift with the President's daughter missing for most of the season, along with her agent, and the entirely uncommented on disappearance of Mandy from the roster of characters.

- Fair enough, she was only hired as a consultant so it's easy enough to say they just dispensed with her services, but it's still a little odd for a major character to just vanish from a show.

- The thing is, and this is no disrespect meant towards Moira Kelly (who agreed with the show's creator, Aaron Sorkin, that the character wasn't working), but you don't really notice she's gone.

- And the reason for that is that there are so many great episodes in this single season that it's ridiculous to think about, and if I were to list them all, I would just be typing out most of the episode titles.

- Saying that, the two-parter that opens the season, "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen", is an incredible start to the season, picking up right where the first season ended with an excellent cliff-hanger.

- Then there's the final five episodes where the story becomes heavily serialised and the drama and stress levels reach their peak, with "17 People" and "Two Cathedrals" being the highlights of that run for me.

- In-between, other favourites of mine include "In this White House", where Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter) is introduced; the inspiring "Galileo"; and "Bartlet's Third State of the Union", which are all brilliant.

- Just to note: any episodes not mentioned aren't bad at all, as even the least good ('worst' sounds too negative) would be among other shows' very best efforts.

- I said in my review of the first season that it all clicked in a way you don't usually see for a first season of television, and they immediately went one better and made what might be the best second season of a show I've seen.

- I genuinely cannot recommend this season enough, with so many great episodes it does make you wonder how some shows struggle to maintain the quality in the much shorter seasons that are the norm these days. [10/10]



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