One of the funny things about watching S1 West Wing is that Josh and Mandy were clearly supposed to be one of those sparring couples that Sorkin loves so much. The only problem is, Moira Kelly turned out to be one of the only people in the world that Brad Whitford had no chemistry with, while his chemistry with Janel Moloney was off the goddamn charts.
I’m going to start out saying that this is a rewatch. I should also say that The West Wing is my favorite show of all time. I love almost everything about it and this pilot episode has many of the things that I love. I also love how retro things are. Pagers, man.
Sorkin kicks off the brilliant series letting us dive right into the deep end. The chemistry between the actors is already on point, the fast talking is already at full pace. He does an amazing job at introducing us to all of the characters and their personalities without being heavy handed exposition. You understand where on the political spectrum they sit on, without being too preachy. There are a wide variety of stakes: from the fleeing Cubans, to Sam and the Call-Girl, to Josh’s job on the line.
I found out later that Martin Sheen was originally intended to be only a recurring character. The show was not supposed to focus anywhere on the President of the United States and only on those around him, aiding him. But thank goodness that changed. Sorkin’s eloquence spoken by Martin Sheen is my absolute favorite thing about this show.