June 22nd, 2012
02:21 PM ET
10 years ago

CNNers' favorite 'West Wing' moments

(CNN) - What is your favorite moment of NBC’s “The West Wing?”

In an interview with PBS, Aaron Sorkin, the creator of the show, once said that his goal was purely to “captivate you for however long we've asked for your attention.” But in the lead up to “The Newsroom,” Sorkin’s newest show that is set to debut Sunday on HBO, some CNNers began to realize they were still captivated by the fictional portrayal of the building many of us cover on a daily basis, even though “The West Wing” went off the air six years ago.

Do you have a favorite episode, character or moment from “The West Wing?” If so, please share it with us in the comment section below or an iReport video including the tag “west_wing.”

Filed under: White House
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Two Cathedrals, last episode of Season 2, the best hour of television ever made.

    June 22, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Leslie

    By far the best episode involved the Rob Lowe character speaking to some 4th graders in the White House for a tour. When asked to provide some background information for the kids, he began with his personal biography! It was "bad on just so many levels."

    June 22, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Gareth Bennett

    The Season Two finale, "Two Cathedrals" where the President is trying to decide whether to run for a second term, with that storm raging outside, remains the best hour of television I have ever seen. The attention to detail, and script are exquisite. I watch Season 1 and 2 over and over again!

    June 22, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Brian

    Big fan of 'The West Wing', I think the entire cast was excellent, in particular Martin Sheen and the late great John Spencer. Many of their scenes together are top notch. One episode that really stands out for me is "Bartlet for America", when Leo is giving testimony before congress about the cover-up of the President's M.S. John Spencer was truly moving, ready to take the fall for his President and friend and the final scene when he opens his present is touching. Excellent work Mr. Sorkin, I hope 'Newsroom' is just as good, though the bar is high.

    June 22, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Harry

    I am actually watching it right now and i love every episode!!

    June 22, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Smerlap Kent, WA

    Don't remember the name of the espisode, but loved it when President Bartlet went to Capitol HIll and was left sitting in the waiting area by the arrogant Speaker just long enough for Josh to help turn the political tide over the Budget. So many enjoyable, well written and well acted segments. Loved Jimmy Smits as the incoming President after Bartlet.

    June 22, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Tony

    I have to say 2 of my favorite episodes are "20 Hours in America", especially part 2 when President Bartlet gives one of the most moving speeches... "President Josiah Bartlet: More than any time in recent history, America's destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive. 44 people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kennison State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition. When, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran *in* to the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory, God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you."

    Two Cathedrals really was awesome. I mean... *Queue "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straights*... "In his Inside the Actors Studio episode, Martin Sheen was told by host James Lipton that this was "one of the best episodes in the history of American television".

    June 22, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Kara

    I have watched the entire series at least three times now even though I was seven when the series began. This is one of TV's greatest shows of all time. Both the dialogue and plot are phenomenal, as is the acting. I never could decide who was my favorite character (though I was very sad to see Sam (Rob Lowe) leave).
    My favorite episodes are the last episode of season two "Two Cathedrals" and "20 Hours in America" (also in season two), though it is so hard to choose.

    June 22, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. ProportionalResponse

    I keep thinking of different episodes, and moments.. Just too many.. I bought a (second) copy of the entire series, and I loan it out to friends that have never seen it. They watch the whole thing, love it, then I give it out to a new person. The only complaint I get, is over 1st season's Mandy. I think I'll have to agree with Gareth Bennett... 2 Cathedrals. I only let myself watch it on rare occasions, because I never want to let myself get used to it. True Story.

    June 22, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Rick Bristow

    The West Wing – Best TV show ever!!! Each episode is a classic. I have one grammatical bone to pick with the writers/editors. In an episode I don't know the name of (the one where The President was trying to decide whether or not to send in troops to help the people who were being killed by their government). The episode where The President was watching an old film featuring marching toy soldiers. Both President Bartlett and Leo said "Send in the calvary" It's not the :calvary – it's the cavalry! Calvary is a place mentioned in the Bible. The modern cavalry are highly mobile Army infantry units. In this country, he word cavalry originally referenced the Cavaliers who came to Virginia in the late 17th century and were horse mounted troops. The term cavalry is commonly and constantly referred to as the calvary. I would think that the writers/editors and producers of The West Wing should have know better.

    June 22, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Troy Gorda

    LOVED West Wing! What a show. My favorite character was Charlie and of course he has my favorite moment.
    "If someone in my position took a deal to protect himself, what would that person be saying to his employer? That they were wrong to trust him."
    "Don't be a hero."
    "Why not? I'll stay with my team. People should stop trying to get me not to do that." he tells Leo who is urging him to take immunity to save his future.

    June 22, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. David

    In West Wing, two Cathedrals is an impressive episode. However, the quintissential West Wing is episode "Twenty-five." The President telling Leo to assemble the cabinet quietly because he can't focus on anything but his daughter. Then with his cabinet that he is availing himself of the 25th Amendment and that despite it being unnecessary for invoaktion of the 25th, he wants the unanimous consent of the Cabinet. The entire sequence up to President Walken stating: "You are Relieved Mr. President!"

    June 22, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Kevin Fenner

    One of the few TV shows that I actually put on my calendar every week to make sure I could see. My favorite episode was in the National Cathedral when President Bartlett argued with God after the death of his beloved secretary in an auto wreck. Crushing the cigarette out on the cathedral floor and the monologue were breathtaking. A great TV moment.

    June 22, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Chipster

    Sam Seaborn "You're Fired" and, although I don't know the name of the show, it's the one where Bartlett tells a conservative talk show host vising the White House; "In this building, when the President stands, nobody sits." The first scene addresses respect and integrity, regardless of political differences. The second reminds us that the Office of the President is to be shown respect at all times. I didn't vote for President Bush but when people disparaged or threatened his position, I always reminded them that he was my president and I would appreciate it if they would show respect for the office. Disagreements can be expressed respectfully. President Obama has experienced some of the most disrespect for his position that I've ever witnessed. Citizens need to learn how to disagree respectfully instead of behaving like spoiled children or hoodlums.

    June 22, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Tony

    David you are quite right! That was the perfect moment for Prez! I mean, even one of the Republican staffers of Former President Walken said it! Josh confronts one of Walken's staff about the Republicans apparently testing sound bites for future elections. The Republican staffer indicates that Bartlet's sacrifice (resigning his office to an opposing party's leader) shows a tremendous amount of patriotism and that only someone playing politics would think the Republicans were going to dishonor that sacrifice. I mean, Pres tells Leo just after he almost gave the order for planes Flying CAP to shoot down the small plane, that he could not separate being a father from being President at that moment. That is exactly why the 25th was created! Adam Sorkin, you are pure GENIUS!

    June 22, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. kmc

    So many good ones but I love The Midterms – Season 2, when Jed addresses Jenna Jacobs. I can watch it over and over again. "When the President stands, nobody sits."

    June 22, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Pander Bear

    The whole show was great. Did very much enjoy the episodes cited above. Also remember one where the entire show was broadcast as an episode of Frontline, discussing a Rudy Ridge type of crisis and focusing on CJ Craig. Thought the execution was flawless.

    June 22, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Babyboomer

    I don't remember the name of the episode but I believe it was in the first season when the President was selecting his Personal Presidential Aide. I thought the interaction between Dule' Hill and Martin Sheen was excellent. Hill's character was just trying to get a summer internship at the White House. Little did he know the President had checked his background, found that his mother was a decorated DC police officer who had died in the line of duty. Hill's character (Charlie) was and honor student, caring for his younger sister while trying to complete his education. The kindness and concern yet confidence in the young man President Bartlett showed was outstanding. Brought me to tears. Still does...

    June 22, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. normajean @ verizon ,com

    My favorites were the beginning and the end of each episode and everything in between!!!! Over the years there have been few television shows that were as well done as this one! The characters were realistic the stories always timely ...it's hard to pin down just why,but this was a show I NEVER missed from the first to the last and once gone has been missed. They could rerun the whole series and I'd watch every program!!!!IN FACT PLEASE RERUN THE WHOLE SERIES!!!

    June 22, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |