A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series gives an overwhelmingly positive view of White House politics -- a view that's inspiring and patriotic. The sentiments of the president tend toward the progressive, rather than the conservative. Themes include humility and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Many of the regular characters are inspiring -- they are moral, passionate, committed to their jobs and their country, loyal, and whip smart.
Violence & Scariness
Discussion of war and terrorism and the casualties of both.
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Products & Purchases
Starbucks and some networks and political polls are mentioned often.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Celebratory champagne or wine or beer with a meal.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The West Wing is meant for mature audiences, not because of the language or any type of sexual overtones, but because the dialogue and plots are very intricate. But for a smart high school kid, especially one with an interest in social studies or political science, this show could be a slam dunk. Furthermore, the regular characters are all inspirational role models who work hard to make the U.S. a better place.
Is It Any Good?
What truly sets this award-winning show apart from its network drama counterparts is the superb writing. Oftentimes the writing in network dramas seems to pander to the audience so that the least intelligent audience member will understand. Not so with The West Wing, where the dialogue is so rushed, the characters so developed and rich, and the plot so intricate that even the most seasoned political aficionado may have difficulty keeping up.
But the most remarkable component of the writing is the speeches that are written for the president. Whether it's a stump speech at his re-election campaign, a State of the Union address, or a private meeting with a priest or mayor, President Bartlett never ceases to inspire with his strong, patriotic words.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.