HBO Max, the new streaming service from Warner Bros., is slowly building up its content. While many new streaming services are heavily focused on creating new original programming, HBO Max is happy to add pre-existing titles. They already have Friends and The Big Bang Theory locked down, and now they’re adding another popular show: The West Wing. Aaron Sorkin‘s political drama, which seems more and more like fantasy these days, is currently available to stream on Netflix. But come next year, you’ll find The West Wing streaming on HBO Max.
Get ready to head back to the Bartlet White House with The West Wing, set to start streaming on HBO Max next year. The series is already streaming on Netflix, which begs the question: is the show now going to be exclusive to HBO Max, or will it stream in more than one location? I’ve reached out to HBO for clarification and will update accordingly. For now, though, chalk this up to another reason to subscribe to HBO Max when it launches.
Launched in 1999, The West Wing was a political drama from the mind of Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin wrote almost every single episode of the first four seasons of the show, creating a fantastic series full of rapid-fire dialogues and now infamous “walk and talk” sequences in which characters rattled off pages of dialogue as the camera tracked them down long hallways. Sorkin’s West Wing was something of a liberal fantasy even when it debuted near the end of the Clinton administration.
Now, years later, with American politics at an all-time low, the show seems fantastical at best and downright naive at worst. It’s the type of political show where Democrat and Republican rivals can put their differences aside if someone stands up and delivers a stirring, passionate speech – something that comes across as 100% impossible these days.
Despite its dated outlook at politics, The West Wing remains an all-time great TV series. After Sorkin left the show it went off the rails a bit, but the Sorkin seasons contain some remarkable episodes, and the ensemble cast – Martin Sheen, John Spencer, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Bradley Whitford, and Richard Schiff – all did wonderful work.
The overall success of the show remains something Sorkin has been unable to replicate in the TV landscape. His post-West Wing shows, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The Newsroom, are both hoky and often laughable in retrospect (although I know more than a few people who hold Newsroom in high regard, apparently because they’ve blocked this scene completely from their memory).
And now I will leave you with my all-time favorite West Wing moment.
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