Each Essential Character, Ranked By Likability
Although it premiered over twenty years in the past, Aaron Sorkin’s critically acclaimed sequence The West Wing nonetheless stays a political drama for the ages, and one that’s ever well timed even to today. The sequence follows the on a regular basis workings of the White Home in the course of the Bartlet Administration, one stuffed with unimaginable people and minds in any respect ranges.
Over the seven-year run of the sequence, the administration undergoes numerous modifications in personnel and crises on each social and political fronts. However all all through the present, The West Wing delivers prime quality leisure stuffed with stellar principal and supporting characters — although a few of them are undeniably higher and extra beloved than others.
10 Will Bailey
It is by no means simple for a brand new solid member to hitch a sequence that’s operating like a well-oiled machine. It is even tougher when that character instantly finds themselves all of a sudden thrust into the highlight. Sadly, Will Bailey is a personality who by no means fairly retains up with the tide of the motion occurring round him within the Bartlet White Home.
As a brand new member on the crew following Sam Seaborn’s departure, Will seems like the brand new child in class and is handled as such. However even years after his arrival, his persona — educational, nerdy, and unconventional — by no means fairly meshes with the principle crew members’.
9 Donna Moss
Donna Moss is a personality whose significance solely grows because the present continues. As Josh Lyman’s devoted assistant and eventual lover, Donna is among the most loyal characters in your complete sequence.
However on the similar time, she’s additionally certainly one of its most unpredictable. Irrespective of how loyal she could also be to the Bartlet White Home, Donna is sort of all the time looking for herself above anybody else. Her opinions are recurrently opposite to the whole lot the administration stands for, and because of this, she begins to really feel like a one-note character. However she’s additionally recurrently humorous and snarky, and sometimes gives tense moments with levity.
8 Abbey Bartlet
It isn’t simple to be married to somebody as vital and publicly out there as President Josiah Bartlet. It takes somebody extremely compassionate, caring, and fiercely protecting to have the ability to sustain with him, his schedule, and his many peculiarities. Abbey Bartlet is all of these issues and extra.
Although solely briefly glimpsed within the sequence’ early seasons, Abbey turns into a serious participant within the turmoil surrounding the President’s well being. Buoyed by a vibrant efficiency by Stockard Channing, Abbey is a political genius in her personal proper, all whereas being a fanastic physician, mom, and spouse.
7 Toby Ziegler
Toby could be one of many extra hot-tempered and even prickly members of the White Home crew. However he is additionally with out query certainly one of its most vital contributors and certainly one of its sharpest minds. Although Toby is all the time depicted because the extra paranoid and quick-to-worry members of the senior employees, his judgments are nearly all the time good.
His relationships with main gamers like C.J. and Sam are a few of the sequence’ warmest, most beloved friendships, and his typically contentious dynamic with President Bartlet gives the POTUS with a much-needed sounding board. It is simply greatest to completely disregard the out-of-character leak storyline Toby is given within the sequence’ closing seasons. Years later, it nonetheless is mindless.
6 Sam Seaborn
With a codename of Princeton, it might be simple to put in writing Sam Seaborn off as one of many preppier, extra entitled members of the White Home senior employees. However with a coronary heart of gold, top-notch writing expertise, and a phenomenally self-deprecating humorousness, “Sam, Sam, the Sunshine Man” is in truth one of the crucial lovable members of the Bartlet crew.
From the second his greatest buddy Josh assured him that Jed Bartlet was the true cope with nothing greater than a smile, Sam Seaborn is all in on the Bartlet marketing campaign, even in its most tough moments. Jed even believes that Sam may run for President someday, and along with his still-disappointing departure to run for Congress within the fourth season, it is not arduous to imagine Jed might be proper.
5 Josh Lyman
It takes notably high-quality writing and performing expertise to make a personality as neurotic, as troubled, as self-loathing as Josh Lyman one of many sequence’ most adored. However because of the caliber of The West Wing‘s writing and the expertise of actor Bradley Whitford, Josh Lyman remains to be extensively thought to be one of many best possible.
Along with his manic conduct, his many neuroses, his tragic previous, and his deep perception within the better good, Josh is a personality who’s completely tailor-made for the world of The West Wing. He embodies the idealized political world whereas additionally complicating it by means of his navigation of complicated relationships and his personal private traumas.
4 Leo McGarry
If there’s any character extra pushed by his demons than Josh Lyman, it is Josh’s personal mentor and superior, Leo McGarry. Although he could also be a recovering alcoholic and capsule addict, Leo McGarry is a lot greater than that. As Jed Bartlet’s dearest and most reliable buddy, Leo serves as an ever-reliable Chief of Workers in the course of the Bartlet administration.
He even goes on to run as Matt Santos’ Vice President within the 2006 election. Tragically, John Spencer’s passing in actual life prohibited Leo’s political rise from ever coming to fruition. Leo is a personality who leaves the sequence with massive sneakers to fill — one it by no means actually may, given his function because the veritable coronary heart of the administration.
3 Charlie Younger
Although the Bartlet administration is stuffed with loyal members who serve on the pleasure of the president, it might be fairly arduous to search out anybody extra loyal, extra loving, extra dedicated than the Private Aide, Charlie Younger. It is a pleasure to look at the event of Charlie’s character contemplating he solely got here to the White Home to use for a courier job.
However quickly sufficient, Charlie is keen to danger the whole lot for the president. He runs headfirst into crises to guard President Bartlet, and even dangers dealing with legal expenses to face by him. By means of a masterful, nuanced efficiency by Dulé Hill, Charlie simply turns into one of many sequence’ largest fan favorites.
2 C.J. Cregg
It isn’t a straightforward job to be the White Home Press Secretary. However C.J. Cregg, one may get the impression that it could be. Claudia Jean is a pure on this planet of press relations, holding the press each glad and at bay with skilled finesse and wit. She navigates the Bartlet administration by means of crises international and home, all whereas concealing her personal anxieties and struggles.
She additionally builds outstanding interpersonal relationships amongst her crew, together with a deeply private friendship with Toby and a successful brother-sister rapport with Charlie. C.J. may scoff on the codename Flamingo, however she’s simply as hanging and memorable to behold.
1 Jed Bartlet
Is there another character within the universe of The West Wing extra deserving of this title? The proper fictional, idealized President for any period, Josiah Edward Bartlet is a person pushed by ardour and kindness, integrity and protectiveness, love of nation and love of household. He’s a person of many phrases, and a person of educated letters.
Even in occasions of disaster, whether or not political or his personal, Jed is a person who retains a stage head and surrounds himself with solely the most effective and brightest. He’s always steps forward of the remainder of the crew, all the time asking “What’s subsequent?” And if The West Wing teaches its viewers something, it is this: let Bartlet be Bartlet. Anything can be unacceptable.
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