West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home * "The West Wing" in Ireland

By Ben Murnane

Season 7 Show Dates
Thursdays (RTE 1, 11:10 pm unless otherwise noted)
Seventh Season
  * Jan. 5, 06 10.45 pm "The Ticket"
Previous Episodes
  * March 3, 05 10.45 pm "A Change Is Gonna Come"
  * Febuary 17, 05 10.45 pm "The Hubbert Peak"
  * Febuary 10, 05 10.45 pm "Liftoff"
  * January 27, 05 10.45 pm "Third Day Story"
  * January 20, 05 11 pm "The Birnam Woods"
  * January 13, 05 22.45 "NSF Thurmont"
  * June 3, 04 10.50 pm "Gaza"
  * May 27, 04 10.50 pm "No Exit"
  * May 20, 04 10.45 pm "Talking Points"
  * May 12, 04 10.45 pm "Access"
  * May 6, 04 10.45 pm "The Supremes"
  * April 22, 04 10.45 pm "Eppur Si Muove"
  * April 15, 04 10.45 pm "Full Disclosure"
  * April 8, 04 10.45 pm "An Khe"
  * April 2, 04 10.45 pm "The Warfare of Genghis Kahn"
  * March 25, 04 10.45 pm "Slow News Day"
  * March 18, 04 10.45 pm "The Benign Prerogative"
  * March 11, 04 11.15 pm "The Stormy Present"
  * March 4, 04 10.45 pm "Abu el Banat"
  * Febuary 26, 04 10.45 pm "Shutdown"
  * Febuary 19, 04 10.45 pm "Separation of Powers"
  * Febuary 5, 04 10.45 pm "Constituency of One"
  * January 29, 04 10.50 pm "Han"
  * January 22, 04 10.45 pm "Jefferson Lives"
  * January 15, 04 10.45 pm "The Dogs of War"
  * January 8, 04 10:25 pm "7A WF 83429"
  * June 12, 03 11 pm "Twenty-Five"
  * June 5, 03 11:20 pm "Commencement"
  * May 29, 03 11:20 pm "Life on Mars"
  * May 22, 03 "Evidence of Things Not Seen"
  * May 15, 03 "Angel Maintenance"
  * May 8, 03 "Privateers"
  * May 1, 03 "Red Haven's on Fire"
  * April 24, 03 "The California 47th"
  * April 17, 03 "Inauguration: Over There"
  * April 10, 03 "Inauguration Part 1"
  * April 3, 03 "The Long Goodbye"
  * March 27, 03 "Guns Not Butter"
  * March 20, 03 "Holy Night"
  * March 13, 03 "Swiss Diplomacy" (may have been seriously cut)
  * March 6, 03 "Arctic Rader"
  * February 27, 03 "Process Stories"
  * February 20, 03 "Election Night"
  * February 13, 03: 11 pm "Game On"
  * February 30, 03: 10:40 pm "Debate Camp"
  * January 30, 03: 10:40 pm "The Red Mass"
  * January 23, 03: 10:40 pm "College Kids"
  * January 16, 03: 10:40 pm "20 Hours in America, part II"
  * January 9, 03: 10:40 pm "20 Hours in America, part I"
Season 3 Show Dates
Thursdays (RTE 1, usually 10:40/unless otherwise noted)
  * October 24, 02 at 11:10pm: "Posse Comitatus"
  * October 24, 02 at 11:10pm: "We Killed Yamamoto"
  * October 17, 02 at 11:23pm: "The Black Vera Wang"
  * October 10, 02 at 11:10pm: "Enemies Foreign and Domestic"
  * October 3, 02: "Stirred"
  * September 26, 02: "The US Poet Laureate"
  * September 12, 02: "Dead Irish Writer"
  * September 5, 02 at 11:10pm: "Hartsfield's Landing"
  * August 29, 02 at 11:15pm: "Night Five"
  * August 22, 02 at 10.55pm: "The Two Bartlets"
  * August 15, 02 at 10.55pm: "100,000 Airplanes"
  * August 8, 02: "H.Con - 172"
  * August 1, 02: "Bartlet for America"
  * July 25, 02: "'The Women of Qumar"
  * July 18, 02: "'The Indians In The Lobby"
  * July 11, 02: "Gone Quiet"
  * July 4, 02: "War Crimes"
  * June 27, 02: "On The Day Before"
  * June 20, 02: "Ways and Means"
  * June 13, 02: "Manchester, pt. 2"
  * June 6, 02: "Manchester, pt. 1"
(They didn't show "Isaac and Ishmael")
Graphics provided by Animation Factory
Irish politics is incredibly boring. And that's speaking as an Irishman. There are 'coalition governments', and overly complicated proportional representation general elections, and daily ego battles in the Dail (congress) between six different party leaders.

American politics seems so much more interesting, so much more clear-cut: you're either a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal.

And then there's Irish television drama. The term itself is basically an oxymoron, so we're constantly looking to the US to entertain us during prime time.

So when terrific American political drama like The West Wing comes along, we're going to lap it up. In fact, Ireland is ahead of the rest of Europe in airing the show --- Britain's Channel 4 is currently halfway through season two; our RTE is in the middle of season three. Yet this never gets mentioned anywhere! Whenever books and websites feature critique of the programme overseas, they give quotes from English newspapers, and list UK airing dates, and you come away with the impression that TWW is only shown in America and the UK when it isn't. We're ahead of them Brits!

In fact, when the first season was shown on the UK's Channel 4 last year, the ratings weren't even very high. To everyone apart from C4, the reason for this was quite obvious --- they were airing the show sometime between 11pm and 1am on a weeknight, when we were all in bed! They've since copped on, and moved the show to Sunday at 9pm. RTE is showing season three at 10.30pm on Thursdays. Actually, Ireland is a great place to be if you're into The West Wing --- you've got the benefits of Irish and British TV at your fingertips, no ten-minute ad breaks like you reportedly get in the US, and a new episode every week during season --- no repeats! And, of course, we have the season one DVDs and you don't!

Reaction to the show here has generally been very positive, all the critics love it (it normally gets number two to The Sopranos in top ten lists); but sometimes it is misinterpreted. Patriotic scenes such as the end of The Midterms are often punctuated with utterances of 'bloody yanks', or snorts of derisive laughter from an Irish audience. I suppose it's all part of Europe's love/hate relationship with America. I read in one American publication recently, though, that TWW's snappy dialogue is often lost on European viewers --- this is simply not true! West Wing quotes manage to work their way into newspapers, magazines and radio programmes all across, well, this country anyway. And naturally, we all love Bartlet, as basically everyone here despises President Bush, and Sheen's character is like the anti-Bush.

So all of us fans in Ireland are looking forward to the continuing season three, and the development of the MS saga. My only personal fear is that Aaron Sorkin won't be able to sustain the beauty of the show for the full seven seasons, and it'll turn into a pedestrian US soap opera. Surely not!

To The West Wing! And its continued success outside the States.

Comments from the Irish Press
"It was a time when Chad was still just a name with which unlucky American boys could be saddled. When the world's most powerful man was goofing around the White House corridors in a TV spoof. When his wife was still just the First Lady, and memories of that blue dress still lingered. What a difference a gap between a series makes."
That's from the front page of ArtLife with The Sunday Tribune on April 1 2001, which compares TWW with real life US politics as season two is about to start on RTE 1. The article is by Catherine Cleary.
"Martin Sheen's President Josiah Bartlet has so blurred the line between TV soap and real life that it's barely possible to tell Bartlet and Bill Clinton apart...For those who watched Clinton on his last Irish visit, this idea of life imitating TV does not seem so outrageous. His delivery of a keynote speech on why he entered the Irish peace process could have flowed straight from Sorkin's pen."
"Bartlet's dressing down of a conservative Christian radio host is a classic TV moment"
That refers to The Midterm's, and is a quote from Today with Pat Kenny, RTE Radio 1. They were discussing that internet open letter to Dr. Laura, which Kenny had discovered somewhere, and the WW scene came up.

"When it comes to the boundary between show-biz and real life, 'The West Wing' seems to like to keep things as blurred as Jenna Bush's vision after one brewski too many...'The West Wing' is the top rated show on NBC, pulling in an average of 15m viewers per episode...[That's] an awful lot of people tuning in to see white guys in suits wielding the kind of vocabularies which suggest they eat dictionaries and excrete Scrabble...'The West Wing' has had more than a second date with its audience; it's had a full-on, multi-orgasmic, yes-I'll-respect-you-in-the-morning relationship."
From 'President in all but title...' by Peter Ross, 'The Sunday Tribune', 'ArtLife' section, page 3, July 14 2002
For books, tapes and music from the show, see what is available from Amazon, UK.
Also see "The West Wing" in Australia

And we have started a page on Britain.

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