Regarding Dave's comments about the West Wing today: I think David Chase's description is correct, but only for the current season. Since they lost Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme, the show has gone seriously downhill. Have you noticed that every episode is hyped to the extreme? They've cranked the drama to 10, and almost everything that was clever about the show's writing is gone. It's been ER-ified in my opinion, and I like ER, but I want my old West Wing back, with the friendly banter between all the characters, and less doom and gloom. I also don't like how the look of the show has changed, it's too dark, like Sorkin and Schlamme took the lamps with them on their way out the door.
And what happened to Toby's kids? They were born at the end of last season, but we haven't seen them mentioned since. Dule Hill has been given an average of 2 lines per episode since Sorkin left, but they've brought in other throwaway characters, like Toby's secretary with the low-cut blouses. There needs to me more of Donna and less of her.
Okay, enough WW bashing. I really am a fan, I even own Season 1 on DVD, signed by both Martin Sheen and John Amos. How many people can say that? :)