Monday, May 15, 2006

"West Wing" Season 6 on DVD May 9, Season 7 for Region 2 on September 11

According to Amazon, the Region 2 version of the Season 7 DVD will be released on September 11. This version does not usually include any special features.
From the Buffalo News:
"Bonus material includes commentaries on three episodes and a featurette on Janney's Emmy-winning role in "C.J. Cregg: From Press Secretary to Chief of Staff"

Janney says she loves the "big chunks of very important cool" dialogue her character spouts, adding with equal parts humor and honesty, the job of press secretary is "an extremely difficult job that Allison Janney wouldn't be caught dead doing."

Fans would expect this set to have a tribute to the late, great John Spencer, who portrayed Leo McGarry. I'm sure those people will be just as disappointed as I was to find "A Conversation With John Spencer" is barely three minutes long and is only snippets of an interview, not a tribute.

Plus, for some ridiculous reason, it is on the disc as an "Easter egg," a DVD extra "hidden" so that DVD geeks will be rewarded for searching for them. Here's where you'll find it: Go to Disc 2 and select Special Features; on the bottom left is a photo of John Spencer. Use your arrow key to click on his photo (his jacket will turn red); then press select to watch the interview."

From the Miami Herald:
"The extras are meager but entertaining. The documentary C.J. Cregg: From Press Secretary to Chief of Staff showcases the terrific work of multi-Emmy winner Janney, who made one of TV's most intelligent, nuanced female characters as funny as she was admirable. (We just wish somebody had addressed that ever-morphing hairstyle.) The set also has an Easter egg conversation with Spencer, who died last December, and three commentary tracks, the best of which comes from writer John Wells and director Alex Graves on the seminal episode King Corn, a triptych morality play that explores the candidates' willingness to sell their souls for caucus votes in Iowa and also reminds us that this Josh/Donna thing is not over yet, not by a long shot.

The amiable Graves and Wells, who also provide commentary for the thrilling final episode 2162 Votes, talk about realizing they were by this point filming two separate series, one at the White House and another on the campaign trail. They worked hard to differentiate the campaigns, using handheld cameras to film the motley, chaotic Santos crew and stationary cameras to show the cool experience of the Vinick camp. Best random tidbit: Conscience-free Democratic candidate Bob Russell (Gary Cole) travels in Britney Spears' tour bus."

From a review from Monsters and Critics:
"The DVD is a little light on special features with commentary on a few episodes and a pretty good profile on the Cregg character. Fans of the show will enjoy the profile, and that is who the whole set is aimed at anyway."

From Zap2It:
'"While the six-disc set includes a smattering of bonus features, the biggest advantage of owning the season is the ability to just about ignore anything that happened during the season in the White House....But never has the show's weekly national or international crisis-of-the-week structure seemed so superficial and pointless.

On the campaign trail, though, the season was alive and insightful, offering the best glimpse of the primary process this side of Robert Altman's classic "Tanner."
The DVDs feature a trio of commentaries by an assortment of writers, producers and directors, all impressively mechanical, in-depth and silence free. The featurette "C.J. Cregg: From Press Secretary to Chief of Staff" offers little insight unless you figured that Allison Janney's co-stars hate her. If so, you'll be shocked to discover that she's respected and adored by all. The only other bonus is an easily found Easter egg conversion with Spencer, a touching sight that probably should have been moved to the center of the packaging out of admiration for the late actor."

From DVD Talk:
The audio track in this release is in English Dolby digital stereo. Overall, the sound quality is very good, providing an audible and clean audio track. Like most TV on DVD releases the majority of the audio track is spoken dialogue and sounds rather flat. However, music does sound very rich and vibrant. This release also has subtitles in the French and Spanish languages. The DVD box claims there are English subtitles, but they are not on the DVDs. The release does, however, support closed caption enabled.

This season set's extras include three audio commentaries for episodes "King Corn" with John Wells and Alex Graves, "In God We Trust" with Lawrence O'Donnell Jr. and Christopher Misiano, and "2162 Votes" with John Wells and Alex Graves. Like past season episode commentaries, they are interesting enough to sit through and should grab your attention if you are a fan of the series. "C.J. Cregg: From Press Secretary to Chief of Staff" is a featurette that runs under fifteen minutes and details the character C.J. Cregg with dialogue from cast members and clips from the series."

There are now three clips from this DVD at The first two clips appear to be from A Conversation with John Spencer, the third seems to be from the special feature on C.J. .

Earlier a clip from the Allison Janney feature on this DVD was released on in March.

Part of the first clip was also released on in January. (Windows Media)

Press Release from Warner Brothers:
"The Critically Acclaimed Sixth Season Will Be Available on a Six-Disc Collector's Set Containing All 22 Episodes Plus Bonus Features, Including Never-Before-Seen Footage and a Conversation with John Spencer

Fans can relive the drama as the Bartlet administration enters its last year in the oval office when Warner Home Video (WHV) releases "The West Wing: The Complete Sixth Season" on DVD on May 9, 2006, just in time for the series finale taking place later that week. The six-disc collector's set includes all 22 episodes along with never-before-seen footage from the critically acclaimed sixth season, which garnered five Emmy Award nominations, including one for Outstanding Dramatic Series. The DVD set will be available for $59.98 SRP.

Viewers will remember season six as "the season of change," when C.J. (Allison Janney) becomes chief of staff, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) suffers a debilitating attack of multiple sclerosis, and Josh (Bradley Whitford) leaves the White House to run Matt Santos' (Jimmy Smits) presidential campaign. Even if they've never seen an episode, consumers will enjoy watching the behind-the-scenes battle over who will score the Democratic nomination and go up against Republican frontrunner Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) for President.

"For years, `The West Wing' has given us an inside peek into the Oval Office. In season six, John Wells and his extraordinary staff of writers take it one step further and offer a glimpse at the politics, strategy and drama centering around a presidential campaign in a way only `The West Wing' knows how to do," commented Rosemary Markson, WHV Executive Director -- TV Marketing. "Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits are incredible additions to an already outstanding ensemble cast. Viewers new and old will love having `The West Wing: The Complete Sixth Season' as part of their DVD collections."

Special bonus features include:

-- C.J. Cregg: From Press Secretary to Chief of Staff, a featurette on the Emmy-winning Allison Janney's portrayal of C.J. Cregg during her years in the Bartlet Administration.

-- Easter Egg -- A Conversation with John Spencer.

-- Producer, director, writer and cast commentary on three episodes, including "King Corn," "In God We Trust" and "2162 Votes.""

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