The West Wing  Season 2

Combining peerless dialogue with an incredibly likeable ensemble cast, the second season of Aaron Sorkin’s commanding political drama offers the same winning formula as the first.

Moira Kelly’s argumentative media consultant isn’t seen again, and her absence isn’t mentioned or explained (according to Sorkin, the character wasn’t working), but apart from that it’s largely more of the same. While there are one or two welcome additions (including Oliver Platt as a no-nonsense legal advisor), the existing characters remain so enjoyable and well performed that fresh faces aren’t really necessary.

Season two contains some very strong episodes, including the likes of 17 People, where Toby confronts the President after learning about the degenerative illness he’s been concealing. The highlight, though, is the season finale, which finds Michael Sheen’s impossibly personable President contemplating re-election while coping with the death of a beloved colleague.