This political drama features the lives of staffers in the west wing of the White House. It's been a called groundbreaking in that it ushered in a new type of political series that worked to show the complexity and contrasting simplicity of the day-to-day workings of modern politics, primarily in the U.S.

Many critics have described the show as presenting things "the way we'd LIKE politics to run", mostly in the fact that the dialogue between people is often very blunt and witty, rather than sidestepping direct answers. Still, a lot can be learned from observing what real life political interactions are like by watching the debates and issues raised on the show (as many are torn from headlines and current news).

The show is known for its use of continuous (no-cut) shots of people half-walking, half-running around the hallway sets in growing and diminishing groups or pairs.