Wikipedia:Peer review/The West Wing (TV series)/archive1

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The West Wing (television)[edit]

As the show winds into what may be its final season, there is definitely enough material to create a featured article. I believe that what this page represents is a good start toward that. I am hoping that a peer review will broaden the perspective on the article to include those who don't watch or maybe have never seen the show. I know that may be difficult given that most of the article carries a spoiler warning, but I think it's very doable. Thanks for all comments!! -Scm83x 06:52, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I put a good deal of work into this page in times of yore. I think that the article's current version has a wealth of information; but perhaps too much information, maybe too much detail. Also, no offence to any contributors, but I think a lot of the prose as it is is poorly-written. All the shuffling around has left a few holes... for example, a sentence in the third paragraph ends, "...sidelining Lowe's Seaborn", before any priot mention of Seaborn and the fact that she show was originally built around that character. There are "no no" words like "recent" in references to episodes. Could use a good deal of work (but that's what peer review is all about). BLANKFAZE | (что??) 03:47, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks, I agree! I think there's too much information for someone who has never seen the show. It should be easy to cut a lot of it, because much of it is trivia. This page has spawned a lot of daughter pages about the characters, and a lot of the same information is there. We can definitely make more general references and then link to the individual characters or episode list. I'll take a look at the continuity issues and try to improve the prose. Thanks! -Scm83x 07:15, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I've done a quick run-through of the article up to the 2006 election, mostly for grammar and style. When discussing the 2002 election, it's mentioned that Bartlet's reason for keeping Hoynes on the ticket is because he "could die." Nowhere in the article, however, does it mention his MS. I know it mentions this on his character page, but I think a blip toward the beginning would do much to justify the later claim. Otherwise, this article has a lot of promise. Sahasrahla 03:20, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm thinking that much more could be made of how the series deals with contemporary issues. There is a section in the middle about this and the fact that Bartlet's MS is not mentioned brings this to the fore. Bartlet's MS did a lot to educate the general viewing public about its symptoms (as noted on the multiple sclerosis page) and that it is not fatal, a common misconception. This could expand into a section about the greater impact of the series as a different venue for exploring important political/social issues. I have a several tests this week, but I will try to take a look at these sections over the next few days. Overall, as was mentioned on the talk page, I think this article should look like less of a fansite and more like an encyclopedia. This is gonna require cutting a lot of things that we may not want to, but we have to make it all relevant to everyone. -Scm83x 04:55, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
      • Added the social impact section. Trying to find citations. -Scm83x 04:19, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Needs a discussion of how many American Democrats like the show, while many American Republicans strongly dislike the show. Of course, such a discussion should be written with citations. —Lowellian (reply) 15:10, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
  • The article's External links section should follow the guidelines defined in Wikipedia:External links. This is simple to fix but the fix hasn't stuck yet due to disagreements in interpretation. I share the concern of User:Blankfaze that the article has too much information. I'd suggest, for example, shortening the discussion of the West Wing universe and moving details about that universe (e.g. Cabinet and Presidential Order of Succession) to a separate article on the Universe. Other, smaller issues: the topmost image (except for the infobox) was from an SNL skit instead of from the show itself, and there's no section about the departure of Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme from the show; that departure is the most-cited reason that the show may have jumped the shark. 66.167.139.129 14:19, 1 November 2005 (UTC).
    • Wow! Thanks for these suggestions! I think the external links issue has been resolved, or is in the process of being resolved, as we are going to move the external links into the article and reference them as footnotes where applicable. I will start parsing through the excess information (mostly on the presidential campaign section) and move the Cabinet posts to an acceptable auxiliary page. Also, I will research the departure of Sorkin and Schlamme more thorouhgly in order to fill in this section of the article. Finally, I will get an appropriate screenshot from the actual show and move the SNL skit screenshot down the page. Thank you again, very much! -Scm83x 21:34, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Added discussion of Democrat v. Republican viewership per Lowellian, surprisingly opposite of common sense. Pared down external links, forked cabinet/presidential succession list, took a new screenshot for top of page, and working on Sorkin/Schlamme departure section per anonymous. Also forked the timeline skew discussion and deleted campaign information already on the auxiliary campaign pages. How is the peer review for this article going so far? Any further comments would be appreciated. -Scm83x 16:43, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
        • As of the time of this comment, the External links section has 20 external links, including three links to fansites. That violates the explicit guidelines on links to fansites and the spirit of the guidelines defined in Wikipedia:External links. Featured articles should be exemplars of best practices in all respects. To be fair, I should note that within a week the article has nearly tripled its list of cited sources, illustrating a commitment to another guideline, Wikipedia:Cite sources... 69.3.70.119 21:15, 7 November 2005 (UTC).
          • Thanks for your comments! I appreciate that someone noticed the article's massive overhaul and appreciates the source citation we have worked on. The external links section is the subject of an on-going debate. Personally, when I get a chance, I would like to turn as many of the externals to cited sources. This is very possible, I think. If you would like to comment about this matter further, feel free to comment on Talk:The West Wing (television). -Scm83x 21:31, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I've roughly skimmed through it, and I think it's very well done. I am a little concerned that some of the analogies are not accurate, such as comparing Clinton's impeachment to Bartlett's MS scandal, which is also an example of original research although I understand that this is an entertainment-related article. I don't know if it has been used already, but the long out-of-print George magazine once ran a cover on the show, and it is reproduced (at least in part) here. It may be of help. Ramallite (talk) 04:20, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
    • Thank you so much for your comments. I'm sure you're also referring to the Plame/military shuttle comparison also when you refer to the possibly inaccurate or original research analogies. I had heard/seen these comparisons elsewhere on the web, and I will go hunt down my sources for these comparisons. Thank you so much for the George article; I will read it and add the applicable information. -Scm83x 04:47, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
  • I think there should be a discussion of show's evolution in the ratings. How it used to be very popular, but has gone way down since (but is still nr 1 with high income viewers). One could mention ways NBC has tried (or not tried to) raise ratings. The airtime move, but the (by many) perceived lack of promotion (looks like many people didn't know it was on Sundays). The "Live Debate" as a "stunt" (especially right now there are lot of articles on that) to raise ratings, which have been even worse this season in spite of the fact that many critics are actually liking it again. There was also a quote from NBC saying they expected the ratings to go down with the move. I also think the year of Santos/McGarry election should be changed to 2005. The proof for this being the year lies in NBC's campaign blogs: If you look at the "campaign blog" for Santos, the first entry is Wednesday, August 3. August 3rd was only a Wednesday in 2005, not in 2006. Since we know it's only a couple of weeks/days till Election Day, it looks like the Election is in 2005. In the same way, Vinick's blog is dated Thursday, August 4. Of course this leads to a year being missing, but this is the way the election is officially being portrayed by John Wells and NBC. I think it should be up to the reader to decide how they wish to interpret it. We can continue offering the various theories/comments on Timeline on the link separate page. --newsjunkie 17:05, 5 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the 2005/2006 issue is a problem for the Timeline page, and I'm upset that the AfD on that page is distracting from the peer review of this page. I hope to comb through the many suggestions on this page over the weekend and try to do everything that's been stated here. -Scm83x 06:35, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
  • The article has significantly improved during the process of this review. Here are a few issues:
    • Before any analysis, insider insights, fancruft, or discussion of controversies, the first section after the introduction should be a simple summary. This section would succinctly cover the entire series focusing just on the uncontroversial basics. Such a summary could include an overview of the plot and character elements that are common to all of the seasons. This could be followed by a short discussion of a few of the show's most important and multi-season story arcs. Next, would be a few paragraphs on the cast changes (e.g. the part about Lowe's departure) and the Emmy Awards the show or cast received. The summary could end with an overview of when and where the show could be seen (what networks, when did reruns start to be syndicated, shown on cable channels, shown overseas, what time slot(s) it has had). An overview of how it has done in the ratings is also needed.
    • Ending with a ratings overview is a good opportunity to segue into the The West Wing (television)#Show's evolution section. The reasons for the show's changing fates ratings-wise should be discussed, and behind-the-scenes insights can be introduced. Reputable sources should be cited. From my googling the biggest behind-the-scenes event to hit the show was the departure of Aaron Sorkin. The article mentions how he wrote nearly every episode, but instead of explaining what he brought to the show over those years, it alludes to his drug use and leaves it at that. I thought, for example, that he was the one who introduced what I think of as a West Wing trademark, the hallway tracking scenes of characters talking rapidly to each other as they go from place to place. Regardless, the show got a lot of accolades during his tenure there, and a well-sourced analysis of the reasons why should be included.
    • The article makes several unsubstantiated or unexplained claims, such as
      • Even many who do not share its unambiguously expressed views admit to the educational value of the series.
      • Most viewers continue to enjoy the show, stating that despite Sorkin's departure it is still far superior to other shows, and, in its theme, unique among drama series.
      • The West Wing, often derided as The Left Wing (I have no trouble believing the show is derided by some for its liberal political perspective, but did a particular critic introduce this so called often-used label/)
      • By exploring many of the same issues facing the Bush administration ..., the show continued to appeal to a broad audience, both Democrats who agreed with the fictional administration's methods and Republicans who did not.
      • The Bartlet administration experienced a scandal that has been compared to the Monica Lewinsky scandal (both are certainly scandals--is it fair to compare the two?)
    • The topic of timeline skew is overemphasized. It gets its own section, then applies again in other sections. This is the kind of attention to detail that should be reserved for a fan forum. I think it's fine to cover it a bit, but it is overrepresented in the current article.
    • The Notes section includes references of no obvious reputation. Should I can what TheConservativeGuy.com says about the show? What the heck is FootnoteTV? On the plus side, the article makes these source explicit in the annotations accompanying the reference, but I'd recommend sticking to references of known reputation as much as possible. If nothing else, add details to the annotation about who the source is.
    • There are too many Wikipedia:External links. The official links are fine, except the "official campaign" site, which can be deleted since it is a click away on the NBC website. Since IMDb is a movie site, it's not clear why its a useful link for an article that already has lots of detail about the cast. The infobox for TV shows no longer has IMDb links as a standard element for a reason. The List of The West Wing episodes has a link to external episode guides already, so there's no reason for one in this article. The "songs and music" link seems irrelevant...if that topic was so critical to the show's success, there would be a section about the show's music already. Active editors of the article need to come to terms about which fansite should be included...the guidelines permit one such reference, so pick one. Finally, I think the NewsHour and MS Society links are both relevant and reputable, so they should stay, though perhaps they could be used as references. — 66.167.253.57 09:01, 12 November 2005 (UTC) (I previously posted as User:66.167.139.129 and User:69.3.70.119)
I agree that the music link can be deleted, with some of its info being added to this article or the episodes article. I also agree that the episode guide can be deleted. I believe the campaign sites should stay, because although they are linked from NBC, it's not easy to see, the link is very low-down and in small print, and it's sort of a different category with extensive info on Santos, Vinick and their programs. The IMDB still has an extensive over of guest stars and crew, which would be hard to include in this article. TWOP could be added as a source, but personally I think it's relevant because I think there is an unofficial consensus that it is the most well-known, most active forum on the topic and the best place to ask obscure questions. Finally, at least in my browser, all the links fit in one window, so it doesn't seem to me like the links are that much of a problem, or at least much less than they were before. Also, I don't think it says anywhere that the guidelines have to be followed exactly and to the letter, they are "suggested" and "not set in stone", which I take to mean that they should be kept in mind and applied as much as possible, but that you need to examine each page and each link as it comes. Right now, there are two fansites which are "notable in the field" (with many articles like Harry Potter), including more. Since there is no official amount limits for other links and none of them are inherently inapproppriate (as in commercial or similar), I believe we are really on the right trrack.
--newsjunkie 11:15, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
The campaign is a minor event in the course of the overall series, when you think about it. The external links need to typify the series as a whole. The campaign links will need to be removed in 5 months when the sites are no longer active. I think placing them creates a problem of the recent happenings in the series versus the overall scope of the series. The links are relevant on the page for the election, but not on the main page. Again, as before, if you want to keep the campaign links in some form, just add them back but comment them out. I will incorporate them into the text later tomorrow. -Scm83x 11:26, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  • The initial request for review talked about the spoiler content. I have a suggestion and a comment about that. The suggestion is to use {{endspoiler}} to make it clear where the spoilers end. My comment is that you should re-examine the article in its current form and decide what really is a spoiler. The reference to The American President doesn't seem to qualify. Lowe's departure might have been a spoiler at the time, but in retrospect it doesn't seem to qualify either. The fact that the MS Society now has a page about Barlett's MS, and the significant story arc built around his illness, makes it harder to call that a spoiler. Just food for thought. 66.167.141.71 19:37, 12 November 2005 (UTC).
  • Whether this makes featured article status or not, I think Scm83x and newsjunkie should be commended for bringing their expertise to bear on this article, as well as their willingness to be dispassionate. Some pop culture articles in Wikipedia forget that Wikipedia aspires to be reference material for the general reader, a role quite different from what fansites and forums play. Dispassionate expertise and an evident willingness to consider the opinions of others are real assets to Wikipedia editors. 66.167.141.71 19:37, 12 November 2005 (UTC).
Thanks so much for your praise. I will be working on the external links issues, spoiler tags, and expansion of the social section over the American Thanksgiving break. This article hasn't been edited in a while, and I just wanted to make sure that we keep the peer review alive. Thank you everyone! -Scm83x 09:28, 22 November 2005 (UTC)