West Wing (1999–2006)

The best president in my lifetime? Obviously, it’s Jed Bartlet (in the photo above – top row, far left) as portrayed by Martin Sheen in the memorable series “West Wing”.

Besides a terrific ensemble cast, West Wing also recruited numerous acting heavyweights for guest appearances (Hal Holbrook, Marlee Matlin, Karl Malden, Mark Harmon, John Goodman, John Larroquette, Alan Alda, Glenn Close, and Lily Tomlin — to name just a few).

West Wing had an art-follows-life-follows-art quality. So many of the events, crises, personalities, and plot lines portrayed in this series really played out along similar lines during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In the tragedy of this era of Donald Trump, I can only pray that at some point there is a return to the civility, the willingness to problem-solve, the good (if not always perfect) instincts, and the faith in political institutions that the characters in this show constantly demonstrated.

Here just before Thanksgiving the multitasking President deals with a crisis involving Chinese visitors seeking asylum based on religious persecution.