Region 4 Winners and Losers

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Explanatory Notes
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Title Best
West Wing, The-Season 6R1

    Ok, this is where it gets ugly. In the past I have simply compared each season's Region 4 release with the equivalent release from the US, with the Region 4 box set often available well ahead of the box set in the US and similarly specified. Alas, since the free-to-air broadcast hiatus The West Wing has endured in Australia, this situation is now reversed. Making life even more miserable for the Region 4 shopper is the fact that while each of the seven seasons of The West Wing have been available in Region 1 individually for some time, they are now also available as a mega 45-disc box set (yes you read that right - 45 discs!) featuring the full series - and this is where the comparison swings in favour of the Region 1 version - comprehensively enough to label it a landslide victory in election terms.
   
    Being self-confessed Wing Nut, as soon as I saw this complete series set I instantly placed my order. My copy of this superbly packaged box arrived a few months ago and now has pride of place in my collection as the best example of how to do a box set properly. Enclosed in an incredibly sturdy flip lid box (complete with faux Presidential Seal), this box set houses each season in a special manilla folder, much like those used to pass around documents in the real West Wing. Also included in the box is a full colour booklet outlining each episode in the series, a reproduction of the script for the Pilot episode and a special introductory message from creator Aaron Sorkin where he describes in some detail just how the series came to be (or almost not to be if I read it right).

    Season Six in this box set is spread across six discs and features some bonus material of its own. There are commentary tracks for three episodes (King Corn, In God We Trust, and the season finale 2162 Votes), plus a featurette called CJ Cregg - From Press Secretary To Chief Of Staff which looks at the evolution of one of televisions most dynamic characters. The Region 4 set of Season Six on the other hand contains no extras of any description.

    This lavish Region 1 set does not come cheap (I picked it up for around $230 delivered - please don't tell the wife that), but for die hard fans this is a no-brainer and a clear win to Region 1. Passing fans may still consider the local product worth the price if you can get it on special somewhere.