I honestly cannot remember how it happened, and I don't know why it matters, but in trying to explain my affinity for the West Wing, I cocked up on the terminology (tho' I blame the alchohol).
Still, the reason why I hold The West Wing, seasons 1-4 in particular, in such high esteem is that in addition to the snappy dialogue, nudges at current events, intriguing story lines, and quite possibly the best casting in TV-history, it maintained a willingness to include details in the processes of policy making (which is what I meant by "realistic". Bad choise of words, I know). Of course the Bartlet administration itself is too good to be true - too positive or naive, even - but that's why at the end of a legislative victory you end up punching the air along with them. I don't think we would have if they circumvented too much of these processes and had them waving around a magic wand instead (even if nay-sayers may say they do that too), or if the Bartlets were dull a**holes.