Sunday, November 06, 2005
West Wing Debate
The West Wing had a bit of fun on Sunday night blurring the line between fiction and reality. A live one-hour debate between Republican candidate Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) and Democratic candidate Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) was broadcast first on the East Coast, and then a second debate was performed a few hours later for the viewers on the West Coast. Of course, the real reason anyone watches a live television show is to see if something goes wrong. Will someone forget their lines, or will some horrible technical snafu occur? However, Producer John Wells is no stranger to live television, having produced a live episode of ER a few years back. And the television gods were smiling on Wells since both episodes come off just fine. Although the early consensus is that Jimmy Smits did a better job during the second episode.
As for the episode itself, it was okay, but not one I'll probably be watching again. The most fascinating part was that the characters were allowed to throw out the idiotic debate rules and really sink their teeth into the topics. If only that could happen in real life.