The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The West Wing 7.07: The LIVE Debate.

The LIVE debate episode has illuminated the differences between two candidates that have been portrayed in the previous episodes as not that entirely different.

The LIVE debate starts with the candidates backstage waiting to be introduced by the moderator. Although last week they already agreed to "a real debate" it seems they have to redo the whole thing for the LIVE episode. Simply put the debate had only about five minutes of commercials, one after their introduction and once in the middle of the debate. Santos(D) argues like a real Democrat, amazingly rare eh?, and believes in using the government to help the problems we have in society. Vinick(R) is an old school business conservative, those are rare as well, and believes in large tax cuts to allow the market to solve the problems we have. They two actors portrayed their party's well and showed what politicians would really be if they were truly honest about the issues.

The debate was a fantasy world in which politicians were honest about their opinions and they could still respect their opponents and their disagreements. One large glaring gap in the debate was the lack of questions about anything to deal with morality. They pretty much have the same ideology when it comes to value issues, primarily abortion. The writers decided to just skip that section altogether except for the ten seconds spent on the issue of capital punishment. Their answers were nice and clean, Santos would stay all executions, and Vinick wouldn't. Too bad, I would have liked to see some argument on that issue. I don't understand why Vinick wouldn't push that issue because his opinion is in the majority unlike Santos' opinion on capital punishment. There were minor flare ups of anger between the two candidates mainly about campaign contributions, but nothing overly serious.

This debate showed that there were honest differences of opinions between Democrats and Republicans. Vinick and Santos represented their party's platforms well, except for Santos entire overhaul of the education system, unlike some real politicians. In regards to the West Wing's storyline, nothing of value was added, but rather this LIVE debate was a culmination of the information about the candidates that previous episodes have already showed. Future episodes show that there will be a VP debate, although not live, between Leo(D) and Sullivan(R). Hopefully this debate will be somewhat entertaining and should prove to showcase Sullivan who receives a minimal amount of air time.


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