The West Wing Debate

Posted by Brandon |

Sweeps are upon us and The West Wing kicked it off tonight with a live debate between the two candidates, Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits - who Death? loves because he is a fellow Cornell alum and he is really cute) and Arnold Vinnick (Alan Alda - who I think is really cute, grrrr).

Now I have to preface this by saying that I am a big West Wing fan, even during the past two years when the show has fallen off, and I am a flaming liberal. Despite these two facts, I found this episode to be the biggest stinker in the West Wing's otherwise fine history. It was dull, it was contrived, it was poorly acted, it was too one sided and it was just plain lame. I was more entertained by the toe that I stubbed this morning and may have broken (you should see it, it is nasty).

I will give NBC credit for doing something different but I just kind of feel robbed of a normal episode by this snoozefest. Somehow they managed to make a debate even more boring despite the fact that it was supposed to be "real" after throwing out the rules in the beginning, an idea that seemed so contrived and ridiculous that I let out a big exasperated sigh as soon as it happened.

And although I hate to say this, I will agree that there was a strong liberal bias on this show. Matt Santos obviously won the debate and made Vinnick look pretty bad in doing so. All of the good points made were on liberal issues and all of the conservative points sounded extremely sinister and evil (which they are).

There were points made that had nothing to do with the previous storylines of the West Wing. When Matt Santos asked Vinnick to take the pledge to never go to war over oil, I cringed. This is not an issue in the Bartlett White House. It never has been. It made no sense in the context of the series.

I was happy to see all of the liberal points being made because they are right. And I especially loved the defense of the word liberal (I have always been proud to be liberal). But I expected more of a balance and more drama and more controversy.

I know where they are heading with this. Santos was behind by a major amount going into the debate and this should even it up. But this was a cheap and overly boring way to get the story back in line. I expect a lot more from the West Wing. Maybe my hopes are too high.