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Author Topic: The West Wing Presidential Debate
Paladine
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I thought it was excellently done and wish the real thing could be more like that. Vinick kicked some ass. Any thoughts?
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javelin
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Missed it. Transcript?

[ November 08, 2005, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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Lewkowski
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Was pretty decent. Didn't like how after a particular good speech the other person... says nothing and they move in. Come on jab some holes. Esspically in that crazy "proud to be a liberal" rant the democrat did.
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The Drake
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I'd like to see real debates, but I thought there were a lot of script and production issues. It seemed pretty highly scripted, which is fine. I thought the actors did a good job.

Of course, I saw the West Coast version, so there may have been differences.

I thought they put a little too much "liberals" rhetoric into Vinick's diatribes. The diatribes exist, but Republican politicians usually go after "Democrats" when referring to fellow politicians.

This could have been Alda's own political background showing through.

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JohnLocke
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I noticed at the end that they asked the audience to vote for the winner of the debate... are they planning on letting the 'public' choose the next TV administration?

It's funny--the dialogue was better than what we're used to because it was meticulously scripted. And yet the dialogue we are used to is so awful because it, too, is meticulously scripted.

Caleb, who hasn't been into the West Wing for a few seasons.

[ November 08, 2005, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: JohnLocke ]

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Weeder
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http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=14368&hed=On-Demand+TV+Emerges

Anyone know how we overseas ornerites can get a podcast copy [Smile] . ??

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javelin
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No one can point me at a transcript? I'm disappointed (and whiney [Wink] ) [Frown]
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The Drake
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NBC's website is a trip.

From Vinick's backstory:

He served one term on City Council, overseeing numerous community projects, including the refurbishment of the California Oil Museum where he’d spent many afternoons as a teenager.

I can't begin to parse that. [Razz]

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drewmie
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From an AP article:
quote:
The MSNBC.com site went so far as to commission a poll with Zogby International, asking 1,208 viewers of "The West Wing" who won the debate. Fifty-four percent favored Santos, the Democratic candidate, which would have been more impressive if 59 percent of the viewers hadn’t favored him before the episode started.
A debate drop for Santos from 59% to 54%. That's impressive. I hoped the debate would be good enough to make the conservative look he won. I think "The West Wing" will only survive if Alda becomes President, therefore making room for issues that aren't constantly recycled, and thereby gaining viewers who aren't interested in watching Martin Sheen due to their politics.
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Ivan
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God, what an attrocious episode. This was literally THE first episode of TWW that I refused to sit through. What kind stupidity does it take to make a prime-time drama in to a SCRIPTED political debate?! That and Ellen was just annoying....

I tried watching it an got through the first 20 minutes, and then realized that I had better stuff to do than worry about fictional politics. The show (when it was good, anyways, and it's probably my favorite of all time) is about the characters. The politics has always been secondary, and this basically reversed that. The only interesting thing from my perspective was watching how the characters reacted... and even that was kind of lame because they didn't say anything about that because they were supposed to be (actually were? [Confused] ) having a live debate.

Ugg. The one thing that we should be able to take from this is the one thing that I'm confident everyone agreed on going in: Presidential debates should be real debates rather than the "joint press-conferences" we have in their place. Make them stand up in front of the world and respond to challenges from their opponent.... Maybe once in a while they'll stop being so genial and actually challenge their opponent on an issue rather than just railing against some amorphous group ("liberals", "conservatives", etc.) that's out to screw America.

Ehh.... Why are the only debates on telivision by non-fictional characters either shouting contests or utterly devoid of debate? Why can't we, you know, go to that middle ground where you don't just get to shout at the other guy but actually get to debate stuff?

edit: Ijust to say, the reason the ratings for TWW have been dropping is because Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme left the show after season 4. It has little to do with the politics and everything to do with the fact that the plots just stunk. The dialogue used to be snappy, the characters were people you could care about, and the plots weren't asinine.

A Republican president won't make the writing any good, and it sure as hell won't make fans care about the characters. Basically, if they bring in Alda, they're going to have to entirely recast the show, which, quite frankly, would be about the same as making a new show....

[ November 08, 2005, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: Ivan ]

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Redskullvw
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Well I saw it, by chance. I have caught some of the episodes, or parts of episodes to at least remain able to know the basics of the show. that said, I thought it was pretty darn good. What was interesting for me, was that as they debated each issue there was an acctual attempt to take an issue, present both republican and democrat sides to the issue, including some very solid facts that placed into question what the political question should be. And whats more they left every issue undecided. For example the health care coverage. Jimmy did the democrat current plan, and Alan pointed out the obvious holes that factually exist. Then Jimmy did the same to Alan's plan. The really neat thing was the "on the fly debate thinking" done by Jimmy where he simplified the issue in a way that might work, unrestricted public access to medicare. And thats how the debate worked to the advantage of viewers.

There was not the standard hollywood scripted evil republican vs jfk reincarnation. Instead each took the current party lines of each party. Then they "broke' with the traditional solution currently supported by the parties. And the politically radical solutions they each advocated was left out in the audience to be determined. Seeing as most people watching this show are in it for simple entertainement and are also most likely to be average Americans ignorant of who their congress man even is. having them watch entertainment which really presented some solid alternatives to current political debates was rather intelligent and refreshing.

Maybe the show's entertainment values gone down over the past couple of years. I have no idea because I dont watch it usually. But I think that being able to make a political debate in fiction turn out better than most of the debates I have seen in my voting lifetime was a big success. I was sitting there watching it thinking that if politicians were given the freedom to debate, and were drilled by topical debate with organic flow and ebb, people would not only understand politics better, but also understand the issues and solutions.

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velcro
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quote:
if politicians were given the freedom to debate
The politicians are the ones who make the ridiculous rules. They could have a real debate any time they want. They are too scared to do it, in case they make a mistake.

I like TWW because they have politicians do things they rarely do in real life, like have a debate where they ask each other follow up questions. Or actually FIRE someone for leaking classified info, rather than praising them and having them resign.

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