Okay, so... The Debate. It upped the ratings a little, people've been making a big deal about it and all this other stuff but... I don't know. I didn't like it. For one thing, it shouldn't have been live. It's not like everything wasn't scripted, from what I heard the West Coast feed was exactly the same as the East Coast one I saw. And Jimmy Smits clearly isn't very good at the live acting and so it bothered me because while his points were a lot better, Alan Alda, being the better actor (and in particular live actor) got to win, just because of that.
I'm a politics nuts, so I got some kicks out of it, but... honestly, I'd rather hear all of this coming from... real people. I want... dialogue coming out of Santos and Vinick's mouth, not pitches about why I should vote for them, I'm not GOING to vote for them. Plus, there's the fact that not one of the main cast (and by that I mean Jed, Leo, Josh, Toby, C.J., Donna, etc.) were in this episode. None of them. I mean, okay, I didn't expect many of them. But couldn't Leo, as Santos' VP have been there? Couldn't it have been Josh and Donna walking Santos to the stage and not Louise "Mandy II" Thornton? I mean, the only Sorkin-created character there at all was... Bruno Gianelli, who I mean, is okay and all, but still.
Overall, it joins The Long Goodbye, Access and Ninety Miles Away as the only episode of this series I actively dislike.
Good work by Alan Alda though, and Jimmy Smits in the "liberal" speech.