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Monday, 07 November 2005


Elayne Riggs

I think you're critiquing what the characters are saying as though it wasn't scripted. I would agree, however, that the lines Sawyer was given to speak didn't have that much internal consistency, although I think he acquitted himself well as a non-actor (in the Hollywood sense rather than the TelePrompter sense). As expected given his stage experience, Alda did a much better acting job, while Smits looked a bit lost here and there (particularly when he briefly looked up at the ceiling expecting a boom mike, before the stage folks "spontaneously" gave him a handheld cordless). I thought the ideas put forth from Smits' character were better ideas, but I think Alda's acting pushed the episode further into his corner.

Mustang Bobby

Three things kept creeping into my mind as I watched. The first was that I had to remind myself that this was series TV and not the real thing. They got the atmospherics right, including the occasional stumbles over words and phrases. I kept forgetting that we are in the closing days of the Bartlet administration and it came as bit of a shock to hear Santos refer to "President Bartlet." That's a testimony to the skills of the creative team.

The second thing was shaking off the previous roles both actors have played that have stuck in my mind. I first saw Jimmy Smits play Othello at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and in spite of everything else I've seen him in (L.A. Law and NYPD Blue) I still see him as the Moor of Venice. And I am still seeing Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce; that may be because I watch a couple of hours of M*A*S*H on the Hallmark Channel each afternoon when I get home. But I think they were able to rise above those roles and I really heard the characters coming through.

Finally, it was truly sad to get to the end of the debate and realize that these men were not my choices in the next election. I could find worth in both candidates and I was happy to see Santos say things that I had wished both Gore and Kerry had said during their campaign, and while I felt that Vinick was doing more repetition of his stump speech, at least he sounded like he had thought of what he was going to say. I knew that if I had these choices, I knew I would be voting for someone as opposed to against the other one.


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