I will grant you that Vice-Presidential debates are not the stuff of which newsflashes are made, and the one between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, while it did not actually cause me to snore so loud the neighbors began pounding on the wall, did not do much to break out of that pattern. I thought that Samantha Bee, in her own perspicacious way, would take my interest to a far higher level, but that was not so much the case. Once again, let me make the same tired disclaimer that I always feel compelled to insert whenever I am putting out a less-than-enthusiastic review: a subpar rendition of Full Frontal is still exponentially more stimulating than the most brilliant editions of Big Brother or The Bachelor and the mouth-breathing creators of those shows could possibly imagine.
Okay, let the panning begin. The worst part of the show was when the host dragged out a bit she had already done a few months ago on Maine’s Governor Paul LePage, with only a few minor bits added and subtracted and marketed as a forerunner of Donald Trump. That was the second segment. The opening one was not much better.
Not only was Ms. Bee’s reporting on the VP debate itself not all that clever or humorous, it came close to falling into the same trap that so much of the media has become ensnared in: that because Mike Pence did not blow his cool and say something catastrophically stupid, in the style of his top-bunk crony, it only follows that he must have “won” the debate. That would be like watching a boxing match where the more aggressive fighter hits his opponent again and again, round after round, with little return. Then, after the bout had gone the distance, the passive opponent gets the decision because the more aggressive fighter did not knock him down.
The third segment was actually a bit amusing, which represents a bit of a change. Usually the interview bits at the end are the weakest elements of a given show. Ms. Bee weighed in with some clever word-play regarding “rigged” elections, then left it to the Man in the Street to bring the point home.
Sorry I could not be more effusive about this show or this part of the process.
Full Frontal, October 5, 2016