Caught Commander in Chief last night. Anyone else see it? Geena Davis plays a US vice-president who comes to the top job after the previous president dies of a brain aneurysm. Female to the chief!
It was alright, as far as American TV goes when it's aimed at families. (It was aimed at families, wasn't it?) Tight, with no mucking around setting up the series, it got you into the swing tout suite. But by fuck they laid on the shmaltz! The youngest daughter was very annoying in the honey department, the fuckin' snookums, out of the lips of babes and all that crap. And Davis' maiden speech as president before congress was your typically trite TV melodrama.
Bible toting bad guy Donald Sutherland is also heavy on caricature, delivering some farcical lines. (Although I liked his closer.) But you'd hope an experienced actor like him would be able to adjust his performance to a more sensible tone. Then again, Sutherland the long-time activist, might just see this as a chance stick it to the Republicans, pulling out all ham to make them look like a bunch of lunatics.
Which brings me to the political business - it's not as if you can miss it with things being set in The Whitehouse and all. The show is, to be blunt, fiercely left wing. But, funnily enough, that's not something that bothers me these days because, well, I'm used to it. How often are TV Republicans portrayed as good guys? Not very often, I'd suggest. It would be more than a little surprising if the president and his staff were a bunch of well-intentioned GOP grandees, and the vile schemers a hoard of rabid Tammany Hall headkickers.
I'll watch it again next week, and probably for a few weeks after that, too, but unlike West Wing which was grouse for at least a couple of seasons, I've a sneaking suspicion I'll be tuning out before the end of the season. Not sure why, just a hunch.
PS: Does anyone remember Patty Duke as president in a TV show called Hail To the Chief? I only ever saw it once or twice and rather liked it, despite it being a bit of a fuck-up. But with a cast including Murray Hamilton, Dick Shawn and one of my all-time favourite actors, John Vernon, it was a bit of a giggle. As far as I can remember, anyway - it may well have been utter rubbish.