September 27, 2005

Commander in chief

The new ABC series Commander-in-Chief looks quite promising, I'd have to say. Geena Davis plays the first female US vice president, suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into the position of being also the first female president. The premise seems at first to be somewhat derivative of The West Wing, but there are enough differences to make it far from a clone. Among other things, the President is an independent, but she had been the running mate of a Republican; the entire cabinet is thus somewhat to her right. (We'll see exactly where she sits on all the issues, but it certainly seems that they're placing her right in the middle, maybe a shade left.) The Speaker (played by Donald Sutherland!) is a shady, nasty Republican, and very hostile to her, since he wanted the presidency for himself.

And her first real act as president---I hate to spoil anything if you've taped it, but this is basically laid out in the first few minutes---has to do with projecting power and saving a woman in Nigeria sentenced to death for adultery. To be honest, some of the sequences here were a bit ham-handed, but I'm inclined to forgive them that; the rest of it was well put together.

The show as a whole has a good ensemble, with a few known stars but mostly unknowns. They have laid out some intriguing character dynamics both within her family and among her political associates. And, in my opinion, the pilot alone was more West-Wingy than West Wing itself has been for years.

"The biggest threat is terror? Yes, I agree. But we have terror of many things. We have terror of being ill---especially if you have no medical insurance...." --Yevgeniy Yevtushenko

Posted by blahedo at 11:22pm on 27 Sep 2005
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