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December 18, 2014

Commander in Chief: First... Do No Harm

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Oct 26th 2005 2:04AM

press secretary commander in chiefOh. My. God. Couldn't they have at least come up with some funny First Gentlemen putdowns for the fake late-night talk show? Pricked his finger on a rose thorn? Secretary of Making Breakfast? Oh, come on. That's not the tiniest bit funny. And certainly not worth fighting over in the school yard. It's major cliché time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this week. And I'm sorry to say the only part I liked about this episode were the firings. Oh, the firings, and the excellent shot of Geena Davis in that black pantsuit as she watches her husband and daughter drive off for trick-or-treating fun. It's the best outfit she's worn (and that grey flannel thing? who are these costume people? that suit looked like pajamas. ick).

We had two excellent firings today, both rather predictable, both for behavior so sorry, so ludicrously insubordinate, well - it was a little insulting to women in general.

The press secretary (yeah, the one I lurve) is upstaged by her assistant, the guy she used to respect. He clearly never respected her and goes on a poorly-played drunk rampage (in which he doesn't seem even the slightest bit drunk, more like, I have to get through this childish insult scene so I can collect my final paycheck). He pulls the "Hah-vahd" card. He pulls the "I'm a man and therefore I'm better than you" card. He finally pulls the sexual insult card, at which point I must admit I would have been far less pulled-together than was the press secretary. She fires him, simply, then reminds him she went to Princeton. He didn't know that after working with her forever? What-ever. I would have fired him when he butted in during the press conference. Highly unprofessional, not to mention dangerous.

The other firing, of the woman who's out to torture the terrorist, is also coming from a mile away. Umm, I know this is partisan and all, but who goes into meetings with the President - among all her friends and during a national crisis - and whines about what a terrible job she's doing? She acted the way I'd expect, well, one of my former employees at the direct mail company to have acted. One of my 19-year-old employees, that is. Not someone who's in a position requiring extreme security clearances and vetting by Congress. I can't believe Mac waits until the end of the show to fire her. She was so terribly patronizing - not a smart career move, hon.

There was a lot of patronization going on this week. For instance, the deliciously evil Nathan Templeton was not delicious or satisfyingly evil this week. He was only a patronizing bastard. "Good girl," he says to his female staffers. The way he simpers at the president - barf. Hate him! And not in that most excellent villainous way - no, this week I just hate him.

Finally? Enough with the resume-dropping. "I've done over 200 interrogations," says Mac. If anything's unpresidential, it's that. I understand the need for setup, but couldn't someone else have mentioned her interrogation background? I respect her already. I like her. And I still like this show. But this episode... enough with the clichés.

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Ivan

..We would all be better served if the current administration was replaced with: Martin Sheen, Geena Davis and Lou Dobbs.......

October 31 2005 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
latigre

Does anyone know when Stephen Bochco's influence will be seen on this show. I'm starting to lose faith because every plot line is so achingly boring and predictable and slow. I really want to like it and I think there are a treasure trove of ideas and angles that could be explored on this show. However, the formula is so gentle and simple that I'm beginning to doubt where this show will ever have any edge. In every episode there are only two issues: one family and one political. Both are played out in possibly the most generic way possible. Thus far all political issues have been foreign policy problems and each has been resolved and tied up with a neat bow. Worse, in order to prove something (namely, that as a woman she doesn't necessarily lack the decisiveness and strength to use military force) she acts exactly as every male president has acted so far. Where is the nuance? Where is the consideration? Are we really supposed to believe that this president has no new perspectives on the way issues are considered and resolved? Not even a little bit of hesitation and thought (which are human qualities not just feminine. And that's what we're all looking to relate to here, the human element in her.) Also, can we please get other issues going? I never watched the West Wing, but I understand that it was much more realistic in that the president and his/her staff has to juggle a multitude of long and short term crisis and agenda items. Also, I agree with the other posts that the family side of the story is wooden and over the top. The children and their issues are so one-dimensional, I have a really hard time believing that the First Children would act that way. There is a lot of potential here, especially with the First Gentleman storyline. He's a good actor and a likeable guy, he deserves way more than the superficial issues posed to him so far. Give me complexity! Make me think!

October 30 2005 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brian

When will the Horace comes out of the closet episode air?

October 28 2005 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vince

At first I thought I wouldn't like this show because I thought it was the same kind of storylines as the awfully boring West Wing but I caught up on the first episodes and just loved it..I'm totally hooked

October 27 2005 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chuck

i like the show but this particular episode sucked big time. BORING. the firings were cool though.

October 26 2005 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
e

I have watched every episode of CIC and intend to keep on watching it until it becomes ridiculous, like NightStalker. But the idea that a president would even be told that a terrorist would be tortured is facetious. It's called plausible deniability. That anyone would blink at the idea that someone found with a bomb in order to kill children should be tortured for information leading to the capture of immediate bombings is insane - of course they should be: do you want someone upholding morality over the cost of a human life? And no, the rest of the world does not think "they do it in the US, we can do it too" before thinking about torturing people is ludicrous. That said, yes, there is way too much family time in CIC. If I wanted a family drama I would watch something else. What, a female president would have more time to deal with the family? Think Margaret Thatcher people! Like I said, I intend to watch it until it becomes ridiculous or another show comes out in the same timeslot that I just have to watch. Yes, I would vote for Hilary.

October 26 2005 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
emily

i love this show i think its alsome, i dont know what u other people are talking about.

October 26 2005 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ian

It's a fun show and I do enjoy it. But the show needs more than one Villain, I expect casting to produce more soon, though I love Donaols Sutherland's spot. Also I see the # 1 husband to separate from his wife and become a Political rival. Now that would be delicious fun;)

October 26 2005 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

Who likes this show? Oh, how about a consistent 16 million viewers. I actualy liked this episode. I don't really watch the show to compare fashion notes (although I would agree the gray suit was BAD!). In my opinion, what makes this show so much fun to watch is the way it not only tackles issues that are important RIGHT NOW (torture, for example), it mixes in the family drama, as well. The West Wing is a different show altogether. Spending more than an episode or two on family or personal issues would not work for West Wing, it does for CinC. While I would agree Templeton was insufferable this week, I thought he remained in character. He is not a man who respects women as equals, and that includes his hottie assistant. He is always condescending to the women characters. Yes, I would agree the AG firing was written on the wall from the first episode, but I loved the interplay between Geena Davis and Leslie Hope. Hope is such a fine actress and I'm sorry to see her go, and I think it was a bad decision on the part of the writers. Granted they set up the story in such a way that President Allen had to fire the AG, but it's still a loss of a great female character. I also hate to see Jason Wiles leave the cast, but again it was written on the wall. The episodes have been erratic so far, but with the addition of Bochco hopefully that will improve

October 26 2005 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Frost

I thought this was the worst of the season so far. They can't all be winners, but why was this one so bad? Totally agree with you on the Prez's attire. Maybe the costume designers should go check out Meg Whitman's closet. Stop dressing Mack like she's a gray wall. I'm also having a hard time with the 'Everwood' plot lines with the family. They had a chance to make a realistic first family and they've blown it so far. I hate to keep comparing CIC to West Wing, but here you go. In WW you spend 40 minutes on the interpersonal play involved in making politics and get 7 minutes of personal relationships mixed in at the end or in sideways winks. In CIC you get 40 minutes of soap opera and get 7 minutes of predictable politics thrown in. Maybe Bochco can save the show.

October 26 2005 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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