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May 6, 2015

Commander in Chief: First Disaster

by Sarah Gilbert, posted Nov 2nd 2005 10:42PM

commander in chief mac and robThe writers have been listening with one ear, evidently, to the viewer's complaints: we want less 7th Heaven-style drama, more political intrigue; and enough with the international disputes already. In last night's show, we did get a domestic problem ("First Disaster") - a leaking oil tanker off the coast of Florida. But we got lots of family drama, dumbed-down for the refugees from the WB.

Dumbest of all, and what may have been the lowest moment of the entire series: when Geena Davis does the scorned woman look after finding out that her press secretary knew her husband was interviewing to be baseball commissioner before she did. She does the look well, I'll give her that, but the scenario is SO not befitting the President of the United States. Could this be an argument that my husband and I might get into? Yes, but we're sufficiently immature and - oh yeah - Not Elected Officials. What, are they setting up a First Gentleman - Press Secretary affair? If they hint towards that any more, there will be a new Lowest Moment to look forward to.

The political intrigue, this time, was pretty interesting. And it was so sweet how the producers cast Florida's governor as a black woman - could she be more the polar opposite of Jeb Bush? Probably not. It was resolved a little too easily but I enjoyed Mac's victory over Templeton. Clue #12 that this isn't West Wing: they never, never, ever would have had Martin Sheen preface a quote from The Art of War with its bibliography. When she said perkily, "Sun Tzu, The Art of War: Always leave your enemies an escape route!" I very nearly cried.

What's going on with those wacky Calloway kids? While her twin brother throws baseballs with good ol' dad, Becca does what any self-respecting lovestruck teen would do, and begs her secret service detail for a few moments alone. Given the setup of Becca as The Rebellious One, and my vast experience watching movies in the First Daughter on a Date genre, I expected her to immediately do everything she could to lose the fuzz.

Instead, however, she simply goes outside to makeout, exactly as she said she would. Only an instant mob forms, literally out of the air - one minute, a couple is walking by on an empty sidewalk, and 20 seconds later she's being nearly crushed by 30 or 40 people who love her. Some are even throwing punches. This is the very height of ridiculous. I mean, nothing like that even happens to real stars. And I've lived in Washington, D.C. and can tell you from personal experience: political figures are never mobbed unless it's by the press after some sort of scandal. Washington is not Hollywood. It just doesn't go down like that.

I'm still feeling mildly entertained by the show, and Geena's wardrobe is very, very slowly improving (that sweater jacket she wore in the middle-of-the-night crisis session though? Ewww). But the more the writers sink into a tawdry family drama, the less I'll love it.

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