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October 13, 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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I thought Commander in Chief bloggers might find this interesting: I just took a USC doctoral students online survey regarding 2008 pres. candidates and TV viewing. You can check it out at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=54621467475.

November 11 2005 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

>> Anyone notcied how they subtly mocked George Bush? << I thought it was the best scene of the show. Geena / Mac responds to a disaster immediately -- unlike President Shrub, who felt more comfortable reading a children's book...

November 04 2005 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I think it makes a good point that realistically, most people aren't going to expect a guy to spend his days vitally concerned with the color of the White House Carpets and the daily menu. And that (let's face it) it'd be more acceptable for a First Gentleman to hold a job than a First Lady. And beyond the stereotypes, this character is clearly going stir-crazy, and if Mac wants her marriage to weather the White House, telling him to get his butt back into the kitchen isn't going to help that. Yeah, the children's book moment was good. I also enjoyed the withering look of "You made me lose my job, you lame little bitch" the fired agent gave Becca.

November 03 2005 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The worst show in all on television history.

November 03 2005 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"...what president would force his/her child into a public school(previous episode) only to make a political point? Can you imagine the logistical nightmare of this stunt in the real world?" Jimmy Carter's daughter Amy attended Stephens Elementary, a DC public school. No problems that I can recall.

November 03 2005 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Donald Sutherland is in every episode, in almost every shot. Do the writers think Gina can't carry the show on her own? As for the kids, enough already! I wouldn't mind seeing the family once every few episodes but this is ridiculous.

November 03 2005 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dwain West

Please, less family drama. We all live that everyday. Please, more of the world drama. Please tone down the Speaker of the House. Getting old already. Great show, want to love it. Please, don't turn the show into a daytime show. If you know what I mean.

November 03 2005 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to say this was the first episode to really disappoint me. I liked the whole disaster side of the story, but the First Gentleman becoming the Commissioner of Baseball -- please! There is no way in hell a sitting president would want his or her spouse to take on a major position like that. Yes, Hillary was more involved than many First Ladies before her, but that was greeted with scorn and she never took an outside job until the President was on his way out. If Mack was any kind of President she would have reminded the First Gentleman that he has position, while not to his liking, that has an important role to play in the American psyche; moreover, she should have told him how selfish he was being, not to mention childish, because he's not at the center of Mack's world anymore. This storyline is stupid and should be dropped quickly.

November 03 2005 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well the Democrats don't have the White House, Senate, and Congress but I guess they still have Hollywood ...spinning their political fantasies into reality. Frankly the whole series is a disaster. Can we be real ...what president would force his/her child into a public school(previous episode) only to make a political point? Can you imagine the logistical nightmare of this stunt in the real world?

November 03 2005 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not only was the gov of FL a Hispanic female - she was also a Democrat! Only on TV. . . sadly. Our VCR cut off the end of the episode, so I have no clue how the show ended. It was at the part where they're threatening to dock the tanker at a navy base in Florida. Can anyone tell me what came to pass after that?

November 03 2005 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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