Commander in Chief: Rubie Dubidoux and the Brown Bound Express
Big changes this week in Commander in Chief make me wonder: is someone at ABC reading TV Squad? If so, welcome, guys! And thank you so much for (a) giving us an interesting title (even though I'm not entirely sure what it means) and (b) updating Geena Davis' wardrobe. THANK YOU. When I saw her in the yummiest-of-all-possible-yummy navy blue oversized glen check pantsuit with a delicious ivory silk shirt, I thought, this is a woman president's suit.
Despite these lovely changes, the writers saw fit to make an even bigger deal of Vince's HIV status. Evidently, despite my beliefs to the contrary, HIV-positive is not over as a political scandal. To whit, a question by a fictionalized member of the press corp: "does the presence of an HIV-positive man on her staff put the president in any danger?" hahahahahahaha! You're kidding, right? Is this a satire?
The theme of this episode was "mutual assured destruction" as both Mac and Nathan Templeton decided whether, and how evilly, to use the damaging information they'd both fished out on their foes. In Mac's corner: a reel of film from a 1960's speech in which Templeton played to a racist crowd. In Templeton's corner: the knowledge that Vince (special assistant to the commander in chief) was gay. And not just gay, but HIV-positive. This is a problem why, you wonder? I wonder, too, but evidently Mac sees it as an issue because Vince didn't report it. Which (as he notes) he has absolutely every right not to.
The most interesting development tonight had nothing to do with the AIDS stuff, but everything to do with Jim Gardner and "that chick from Species." Evidently, her loyalties lie not with her boss, Templeton, but with her lover, Gardner. Dastardly. And, in the end, she's fired, setting up a perfect opportunity for Donald Sutherland to look pained. Loved that.
And I also loved the scene between Templeton and Mac, the "mutual assured destruction" scene. There's actually a lot of great dialogue here.
Templeton: "You know what they say, it's a contact sport. Wear a cup. Or... whatever you'd wear... chest protection or something."
Mac (about to cue up the tape): "Well, you may want to put on a cup for this."
Templeton (when she says they might be able to be friends): "There are no friends, only enemies and allies. This will not put me in your pocket, but it will put me in your debt."
Finally, I want to talk Dangerous Minds for a minute. For some reason the writers have determined that Horace is some kind of troubled kid in need of a teacher of a different race to save him (I guess we're actually turning Dangerous Minds on its head - instead of a rice white woman saving the poor black high schoolers, we have a poor black woman saving the rich white high schooler). But this scene is just played terribly. When Horace is confronted with evidence of his plagiarism, his sullenness comes across as if he's trying really hard not to crack up. He just doesn't do the apathetic, rebellious teen thing well. When the next scene launches into full-on rap music, I yelled at the TV. It's lovely music, and could be very evocative in a different show entirely. Here, it's just so, so, so clichéd.
Finally, a stupid line from Mac's new weekly press conferences (which are weekly TV series gold, I might add): "My daughter would say it's awesome." Don't adults say that these days?