ABC’s Commander-in-Chief: Only Slightly Believable
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a female President and all that the gender might entail, with a male Vice-President who is a tough General and isn’t afraid to speak the truth?
Said female President would, of course, be an Independent, while the Vice-President would be her former opponent.
Naturally the only way, given our current political scene, that this would happen is through a series of weird circumstances and taken opportunities.
With only two years until the next election, as the plot for ABC’s Commander in Chief (Tuesdays-9 pm) would have us believe, and with no chance for re-election, these two odd bedfellows could change the world with no mind to politics and the burden of campaigning.
It’s an improbable set of circumstances but that’s what fiction is in so many ways. For the moment, let’s say the concept intrigues.
While, as a self-confessed political junkie, I enjoy the show, but, I’m already thinking of boycotting it.
Because didn’t Donald Southerland, who portrays the nasty Speaker of the House in the series, go overseas and bash the United States of America?
Of course the ACTOR has the right to speak his mind given that free speech thing. It’s bothersome to me that someone who plays a powerful politician in a TV series is all of a sudden blessed with the wisdom to be granted an international audience.
To add to Southerland’s outrage, the man totally boo-hooed to the world forum over the despicable state of his country, a country so damn bad that he must cry over the entire mess it has become.
Obviously, given the statements he made about the administration being corrupt and so evidently a proponent of the rich, Southerland has problems with the current executive leadership.
Hey, somebody tell Mr. Boo-Hoo Southerland that the current occupant of the White House was ELECTED by the people. The common people who carry this country on their backs and are not rich ACTORS with a world forum to watch sad tears descend from ACTING eyeballs.
By a margin of four, count ‘em, FOUR MILLION votes.
Then I guess we are all idiots for not obeying the wisdom of Hollywood elites who do, what with all those ACTORS, know way more than us schlubs.
If I don’t boycott the series for Southerland’s total lack of class, I might for the improbability of the plot.
NBC’s West Wing is a wishful form of political-think, (my review on this series HERE), but it is way more realistic in terms of working within the existing political system with all of its faults and warts.
McKenzie Allen, played fairly well by Geena Davis, becomes President by virtue of the fact that the President died suddenly with Allen as his Independent VP.
A couple more improbable plot stretches from the most recent episode (Tuesday, 10/4/05). Allen’s eldest daughter manages to misplace her diary. Which causes, as one might imagine, an uproar because should such a thing land in the wrong hands the tabloids and gossip columns would run amok.
First, this child’s mother had been the country’s Vice-President before her strange ascendancy to the nation’s highest office. It’s not like this first daughter wouldn’t be aware of the political sensitivity of having a diary, written in her own hand, hardly kept under lock and key but shoved into a dresser drawer.
Second, how many teenage girls really keep diaries like this any more?
This is not to say that teenage girls still don’t have deep thoughts and adolescent confusion as in the days before Word Processors with deeply embedded passwords.
An adolescent in such a sensitive situation would more likely keep her private thoughts on a personal computer or at the least, go with me here, have it under some sort of lock and key!
In a strange twist, the former President’s wife also resides in the White House living quarters. This oddity is explained away by the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt remained in the White House for several months after her husband died.
It’s obvious that the former First Lady, Grace Bridges, is going to play a part in this series. In the first episode of Commander-in-Chief, Grace was very encouraging to McKenzie.
Perfect. Have a real insider from the Bridges administration right on the spot to advise and inform.
I find it totally not believable.
Which is not to say that Commander-in-Chief is without its believable drama. The troubles and dilemmas of the “First Husband”, for example, are interesting. Something Bill Clinton might soon face.
And there’s plenty of political in-fighting to give the series a dose of reality. There’s even some sort of Nancy Pelosi clone, the Senate Majority leader on the series, who threatens Allen with punishment should she not go along with the flow.
Tentatively I will watch the next episode of the series as the political junkee in me can’t resist. If I hear one more thing about the ACTOR Donald Southerland boo-hooing in foreign countries about our elected officials, and I’d feel the same way no matter who was in the White House if they were fairly elected, then I will watch no more.
And Geena Davis, the ACTRESS, better not get all wise and think she’s the new national guru on all things political.
ACTORS and ACTRESSES have a right to free speech, of course.
I do not have to watch their self-aggrandizing speech, however.
Or do I have to watch their strange and oddly-plotted TV series.
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