Coming Out of Left Field

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Commander in Chief: "Pilot"

Caught half of the latest TV political drama Tuesday night, and came away going, "Eh ...." Most of my problem was that I'd missed all but the last few seconds of the West Wing opener, so I was suffering major WW withdrawal. Plus, the episode, being the first one ever, had to make a lot of introductions very quickly (especially since the pilot was only an hour long).

Still, I was disappointed. Geena Davis is fine as the new POTUS and Donald Sutherland does a good job as the chauvinistic Speaker of the House, but all the other characters so far are just roles -- reluctant Cabinet member, scornful daughter, bewildered First Husband -- rather than individuals. Plus, the subplot with Nigeria seemed like it was stuck in the story just to show that Davis' character won't be a wuss, instead of letting it develop more naturally as the season went on.

The other thing that stuck with me -- when the teleprompter went on the fritz, I was hoping Davis would unleash something completely funny and idiosyncratic and off-the-cuff. Instead, she seemed to do the speech from memory, even glancing up a couple of times as if trying to recall her next line.

Afterwards, we watched the Boston Legal season opener, which was quirkier and more outrageously, and thus a lot more fun to watch.


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