Who's The Boss?


Politics On The Hill

E4 is drawing to a close on its showing of ABC’s Commander-In-Chief.  On the surface, there’s not much wrong with this show: there are two major Hollywood stars in the lead roles (Geena Davis, who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of President Allen, and Donald Sutherland who needs no introduction, so I won’t give him one) and, from a storyline perspective, my guess is that it’s quite easy to find a good plot when your subject has as broad a canvas as “US politics”. The majority of the first (and only) season’s installments have been okay.  It has been described as West Wing-lite by many observers and you can see why because it is a little more straightforward than its more long lived and much-healrded rival whose plots were sometimes wrapped up in complex and inaccessable political terminology.  Here we have more simple storytelling, where the focus was often as much on the president’s family and as it was on matters of state, so that, more often than not, you were left feeling (to use a much overused “internet word”) meh!

I guess the problem at its heart is that it is just trying to fill boots that are far, far too big.  International crises, threats to the children, problems with the Vice President, relationships with the press, suspicions about the legitimacy of how the president came to hold office are all on show in Commander In Chief but have all been done before (and done better) in the West Wing.  May be the decision to have Geena Davis as an Independent rather than a Republican was just too safe an option but even so, rumours still abound that a second season may see the light of day and it would be interesting to see exactly which direction this show would take… the final episode, the aptly named “Unfinished Business” is coming up this week.

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