Promising but not fantastic start, and will it ever be as good as The West Wing?
1. Too early to tell if it can match The West Wing, of which I have been enjoying six full seasons… But my first gut reaction was that Commander in Chief will be somewhat more shallow/less nerdy/less party political than the West Wing. Even if we do not know the full background yet, I cannot understand why you should be “Independent” in American politics (story so far: Mackenzie Allen/Geena Davis is the Independent Vice President who – against the will of the dying President – becomes Commander in Chief/President of the US). The only time you can be Independent is if you were a Republican, saw the light, and are soon about to become a Democrat. I want everyone to be as partisan as Toby.
2. Why does TV4 buy the series, spend a fortune on advertising, and then mess up with the subtitles in the first episode? When the key-characters were presented with name and title written in English, the Swedish subtitles with the dialogue covered the English presentations, which were not translated (and thus could not be seen). That was a stupid, annoying mistake that easily could have been avoided.
3. The show seems to be very close to reality. Mackenzie Allen/Geena Davis mentioned Gore and Cheney as predecessors, a portrait of Nancy Reagan was shown, etcetera. The link to Hillary Clinton is thus very apparent, and for a Fred Perry progressive it is great to use a TV-show to pave the way for a female and hopefully very progressive President of the world’s most powerful country. Also: when the teleprompter “did not work” as she addressed the two houses of Congress, I saw a clear flirt with the Clinton years. During one of Bill Clinton’s first major speeches (one of his first SOTUs?), the teleprompter did start, but with the wrong version of the speech. As the story goes, Clinton improvised until George Stephanopoulos had rushed back and forth to the White House to get the right floppy disk. And nobody understood that Clinton was improvising… (Remember the floppy disk by the way? And can you imagine George W Bush improvising an important speech for some 15 minutes? Maybe, but we would all notice and write funny lines down...)
Anyway, not a fantastic but a promising start, and I will for sure continue to watch. The alternative is to wait and watch it on DVD later, but since the premiere in the US was only in September that might take a while. Otherwise I like to watch series like this on DVD; no commercials and you can see a couple of episodes when you have time to relax. But my guess is that I will see the second episodes right when I get home tonight...