Pilot: “Madam Secretary”

IMG_0300-0.JPGThe new Fall television season may have started last week, but with Sunday night now come and gone, the season is finally in full swing! For months now TV fans have probably been waiting eagerly for the new shows, that they’re already in love with, and finally get the chance to see if they will live up to the expectations set.

The new CBS series “Madam Secretary” debuted last night and actually has a shot of meeting any persons expectations. My own were certainly met.

This political drama stars Tea Leoni (“Tower Heist”, “The Smell of Success”), Tim Daly (“Hot in Cleveland”, “The Mindy Project”), Patina Miller (“All My Children”), Geoffrey Arend (“Beach Pillows”, “Body of Proof”), Erich Bergen (“Jersey Boys”, “How Sweet It Is”), Kathrine Herzer (upcoming “Men, Women & Children”, “American Horror Story”), Evan Roe (“Saint George”, “Sam & Cat”), Zeljko Ivanek (“Banshee Origins”, “Suits”) and Bebe Neuwirth (“Blue Bloods”, “The Good Wife”).

The series was created by Barbara Hall (“Joan of Arcadia”, “Judging Amy”).

The series debuted on Sept. 21, 2014.

Since the success of “The West Wing”, political shows have been hard to create and keep on the air. The few that have, that I know of, had great promise, but sadly for those in charge, they thought differently. After yesterdays premier episode, I must say this could be a good sign of things to come.

The series has plenty of promise. It’s got a bit of humor, likable characters, and even Ivanek, who may be less likable, but he plays that so well. There’s also a sense of intelligence to it, and not just when it comes to the political aspects.

Sadly there wasn’t much development of the political, but that’s what this show will hopefully have a chance to grow in and define. Set itself from other political shows. There’s already plenty of instances where the drama from Leoni being in office will make for fun politics, so I’m optimistic that there will be more. Plus, a kind of commentary from the writers could be brought too, which is half the fun. Look what Aaron Srokin did with “The West Wing”, and that will be my last, slight, comparison to that show.

From the beginning it was known that this would also have family elements. She’s a mother and wife, so there pretty much has to be. I like the little bits that we’ve seen already, which may seem too brief, but I felt like there was enough of a view on how the dynamics work in that family. I want to see how they grow over the course of the series and I’m sure that will be explored. No doubt, drama will come from here and laughter, so there’s plenty to love from this line of storytelling.

As I think about this show now, I’m having trouble thinking of anything as having been truly bad with this first episode. Sure the start seemed random, especially since audiences were probably expecting to see Leoni’s character first, but it fortunately had a good purpose. While this may not be a bad thing in the episode, I am wondering, what will the timeframe be? Will this show move a few days each episode or a few weeks? If this show lasts, how long will she be in office? Just a thought.

The reason I feel this premier really worked, isn’t just what I’ve already talked about above. Simply, Hall took her time to introduce everything, while at the same time, still showing that things have happened since Leoni took office. We weren’t just thrown into something without knowledge of who anybody was or what was going on. Roles were pretty clearly defined and you could instantly take a liking to or hate anyone.

This show definitely has a lot of promise, but it’s going too have to work pretty hard at getting there and keeping an audience. Since there’s both politics and family, not to mention a strong female lead, I’m really optimistic that this show can go forward and be a success. After this pilot episode, I definitely want to see what’s next for her, especially since so much, in one episode, has been put into motion. Is it Sunday yet?!


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