“A woman’s perspective is such an important thing”, says Elizabeth McCord (aka Tea Leoni) at one point during the debut of the new show, Madam Secretary. And you know what? I couldn’t agree more. Most political tales are told from the point of view of the male and as a woman, I like seeing a strong female character at the forefront of the drama. Elizabeth is intelligent, fervent and brave. It takes guts to stand up to a bunch of her superiors who are against her, rather than supporting her. But lest you think this show is only written for “chicks”, let me say that it truly is a drama anyone can enjoy – chockfull of witty repartee, action, pathos and great acting.
The show opens with a shot of a mosque. A flash of text in the corner of the screen tells us we are visiting Damascus, Syria. The camera soon pans to the inside of a jail where a group of men are paying checkers. A young American man in typical denim jeans and a tee-shirt is being dragged to a cell where his brother is waiting. The young man is screaming “call the State Department”.
That was a decent – if slightly predictable – hook to the begin show though admittedly at that point, I was just waiting for a glance of Tim Daly’s fine self. We soon meet Elizabeth who is hurrying along while being stalked by a very entitled university student who doesn’t like his thesis topic. We get a glimpse at Elizabeth’s greatly witty side when she rebuffs the student in style and tells him he will not receive an extension on his paper. At that point, I am sure that I will like her a lot. And I do.
She soon meets up with her husband Henry (played by Tim Daly who is as fine as ever! Thank you, HDTV, for the close-up!) and we get to see them interact. They are a fun couple, teasing and cajoling each other right and left. I can see from first glance that they have major shipper-potential. We learn that they live on a farm; that they have so-called normal lives, even with a “self-proclaimed anarchist” for a son. Cue the upset. The president arrives. He tells Elizabeth that the secretary of state’s plane went down. The man is no more and there is suddenly a position needing filled. Elizabeth is called to serve. She balks at the idea (anyone would feel under-qualified for that job, right?) and then we are shown that she has accepted the offer as the little text box in the corner soon reads “Two Months Later”…
A lot of stuff happens thereafter (there’s never a dull moment in this show) that I could spoil you about but you know what, I won’t. And why? Because I think you need to watch this show yourself. Actually, I demand that you watch this show yourself! It’s really that darn good. It would be a mistake to skip it and write it off as “just another one of those political shows”. It’s not. It’s actually bordering on brilliant even when it has a few predictable moments here and there.
The characters and acting alone make the show worth the price of admission. Tim Daly’s hotness makes the show worth the price of admission too, but I digress. Watch this show, even if it doesn’t sound like your thing. You might be pleasantly surprised just how fast the narrative moves. I am most definitely on pins and needles waiting for next Sunday’s episode. They left us with one hell of a cliffhanger and I look forward to seeing how the mystery element they introduced plays into the events of the coming season.
While Madam Secretary debuted at very modest ratings (they only scored only a 2.0 share in Households), I am hoping positive buzz about the show will ensure its success. I’d be pretty lost without Elizabeth and Henry. Seriously, I would. The show has made that much of an impact on me already. So just to recap: watch this show!
What did you think of Madam Secretary? Sound off in the comments below.