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STUDIO: Buena Vista
RUNNING TIME: 390 Minutes
• Deleted Scenes
• Geena Davis interview
"Geena Davis is the president of the whole wide world!"
Geena Davis. Donald Sutherland. Kyle Secor. Harry Lennix. Peter Coyote.
The President of the United States’ hit point meter has
reached zero and his vacated job falls in the lap of his Vice President, a
woman. When her “allies” try to force her out of office, she rebels by taking
the job. Is she the best man for the job? She thinks so and millions of dollars
of the highest grade television production wants to prove it to us. Geena Davis
is the boss of America: the most cutthroat island ever!
"…and as your Congressman I vow that you too can rise up and recover from zombie holocaust!"
I’m not going to crack any more presidential douche jokes this time around. No, on this Summer’s Eve I want to discuss the swan song of Rod Lurie’s high profile presidential drama in a similar manner to how the show itself petered out.
Speaking of Petering out, look at this image:
"Matchstick said that I’m a celebrity. What, is he fucking nuts?"
The cliffhanger from the first 2-disc set of this show centered around a conflict with North Korea (not Chick Corea, he’s cool with the femme prez) and how our lady leader reacted to the possibility of war. Sadly, the issue comes to an unsatisfying conclusion and because the show was living on borrowed time it never really does much to establish any interesting subplots to explore before leaving television in a poof like Criss Angel: Mindfuckingfreak. There’s some potential for drama in the quest for a replacement Vice President, the rising tension between Mackenzie Allen and Donald Sutherland’s Nathan Templeton, and in the typical tasks of being a president. Where this show failed is in never rising above it’s concept. She’s a chick, see? No, really she is a lady. Once that is exhausted as a really ripe chassis for the show it totally gets smoked by even the lamest episodes of The West Wing.
The sad thing is that the acting is fine and there are things to cling to here. Davis is fine in her role and her interplay with Donald Sutherland is the highlight of the series even though Sutherland never really gets a lot of chances to be much more than a two-faced old coot. If he was allowed to channel more of his "Mr. X" persona this show could have endured a far more interesting life.
Instead, we get a really weak subplot involving the eldest daughter of the President and her instant message friend. Weak might be too light a term. For the last four or five episodes we don’t see the character unless she’s furiously sending messages back and forth with a secret pal whose reveal goes down like a snaggletoothed whore. It could have been interesting if the person on the other end was interesting or scary. Or a space alien. Instead it’s benign and the reveal showcases just how far this thing lost its way. Typically a show like this really needs two seasons to find its stride. Watch most shows and aside from a few exceptions (the stuff from the FX network tends to come out of the gate swinging) the most beloved seasons occur in the three-five year range.
"What kind of an asshole system links Newspeople Ultra on their XBOX? Look, I have to go…"
So, instead of this being a deceased show to lament and wonder "what if" about, it’s just desserts. I won’t miss Commander in Chief one bit, especially since they didn’t have the decency to give Natasha Henstridge more to do. Naked.
Ronny Cox. Natasha Henstridge. Donald Sutherland. Pretty much the best onscreen trio ever.
There’s a very short discussion with Geena Davis that really doesn’t add to much, especially when she reveals that she was willing to take the gig without reading a script. It’d have been funny if she signed on and then saw the fine print.
It’s about a female caveman president.
There’s a commentary on one episode but it’s a Rod Lurie-free episode and you really need the creator of the show to appear on the lone episode with commentary. It’s not a bad track, informative and somewhat interesting, but you need the A-List participation unless you’re a sci-fi show whose fans would listen to you discuss the curtains as long as you spoke in the native dialect of the Gru-Inscruntians.
There’s also some bloopers but none of them feature Donald Sutherland and I really wanted to see the Hollywood legend flub his line and then call the camera a cockhole.
5.5 out of 10