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Sunday, September 28, 2014

I Watched that "Madam Secretary" Show . . . Stunned Ox.

I finally pulled the trigger . . . well, pressed the On Demand button and watched the opening episode of the Hillary campaign "Madam Secretary" TV show on CBS, the Clinton Columbia Broadcasting System. It, as expected, was rubbish.

Tea Leoni, who plays the lead character Elizabeth McCord, has perfected the mouth-breathing stunned ox look. She plays the whole episode looking like, well, an ox gasping for air after being hit in the head by a defective stun gun. She is a "brilliant" ex-CIA analyst, who left the Agency on "principle" to become a "brilliant" University professor, and is recruited by the President, played by Keith Carradine, to become his new "brilliant" SecState following the mysterious death of his old SecState in a plane crash on the way to Venezuela on a mysterious mission which might not have been authorized and--deep breath--his death might not have been accidental! Wow!

Before I go on, reality check, folks. The President, it turns out, headed the CIA for 12 years before running for President. Do you really think that some white guy who ran the CIA for twelve years could become President in today's world of lefty media bias? I doubt it.

Anyhow, the scenes at State run from ludicrous to idiotic to back to ludicrous. What is captured  accurately is that Secretary McCord is surrounded by a staff of feminine men ("Girly-Men" as Arnold would have called them) and ballsy women. That certainly fits with what I saw during Hillary's tenure. Her staff worries about nonsense, like her hairstyle, and what she is going to say about and at her dinner with the King of Swaziland (Why? Why pick on Swaziland?) That is pretty realistic. Secretary McCord goes through the day, of course, with her mouth agape and her eyes almost crossed with that stunned ox look Leoni has picked for her character.

Oh, yes, there is some convoluted storyline about some dopey American kids being captured by somebody in Syria who will execute them unless something or another happens. The Secretary's task from the President's evil Chief-of Staff, played by Slovenian actor Zeljko Ivanek, is to keep the kidnapping out of the press. Right. As though that would happen in today's world of online streaming. There is a botched military operation to rescue the kids "ordered by the CIA." Right.

Fear not, however, for the "brilliant" McCord knows a slightly corrupt Russian Cultural Attache who owes her favors and who has some mysterious connections with the kidnappers and arranges for the kids to be freed in exchange for $1.5 million in medical supplies . .  . right. Who writes this nonsense?

In addition, there is a mysterious death of a former CIA colleague who had tried to warn McCord that not everything is kosher; the episode ends with the Secretary gasping for air--of course--wondering if there is some plot within the administration.

That's it. Do not watch unless you think the stunned ox look is a good one.

49 comments:

  1. Now you've got a good idea why ex-military types get so pissed at Hollywood. I do love the "CIA boo!" theme, that's been a Hollywood favorite since I was little and played with Mastodons.

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  2. Anyhow, the scenes at State run from ludicrous to idiotic to back to ludicrous.

    Haven't you indicated much the same?

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  3. My favorite part was the successful negotiation with terrorists. That always works out so well.

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  4. Thanks.

    I wasn't planning to anyway, but it's good to know you've got it covered.

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    Replies
    1. You know, just in case gangs of muscular pajama boys with machetes threaten to kill me if I don't know some "Madam Secretary" plot point ... and for some reason I'm not packing heat.

      Delete
    2. My good friend "a", you need not pack heat. Just get thee to a department store and buy a really intimidating pair of PJs. That'll back 'em off.

      Delete
    3. Whitey,

      You actually expect me to be seen in public in PJs?

      Delete
    4. Certainly not during the day time a6z

      Delete
  5. The writer probably had "Day of the Condor" as his only previous produced work.

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  6. Without having seen the thing, one might say that at least the producers got the David Duchovny character in the marginally correct position.

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  7. THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR was a pretty good popcorn thriller. Much better than similar films of the period & one of the few Redford films I can stand to watch.

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  8. Did you check the credits to see if the producers bothered to use a "Technical Adviser" and if so did you recognize the name?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. I will check on that.

      Delete
    2. paul vincent zecchinoSeptember 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      Dip, Salvorhardin y Compays -

      'Full Credits' section of the imdb dot com website lists no technical director.

      Delete
    3. I prowled around a bit and found that Madeleine Albright is who the producers are palsy with, so the technical consultant is likely one of her toadies.

      Delete
  9. So this more of a Valerie Plame vehicle than a HRC vehicle. Will avoid. Besides, this runs when football is on

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  10. Ms Leoni perfected that stunned ox (perfect description-- I knew exactly what you meant) look in Jurassic Park III, affecting wonder at a velociraptor. Which then proceeded to try to eat her.

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  11. Didn't we already try this Hillary informercial with President Geena Davis in Commander-in-Chief?

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  12. Its just one collossal pile of shit, a gigantic make Shillery the Screaming Bitch look good in a transparent retcon. Said it months ago, not exactly shocked thats all it is.
    Does confirm though that CBS joins the RAT propaganda ministry officially. Perhaps they are angling for a Leni Riefenstahl award.....

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  13. paul vincent zecchinoSeptember 28, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Tea Leoni is beautiful and terribly miscast as such. Couldn't they have at least unstiffed Bela Abzug, or made an animatronic version to play Mme. DuFarge?


    By the bye, according to the imdb website, the Full Credits section lists no technical director.

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    Replies
    1. Bela Abzug - ha ha. That reminds me of a Foto Funny I found in a National Lampoon from the 70s (I was on an exchange program with US Army SF twice in the middle & late 70s, which is where I got turned on to NatLamp). It was photo of Jimmy Carter with Bela Abzug; the usual PR-type shot featuring the strained smiles looking more like a death rictus. Anyway in the speech balloons:
      Carter to Abzug: "Well thank you, and y'all eat mah shorts now, you heah?"
      Abzug to Carter: "You didn't get teeth like that from eating pussy did you, Mr President?"

      Delete
    2. Agreed, Tea Leoni is beautiful. May watch now, because I think I'd dig the stunned ox look.

      Mark in Portand

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  14. good job... "I did this...", "I fixed that...", "... that's why I...", but then it's "... the United States misjudged the threat of islamic militants..."
    No Mr. Obama... *YOU* misjudged.... it's time to finally take some responsibility.

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  15. What you all have to remember is that police/doctor/lawyer tv shows have been done to death since the days of Ben Casey and Dragnet. There is nothing new to offer, hence the rise of so-called 'reality tv' which is even worse. Z-grade 'celebrities' or obese trailer trash from Pig's Knuckle Arkansas shrieking at each other on some tv set, or eating bugs, or dancing with their ass sticking out looking utterly ridiculous - perhaps that's the point.

    As far as the police/doctor/lawyer shows are concerned there are six basic and unvarying story lines, after which a supporting cast member gets taken hostage and the principles run around like headless chooks. Look back on every cop show from the 80s 90s and 00s and you'll see that point proven. The only variables on that plotline constant are:
    1) The squad commander/chief surgeon/senior partner. Does he or she have a dark and possibly evil secret that this stressful situation will reveal? Estranged wife/husband? Ungrateful nasty and grasping children bitching for a new iPod? Repressed sexual desires for the pretty filing clerk or that nice custody sergeant with the Village People moustache? (Sexual orientation is optional here, it produces another sub-sub plotline)
    2) The hostage. Full of inner spunk, just waiting for a chance to brain the kidnapper and fight him/herself out of a dire situation? Or a phony baloney tough guy/girl who goes to water at the first sign of danger despite his/her 'impressive arrest record'? Is he or she the thoughful philosophical, yet world weary offsider? Or perhaps the mild comic relief? Answer 'yes' to either of those and it is guaranteed that character gets a ventilated chest in the last reel, just before SWAT arrives, 'hut hut hut!'
    3) Is the hostage the lovable little street kid/abuse victim/petty criminal with whom the lead hocho has a respect-based realationship, which of course won't save him/her from an imminent and probably needless demise brought on by procedural idiocy by a subordinate, who will get his/her ass chewed (sensitively of course) and then a rapid demotion to Traffic and a swift end to a promising career. This of course allows us a scene where the honcho gets slapped around and verbally abused by the hysterical grieving crack mother/saintly churchgoing grandmother/pimp but allows our hero to walk off into the final credits with his/her dignity intact - "We did all we could but the 'system' failed us (again)".

    "Tune in next week all you tubby lounge lizards for another action-packed (but utterly predictable) episode of Special Victims Unit on the Streets of San Francisco in Steubenville Ohio CSI. Make sure you've got your 40 piece bucket of fried chicken, your 40-ounce soda and a bucket of lard or creosote for dessert. Be here!"

    ReplyDelete
  16. OT (but what does anybody really expect from me?)

    Diplomad? South America's not really my forte - but I'm curious.

    What's to be made of this?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/28/us-brazil-election-evangelicals-insight-idUSKCN0HN0GC20140928

    Arkie

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    Replies
    1. Arkie--being an Evangelical myself, I can fill you in on a few things (even if I'm not much of an expert on Latin America).

      Instead of turkey for Thanksgiving, we eat live-stewed liberated lesbians. They taste like pork fed on a varied, natural, and non-commercial diet. Don't knock this habit of ours until you've tried it. There. I'll bet someone lurking here thinks I'm for real on this one.

      Actually, Evangelicals are politically all over the map. And, despite of Moses' warnings not to learn the abominations of the heathens round about, we haven't learned a durn thing in the past 4,000 years, and even have a few people plugging for abortion on demand and "gay marriage".

      While a hostile media obligingly anoints Popes for us every so often, some of us think that Pat Robertson is a casual blasphemer whose "the Lord told me..." without book, chapter, and verse would get him publicly stoned in any sane polity--or at least whipped out of town at the cart's tail and then hanged if he dared come back. We're supposedly easily led, but we break into conflict with our leaders at the drop of a hat.

      Frankly, were it not for Jesus the Messiah, I'd wonder why I stayed with such an outfit.


      Delete
    2. Kepha! I do declare! There must be more to this religion thing than I knew. Maybe I have been affixed to the wrong church.

      Delete
    3. Kepha, that's sublime! (What is your particular abode within the subculture?)

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    4. (I myself hail from a fairly evangelical congregation in a fairly evangelical corner of that monstrosity of modernist corruption known as the PCUSA.... no idea whether we'll bail as a unit or I run out of patience personally first.)

      Delete
  17. I can't believe how ignorant writers have become for even the small stuff. They seem to have no experience or interest in the world and just pick up their "knowledge" from rhetoric and TV news.

    I watched the second episode which was only slightly less stupid than the first. They rehabilitate private contractors. But what was completely absurd was a throwaway line of dialogue.

    Tea Leoni is speaking with the ambassador to Yemen. He's making small talk and comments on the coffee. He states it is very good, they import it from Turkey. Get that, Yemen, a coffee producing country, imports their awesome coffee from Turkey, a country with a coffee brewing technique named after it but no actual coffee growing.

    I know it is incidental but really, why not a simple google to have some sort of validity?

    "Yemen has a coffee culture like no other place, and the distinct flavor profile can be partially credited to the old style of trade in the country. Yemen is the first place coffee was commercialized, traded through the port city of Al Mahka (Mokha). Yemeni coffee has a distinct, rustic flavor profile which can be attributed to the fact it is all dry-processed, as well as the old seed stocks cultivated there, and also due to the near-drought condition in which the coffee survives. "

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    Replies
    1. Well we import our fries from France, right?

      Delete
    2. Dip, while I'm here, thanks for your post. I had no intention of watching the show simply because I guessed from the outset that it's a campaign ad for Shrillary Shrooooo, and I have more interesting things to do.

      But, considering your exchange with JKB, I can only see missing the Yemeni origin of Turkish coffee is typical of Hollywood. Much of that town is as stupid as it is glamorous; and just like the River Platte--six inches deep and a mile wide at the mouth.

      Delete
  18. The previews wafted the stench of stupid liberalism out of the front of the TV screen, and you've confirmed it. I'm willing to bet it dies pretty quickly. How many seasons has 24 racked up so far? . . . .

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  19. Not sure if anyone picked up on "Elizabeth McCord" having the same syllables as "Hillary Clinton". Subliminal messaging 101?

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    Replies
    1. Really? Unless this is sarcasm, you may want to loosen the tinfoil hat. At least long enough to count the syllables...

      Delete
    2. Only if you pronounce Hillary as H-ill-ar-ee, E-liz-a-beth has one more syllable.

      Of course, if Leoni's character was named "Lizabeth", then it would work.

      Delete
  20. I'm sorry. All I read was Tea Leoni. Mmmmmm... Tea Leoni.

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  21. Umm, Diplomad, from all you've written about State, Madam Secretary sounds like a reality tv show involving the current administration. Although, I wish the current administration could achieve the intelligence of "stunned ox."

    -Blake

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  22. And I thought I was merciless (aka, just) when reviewing "Orange is the New Black" and the Stacey version of both seasons of "House of Cards" on Rule of Reason. Thank you for the mental health warning. I won't "Demand" it on Amazon even though at this point it would be a freebee on my account. I'd rather watch the next season of "The Walking Dead."

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  23. Hillary Clinton could never have dealth with Swaziland. Otherwise we'd still be at war with them.

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  24. I did not see it, and have no intention to, and am half drunk so therefore, I will give a ***SPOILER ALERT*** !!!
    In Episode Two, Mmme. Secretary must dodge bullets from some sniper while in Bosnia on mission of peace to return their lost poet laureate.

    In Episode Three, Mme Secretary discovers her "Special Advisor" Humpa Dumbadin cannot fasten her pantsuit. Shock! And she likes cookies.

    In Episode Four, Mme Secretary is warned about far-right-wing lugnuts who will confront her about making behind the scenes agreements with well-meaning-and-completely-trustworthy Middle Eastern royalty that only want to give her a few million for a nice little speech. In a subplot, her body-woman (Alec Baldwin), discovers he has lice. Icky!

    In Episode Five...hell, if this thing makes it to five episodes, you can bet that this is all propaganda for Hillary!

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  25. I understand that this show was bracketed by a 60 minutes puff piece with POTUS and, a Good Wife episode featuring Valerie Jarret...
    A CBS trifecta!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, but the Jarrett cameo was hilariously wooden - appropriate, since she was basically acting as the pinnochio in a staged political-puppetry call to the protagonist. The camera hates Valerie, thank god.

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  26. Seems to me that you are of the conservative persuasion. If that's the case, I'm amazed that you lasted past the first day at DoS. Absolutely gobsmacked.

    I have to admit, though, that I will have to watch at least part of the first episode just so I can see the "stunned ox" look. It's just too, too tempting.

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  27. Cant bring myself to tune in but please tell me that Tina/Elisabeth is caught and depicted in numerous compromised positions?

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  28. If Tea Leone is a stunned ox, then Greg Starr's testimony before Trey Gowdy was condescending wildebeest.

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  29. Just discovered the show as its recently started showing in South Africa. The researchers didn't do.a go job for example the attire worn by King of swaziland's wives is Nigerian :( and the king of swaziland never travels with all.his wives. Then the episode on the Greek debt crisis is such nonsense... Pitty they use very current news events and don't research them properly

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