Posts Tagged ‘Madame Secretary
[Click above to embiggen: I don’t think that comparison to the idealized Elizabeth “Bess” McCord character on CBS’ Madam Secretary does Hillary Clinton any good whatsoever.]
Assumption: Hollywood uses tee-vee shows and movies to push the inevitability of Hillary Clinton as president, as part of a diabolically genius PR strategy to ensure that people believe there is no other possibility besides her being the president. Since Hillary-esque characters on these shows are always portrayed in a positive light, conventional wisdom is that the characters are supposed to make Hillary more likable or respected (as this omnipresent female political figure that is such a part of our lives that no one can even imagine a world where she doesn’t win the election).
Argument: What if shows like CBS’ Madam Secretary actually HURT Hillary Clinton’s chances, since the real Hillary pales in comparison to the on-screen idealized version of her. Especially the version that Tea Leoni plays, Elizabeth “Bess” McCord.
Today I thought I’d run through a fun thought exercise that is rooted in a weekly fight that would occur at my house back when Justin and I still lived together, because I’m a big fan of the show Madam Secretary and watch it on CBS’ website every Monday morning. The show airs live on Sunday nights, but I haven’t had a television in more than seven years now (and I can’t think of a single person I know who still watches tee-vee live anyway).
Justin (and his entire family) hate Hillary Clinton and believe her to be the Devil incarnate…and so he would get really bitter and nasty if he’d walk through the living room and I’d be watching Madam Secretary on my screen. This is one of many shows I’d have to watch before he would wake up or when he was doing something else, because I just never had the energy to listen to his tirades about Hillary (or even just the huffing and puffing he’d do, going on about how the show was just propaganda for her).
In my opinion, Madam Secretary actually really hurts Hillary Clinton, despite it being about a blonde woman who is Secretary of State. All Justin can see is that “it’s a blonde woman who is Secretary of State” and so he believes that CBS is just running pro-Hillary propaganda. What I see on the screen might be a blonde female Secretary of State, but “Bess” on the show is so much more competent and principled than Hillary Clinton has ever been. She’s much more likable too…she always does the right thing…and she’s the kind of Secretary of State that we all wish we had in real life.
I don’t think the show is about Hillary Clinton as much as it is an escapist fantasy that I happen to deeply enjoy. I love being able to sit down once a week and escape into a world where America actually has a competent, tough-as-nails, brilliant Secretary of State working hard to do what’s right for the American people. I don’t think we’ve had such a person in existence in my entire adult lifetime. I certainly don’t remember a time when we had anyone in government who was as rock star awesome as Bess is on this show.
One of the things that inevitably led to Justin and I no longer being together is that he hates most things and angrily shouts out against them, whereas I usually find something to like about anything (apart from reality tee-vee, which I agree is in most cases irredeemable). Justin doesn’t like scripted shows of any kind, because he feels the writers are all in cahoots sending secret messages and engaging in propaganda. He prefers watching FOX News clips on YouTube or whatever and getting himself caught-up in whatever the outrage of the day is. I would not sit and watch those talking heads on cable news if you paid me.
Even if a show like Madam Secretary is pushing a political agenda, as a writer I can recognize what they are doing and it amuses me when they are so transparent. Take for example the premiere episode of Madam Secretary that aired on 10/2/16: Global Warming Alarmism was shoehorned into the plot of an otherwise thrilling episode that had so many cool twists and turns that I lost count. It was like some network executive got ahold of a really great script (I’m talking Pelican Brief, John Grisham in his prime great) and then decided that all the well-executed political intrigue was just not enough for one episode…so they had to cram in some Global Warming Alarmism for good measure.
If Justin was still in Chicago and not Arkansas, he would have been apoplectic…talking through the rest of the show, forcing me to listen to one of his diatribes about how the Left’s propaganda is everywhere and no place is safe. While the show did jab that nonsense in there, the nonsense amounted to two minutes or so of plot point in an hour long episode. I rolled my eyes at the Alarmist foolishness…and I smiled too, because the joke is on them for shoehorning in things that will make this episode age poorly in the future. Ever see a really old episode of a show from the early to mid 1970s where someone is going on about The Impending Ice Age? If the writers want to make themselves look incredibly foolish by using this show to preach the Left’s favored Apocalypse talking points of the moment, then the consequence will be that someone watching Madam Secretary a few years from now will laugh at how stupid the Alarmist digression in this episode was.
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