Monday, September 19, 2005

TV's newest celebrations of despotism

I’ve spent almost a decade adamantly refusing to watch TV’s State-worshipping ratings hit The West Wing. My friend Dave adores the show. He never misses it. “It’s written extraordinarily well,” he insists. I don’t care. I can’t get past the fact that its producer once told the L.A. Times he’d created the series to “help rebuild Americans’ confidence in their leaders.” Fortunately, the show’s copycats quickly disappeared, so we’ve been left only with Martin Sheen and his “noble” struggles. But another television season is now launching, and I note at least two new series that, like The West Wing, I’ll be avoiding like liver and onions.

Commander in Chief (on ABC) — To get us prepared for Hillary’s run for the White House in 2008, here comes Geena Davis as Vice President Mackenzie Allen, thrust into the Oval Office when the President dies suddenly. She’s a Nobel-winning university chancellor, mother, former Congresscritter, and, to make things seem really evenhanded, she’s an Independent! Oh, and she’s cute as a button. What a country!

E-Ring (on NBC) — Remember when Dennis Hopper was a Hollywood bad boy and rode a badass bike across the nation’s landscape with Peter Fonda, selling dope and raising hell? Those days are over, kids. Now Hopper’s a colonel, working at the Pentagon’s “E-Ring,” where all the really big decisions are made. And he's mixing it up with a maverick former Green Beret and Army major played by Benjamin Bratt. Shit, I feel another war coming on.

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At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liver and Onions sound like they'd have far more merit than either of those new shows. Like you, I've not watched one West Wing and don't plan on starting now. However, I watch very little TV other than movies on cable/DBS.

If that E-ring show turns out to be as bad as it sounds, maybe Hopper will be playing a psycho. A psycho at the Pentagon, that sounds like a natural. He might be able to hold up his head that way.

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Wally Conger said...

Tom, some might argue that by playing a psycho, Hopper would comfortably fit right in at the Pentagon.

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only watched E-ring for about fifteen minutes. Half a dozen navy seals(@ a $1,000,000 a pop annually) were rescuing a chinese girl off the coast of an asian country(china?). They ended up having to rescue the girl's child/brother and older relative also, all before a chinese spy satelite in earth orbit could do a flyby and catch them breaking international law... Moving television.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Monkey's Max said...

Hi Wally, I just came over to your blog from I have also never seen The West Wing in spite of dozens of people telling me that it is excellent. I even had one person who has worked in the White House tell me, "Oh, you know, it's not really like that at all." Oh, really?!! I guess he hadn't believed me when I told him I had never seen the show. Television is dangerous and makes many people in many countries very stupid. I'll be coming back to your blog.


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