Lunchtable TV Talk: Madam Secretary

Standard

Sometimes this show is attempting to be like something else… something self-important or something like The West Wing but it isn’t.

It’s not the greatest show, but I like it. I realized that it’s cast chemistry that makes it work even though it is not the best show on tv. And other shows – more starkly this season than any other in recent memory – may have a decent premise but fail largely because they seemed to cast in a vacuum. Like, “Oh, John Stamos is available. We’ll get him for Grandfathered.” But then the rest of the cast was assembled, one by one, in the same way, with no actual testing to see if chemistry existed – or just in a calculated but ad hoc way, i.e. trying to come up with racial equations to make the show look diverse or something similar. And the result is annoying and disruptive to storytelling.

Madam Secretary is fairly formulaic in its storytelling, but the cast gels well. Téa Leoni seems like someone who could have been a CIA officer who ends up in cabinet-level government service quite by accident. Željko Ivanek – well, he fits in everywhere. And Tim Daly – well, I love him. Well, you know, Wings.

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