Fall 2014: Madam Secretary and Forever

Fall 2014 TV HeaderThe new fall TV season is here and already my DVR is overloaded – especially on Monday night. What I like to do at the start of each season is give every new show a try. Some get a second viewing and some never make it past the first round. (The Mysteries of Laura – yikes)

One show that squeaked through to week two was Forever. This is Sherlock Holmes meets New Amsterdam (remember that one?).  I like Ioan Gruffudd and I adore Judd Hirsch and I like the plot – immortal man becomes a coroner in order to study death. I was prepared for all kinds of historical flashbacks and when I realized that Judd Hirsch’s character is / was the baby Henry found at a concentration camp during the war, I cheered inside.

Unfortunately, the writers expect us to believe that just because you’ve lived 200 years, you now have a Sherlockian ability to tell a cellist from a violinist just from the grooves in her fingers. Sorry. 200 years might give you a special insight into man’s inhumanity to man but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re extraordinarily observant.

I’m also unhappy with the characterization of the female lead played by Alana de la Garza. She’s a detective but it’s like she’s never solved a crime before Henry came along.

I want to like this show. It has potential and it has Joel David Moore. But even the creeper stalker subplot isn’t going to save this show if they don’t find away to get around the “I’m a genius and everyone around me isn’t” feeling.

I’ll give it another week, then we’ll see if it stays on the DVR list or not.

One show that is definitely staying is Madam Secretary. This is West Wing meets The Good Wife with a touch of Scandal.

Téa Leoni stars as a former CIA agent who gave up the life to raise kids and horses. But after the Secretary of State is killed in a plane crash (was it an accident or murder?), President and former boss Keith Carradine hires her to take his place. She’s not a politician so there’s a little of that “I’m a maverick just doing what’s best for the situation” thing happening but I’m okay with that. The reason I’m okay with that is because Elizabeth McCord is a strong, smart, well-written female character. She totally could have stepped out of the world of The West Wing.

The show also has a super supporting cast including Tim Daly as Madam Secretary’s husband, Zeljko Ivanek as her political foil and Bebe Neuwirth who is totally underused in the first two episodes.

I don’t know a lot about politics so I don’t know if they’re getting any of this right or if it’s totally laughable that an ex-CIA analyst could just walk in to the White House and claim a high level position. But honestly, I don’t care. I believe they world the creators have put forth and I’m excited to see where they’ll go from here.

Fall TV Score so far:

Forever – is not likely to live it up to its name.

Madam Secretary – has my respect.

Care to weigh in on either of these new shows? Please do so in the comments below.

Téa Leoni  in Madam Secretary  Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS 2014 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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