I'm not always above admitting when I'm wrong about something. If I make a mistake about a TV show, I'll come right out and say it. So when I realized how mistaken I was about the new CBS series, I had to come clean.
My first impression of Madam Secretary wasn't a good one. In fact, I seem to recall labeling it as a snooze-fest. A part of me wants to hang my head in shame for that now, but hey, we're all allowed to have our own opinions and they just happened to be mine. I don't know, maybe I was just in a bad mood when I saw the pilot because with every episode I see, I love it more and more.
Here are a few reasons the show has won me over.
Seriously, can this woman be any better on this show? I can't say that I was overly familiar with her work before Madam Secretary. Maybe a few guest appearances here and there, but that was about it. Well, now I can say with certainty that she is a wonderful actress and I love the way she imbues Elizabeth with just the right amount of seriousness and silliness. She can go from ordering a roomful of people around like they were children to goofing off with her husband. She's a real woman and I like seeing that on a show about politics.
One of the points I made in my original review was about bringing the background players more into play and the show has definitely done that. Matt and Daisy really surprised me when it was revealed they had been sleeping together. I wouldn't have pegged them as a couple at all so that was a nice little reveal. Their relationship is awkward, funny and bound to grow more complicated as the season progresses. In other words, I love it.
I swear, it's like someone on the show read my original review and is making changes accordingly. Of course, I know that's not possible, so I'll just say how happy I am to see that another suggestion I made has come true as well. I thought that Nadine (Bebe Neuwirth) didn't have enough to do and now her story has been fleshed out nicely. She was sleeping with the previous Secretary of State and now Elizabeth has grown suspicious enough to have her investigated. Now that's what I call a fleshed-out storyline.
At first, I assumed that Elizabeth's husband, Henry, wouldn't have a lot to do. It looked like he would only be seen as the supportive spouse in the background as Elizabeth faced the challenges of her job. Once again, I messed up. In the latest episode, Henry made it onto the list government spouses and their "arm candy," but he also had a moment where he showed his son the kind of man he really is. He's not just a guy who teaches school and takes care of the kids — he's also a former military man who can take care of himself. In that one scene, Henry became one of my favorite characters on the show.
I remember finding the first episode of Madam Secretary a bit of a one-note story. We had Elizabeth's story interwoven with some dour politics and that was about it. Within just a few episodes, many more layers have been added to the mix. There are story lines on top of story lines and characters connected to other characters, plus a nice variation of tone. Whereas I found the first episode a bit stodgy, now I find myself laughing throughout the episodes and being impressed when things get dramatic. It's made the show that much more interesting for me.
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