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Madam Secretary 1×02 “First Days Are the Hardest”

You ever heard that saying “First days at the office are the hardest”? The same applies to new TV shows. The first episodes are the toughest, as they are fully scrutinized, then praised or loathed without a shadow of a doubt. Some of them remain in the middle: you can get that it’s a good show, but you also expect from it “to spread its wings and fly high”. This is the case of Madame Secretary who in its second week still feels a little bit uneasy. The problem with the series so far is that it doesn’t go beyond a family drama.  Soft and too soft on the edges. Of course, there is the story of the Madam Secretary where Elizabeth McCord is ready “to pact with Satan” if necessary to save American Citizens in danger (Another Benghazi – Sunday’s episode), but tension is missing from the situations she has to deal with at the White House. Elizabeth McCord doesn’t have any adversaries in the field, there are no stakes for her. yes, she has some obstacles, but no real adversaries. The real problem is…to sum things up,  that Elizabeth McCord has got no definite identity as MS. Better figured out, at least at this point, it’s the personal story where, at least, there is some sort of conflict.  Barbara Hall, creator of the show, worked previously on “Judging Amy”, and well… kindda feels like it. But what Judging Amy had unique, was a complete universe in which the story took place: the family court and the child welfare. The cases were touching, surprising, they had conflict, and so were the human relationships.  Unfortunately, with Madam Secretary, everything is rather generic and sometime “on the nose”. (That is a problem of many shows today, to explain everything to the viewers, either through chunky dialogue or overt Voice Over techniques.)  I really do think that the show is going to improve, the question is When.


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