September 28, 2005

I'm pretty tolerant of other people's political beliefs. I may be (ahem) quick to tell people I think their beliefs are stupid, unwise, poorly thought out, and illogical. But I don't *hate* someone for having different political views than me. So in order for me to actually hate an individual (or a fictional character) based on his political beliefs, those beliefs have to be way, way, way over the top.

Last night, I watched the series premier of "Commander in Chief". It bothered me.

Geena Davis was awesome, of course. All the acting was, pretty much. What bothered me the most was Donald Sutherland's character.

Here's the set-up: It takes place some time after the Bush administration. A Republican President is in office, and Geena Davis is an Independant VP. That right there is a little implausable, but I can live with that. The President has a stroke and Geena Davis is the president now. There was a lot of political maneuvering to get her to resign the Vice Presidency. Not because she was a woman, but because the Republicans wanted a republican Prez, not an Indy. That's all very plausable.

Enter Donald Sutherland. He's the (Republican) speaker of the house. And he's so implausably conservative and evil that it off-balanced the entire show for me.

For instance: A shia court in Nigeria has sentanced a woman to death by stoning because she cheated on her husband. President Geena wants to save her, militarily if necessary.

Ok, there are countless plausable and legitimate arguments you could make against that action. Like:

a) We shouldn't enforce our morals on another country.
b) We shouldn't commit an act of war on Nigeria just to save 1 person's life.
c) Starting off your presidency with such an incredibly heavy-handed approach will make the rest of the world very wary of you.
d) It sets a standard of the US being responsible for every unjustly imprisoned/mistreated individual on the face of the earth.

All of those are good reasons not to commando raid a Nigerian prison. But Evil Conservative Man (Donald Sutherland) said "Why go to all that trouble for a woman who couldn't keep her legs together?"


I mean, I know Hollywood is liberal. And I expected the protagonists to be liberal as a result. But I kind of hoped they wouldn't succumb to the tired old "Everyone who is conservative is pure evil" paradigm that modern liberalism seems to have degenerated into lately.

In general, TV show characters start out extreme, then mellow out as the show presses on. So I'm going to keep watching in the hopes that Donald Sutherland is turned into a plausable advesary.

Besides. Geena Davis is awesome. I can't not watch that.


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