As an American expatriate living in Thailand, I no longer have the luxury of watching great American prime time TV programs the way they're meant to be seen. I must obtain HDTV rips that get posted to usenet and watch them at the computer. Since my usenet account limits monthly downloads, I must choose very carefully what I download.
That being said, I downloaded and watched this episode of "Commander in Chief" after hearing it being compared to "The West Wing". Anticipating an intelligent 42 minutes of TV, I was thoroughly disappointed. This program seems to me to be "The West Wing for people who can't understand The West Wing". "Commander" to me seemed to resemble a family sitcom more than a political drama -- and perhaps that was the creator's intent... to create a program about the White House that doesn't focus on internal politics at all, but rather the first family, and the baggage that comes with living a very high-profile life. While this is all well and good for many mainstream American couch potatoes, It's not a show that I would spend three hours downloading again.
As for the episode itself, the storylines were decent, fairly well-written, but as someone who would prefer to watch more on how the White House staff deals with a terrorist threat than what the first daughter wants to do for Halloween, I found the show to be unfulfilling.
I enjoyed seeing Leslie Hope play a role, and found her character to be the only one in the show that actually seemed to act like a White House staffer. Her fate at the end of the episode is regretful, and assuming she will not be returning only solidifies my position to pass up future downloading of this show. I also have a bit of trouble imagining Geena Davis playing the role of POTUS. Her character is just not very believable to be portraying one of the most powerful people in the world.
I found the production quality of this show to be very good until near the end when the kids go off for a night of Halloween antics, when I couldn't take my eyes off the towering mountains in the distance. Believability is key, and I can't fathom how the editors either missed or didn't care about that little detail. It's almost as bad as when palm trees sneak their way into the backgrounds of shows taking place in New York.
This show does however, raise some thought regarding a female president in office. How would the country react? What *would* we call the first spouse?
A good premise for a TV drama, but not the right formula for me.