I have loved all 7 episodes of Commander in Chief, until yesterdays. There was a sense of grandeur to the presidency as executed creatively by Rod Lurie. The score, direction and production values were fantastic. With the Steven Bochco takeover beginning with last night\'s episode, I could definitely feel the transition coming to hit me upside the head from my television screen. Within one week it became grittier - albeit more realistic and human - but it lost the sense of \'Rod Lurie\' that made me love this show. Right off the bat came the change in episode titles, different opening credits, a more darker side to Horace, usage of stock footage from episode 3 when the president is rowing, addition of the First Gentlemen to the senior staff, a very unnecessarily extended pool scene at school \'I slept with the president\'s daughter!\' and just very awkward and overly-extended scenes that I can feel were being dragged on. This is not the Commander in Chief that has been on for the past 8 weeks. Perhaps this is just a \'transition episode\' as the actors are getting used to the new format, but I could see how blatant the \'change in administration\' storyline has been executed under Steven Bochco\'s direction.
I just hope it returns to normal or at least eases with the transitory tone. And, the way the previews were edited for the upcoming episode did not make me forget this latest installment. Zack Morris in the Whitehouse? I hope it\'s done with some class.
One final thing I noticed this evening was a return to clarifying that Mac was indeed the president - I must of heard \'I\'m the leader of the free world\' \'most important woman in the world\' about 4-5 times. This was established already in the pilot. Did Mr. Bochco feel the need to restate under his direction as he missed the chance to start fresh with the show from the pilot? Moreover, how many times was the term 'West Wing' uttered. Yes, we know the importance of the locale, but I'm sure the characters know where they are working by now.
So, the show which I love - and sped home yesterday to make it home in time - took a bit of a dive yesterday. Here\'s hoping that the 29 November episode brings it all back to speed.