Hail To the Chief

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ABC (ended 1985)

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Hail To the Chief Fan Reviews (1)

6.4
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16 votes
  • This show would make Archie Bunker Blush!

    9.0
    I was only 5 when "Soap" was cancelled but I remember seeing a few episodes as a kid. When I got older, I was able to see it in its entirety. Hail to the Chief is almost a carbon-copy of Soap, obviously because it came from the same creators. It even had the cliff hanger and the recap at the beginning and end of each episode. I remember Hail to the Chiefl barely, but was able to obtain all 7 episodes. Like Soap, it had a strong but vulnerable woman, a cheating husband, 2 of the kids take AFTER the husband(hormone-wise) and the youngest is just cute. Even the dining room was the same set used in the Tate household. Patty Duke again teams up with Ted Bessell(first in the film "Billie" then in the tv film "Two on a Bench) and they have great chemistry. She is the newly named president, Julia Mansfield, after the president has resigned(no reason given). Ted(That Girl) Bessell plays her husband Gen. Oliver Mansfield who is an egotistical biggot who, according to one character, will jump anything that isn't cremated. He can't get it up for her because he can't handle her being his superior and because of the guilt he feels for screwing so many women. If Ted wanted to shed his milquetoast image from That Girl, he was a success. A total 360 from Don Hollinger. They have 3 kids: Doug(a tennis pro who will sleep with any girl that comes along. In Soap he would be a mix of Corrine Tate and Peter Campbell), Lucy(who is horny for the hispanic butler. In Soap she would be Eunice) and Willy(her precocious little boy. In Soap he would be Billy Tate). You can check out the episode summaries in the guide so I won't say much. Soap was known for its shock value and Hail to the Chief tried to capture that naughtiness. However, this was the beginning of the politically correct movement and a lot of the jokes from the 70's wouldn't work here. What's worse, there were more biggot remarks in Hail to the Chief than in the entire run of Soap. Every minority was picked on in every episode with stereotypes and slurs. It was like watching All in the Family. I'm surprised Witt/Thomas/Harris stooped so low. It's one thing if a character or two dropped a few slurs in poor taste but it was CONSTANT. According to a few sources, Patty Duke couldn't understand why the show was cancelled after 7 eps. with such high ratings. Another source connected to Duke said the show was too controversial. I can believe it. I don't think the creators were ready to fight to keep the show on(like they did with Soap) since they already had the less controversial Benson and The Golden Girls doing well in the ratings. It's sad because this show was good, quirky and enjoyable. Duke and Bessell shine and the rest of the cast is great as the crazy denizens in the president's life.
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