Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Jack and Bobby

So far, I am fairly impressed with this show. It has an entertaining dynamic and the chemistry of the family is wonderful, particularly the relationship between Jack and Grace. I have only two complaints.

The first is the overreliance on the members of Bobby's cabinet in the "present." I wish that they would just let the narrative of the show tell its story. The cabinet was useful in the pilot, but if it continues to dominate the time I will be more and more aggrivated.

My second problem deals with emotive power. The show chose to have the "wierd" and "defenseless" kid with asthma become president, and to have the "hip" and "strong" one die at some earlier point. I imagine that the writers and producers thought this would be a moving and powerful revelation because having the "hip" kid become President is "predictable." Actually, the opposite is true. If you told me, or most of America, that a show was coming out with a cool brother and a wierd brother and that one would die and the other become President, I would have picked the wierd one. Why? Because that is the TV trope. On the other hand, if the cool kid had to deal with the death of his smarter, gentler, more honest, brother and have to cope with a mother who is at odds with him in almost every way, that would have been powerful. What better way to see the strength of a character than to see how he deals with the death of a loved one. The seemingly strong can fall apart, or realize how weak they really are. Think Simon Birch. Here the "hero" is the weak kid, but he dies and his death transforms the narrator. It is often more powerful to watch the mighty fall, and pick themselves up again, than to watch the weak achieve.

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