So far, the Commander-in-Chief show has not ventured much into controversial or debatable territory. So far, I see nothing to distinguish Mackenzie Allen from any other would-be President – she’s reasonable, determined, and has a way with the press. Why the creators of the show felt it necessary to make her an anti-political Independent is beyond my understanding.
But my biggest beef with the otherwise acceptable (and more believably less intense but full of political intrigue) alternative to The West Wing is this. In the last two episodes, a subplot has President Allen fire a staffer (first a chief of staff and then an AIDS victim who hid the fact from the Secret Service) because of concerns about her ability trust them, only to take it back when plot developments show her the error of her ways.
Now, whatever else I can say about the show, having back-to-back events showing her flip-flop on personnel decisions wasn’t a smart move. A better idea would have been to start showing why she was an Independent, while acceptable enough to be on the Republican ticket. Explaining that distinction would go a long way to defining her political background and giving policy depth to a show largely lacking it.
(That said, the main fault with The West Wing the last 2 years is that an over-extended cast of characters mean the stories are mostly plot.)