Is it just me, or are there a lot of White House themed shows popping up these days?
was up to an unholy hour last night working on a project and had
neglected to pull myself away to get up and change the channel on the
TV. A show appeared on my screen that I had never laid eyes on before.
By the look of the set and the Fresh-Prince-knock-off music, I could
immediately deduce that this was a sitcom, and not a good one.
show takes place pretty much entirely in the White House, and follows
the hi-larious family life of the U.S. President. Beside his being
black, the character's movement and style of speech peg him as an
obvious Obama analogue - but with a thin goatee to offer a degree of
His family is full of "colorful characters",
including his relatively normal tween-ish children, his
I'm-a-strong-woman-and-you're-sure-gonna-know-it wife, and incidentally,
Gladys Knight as an overly "urban" live-in grandma or aunt or...
something, I don't know.
As I hear the back-and-forth dialogue
between family members as they pose and pout for the camera, I can't
help but think of the classic "Full House". The laugh-track (of course
there's a laugh track) is a smidge more obnoxious than it needs to be,
and often broke in with a confusing chours of laughs in response to
dialogue I could not even identify as an attempt at a joke. I mean
literally, the construction of the speech did not contain any
discernible allowance for there to be a joke there. Yet there was the
Apart from the President of the United States thing,
The plotlines seem to be the tried and true sitcom fare. In the one
episode, the President is invited by his daughter to "Bring Your Parent
to School" day, where a number of her classmates (in an admittedly cute
exchange) forgo the typical "what is your favorite color?" inquiries and
ask the President some sophisticated questions about the economy and
foreign relations - To which he provides the conventional
"government-is-the-solution" soundbyte answers (if the previous Obama
comparisons weren't enough). In usual sitcom fashion though, the
President clumsily reveals to his daughter's classmate that she likes
him. The obligatory "I'm angry with you daddy!" and "how could my
husband do something so stupid!" scenes ensue. Spoiler - At the end they make up and hug! Wow!
next episode (yep, they subjected the viewers to 3 episodes of this in a
row) presented a dubious moral lesson. There's a reoccurring character
in this show, a "comedic" foil to the President character, I think he's a
Senator or something? - Forgive me, but it really seems like this
character is supposed to be their "Scheming Rich White Republican Guy™"
(don't worry, I consider both parties little more than a bunch of
schemers) who wants to wiggle his way into the Presidency any way
Anyway, this Senator guy is supposedly a ping pong
master and in an attempt to embarrass him, challenges the President to a
match, wagering 5 million dollars to the President's choice of charity.
The President declines this offer (for a reason I'm not clear on) and
after the Senator basically calls him a "chicken", the First Lady gives
the President some odd speech about how when they were first dating, he
would get so jealous and protective and she missed that "fire in his
The President is apparently inspired by this speech and
agrees to this goofy match which takes place in the Oval Office. You see
a zoom-in on the center of the table, with balls zooming past the
camera, and then a few quick cuts of each man feverishly waving their
paddles. The President wins the match - I guess. The Senator hands over a
5 mil check and that's basically the end.
Overall The First
Family comes off like "The Fresh Prince of D.C." It is hilariously awful
100% All-American 1991-dated cheese... and you should see it for yourself if you