Where Aaron Sorkin's "The West Wing" successfully mined the White House for drama for several seasons, wringing every ounce of self-righteousness it could out of the setting, NBC's new comedy "1600 Penn" is intent on mining it for laughs. And without Rob Lowe!
As a television writer for MSN.com for many years now I was initially hesitant to accept the blogging gig for this new series, what the "Peacock Network" kept promoting as its answer to "Modern Family" (the mega-hit for ABC). What could the two possibly have in common, I kept thinking. Ultimately, and as you will glean from my two blogs below, for Episodes One and Two, respectively, is simply tone and pacing. It's a pretty funny show...so far. And series co-creator Josh Gad's peculiar (and oftentimes hilarious) First Son "Skip" is stealing the thing. But, hey, it's his to steal.
As the President, character actor Bill Pullman is simultaneously touchy and touching. We haven't seen the VP yet, and with the one we have in the real White House right now, there won't be a shortage of material to draw upon. If Gad's got the guts. I have a feeling he does, and that a cameo is totally not out of the question. Ol' Joe is probably a Crafts Services quandary on at least a weekly basis.
(Blog for Episode 1) http://on-msn.com/Vt9L8P
(Blog for Episode 2) http://on-msn.com/VXpq0p