Why I Love “Madame Secretary”

Thank you, CBS!

Okay, it’s not about the absolutely adorable actor Tim Daly, who plays Madame Secretary’s husband Henry Tea LeoneMcCord on the ABC drama that debuted this year.  Nor the equally delightful Téa Leone, whose acting and low husky voice I’ve always enjoyed (uh, imagine Dr. Big hanging over my shoulder as I write, saying “Yeah, man!”).  Nor is it the we’re-going-to-finish-this-story-in-forty-four-minutes attitude the drama takes, although I’m eternally grateful for shows whose story-lines are actually concluded in the one-hour time limit.

For me, it’s about the universal drama, angst, love, and politicking of family.  Yes, family.  CBS has taken the family to a level where there’s more pressure than a certain unnamed Asian dictator threatening free enterprise with a finger on the “send” button.Tim Daly

I like that Téa Leone, playing Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, is as calm and collected in her home life as she is in conducting the state business of the country.  She’s a woman who knows how to mediate in both arenas.  Seriously, don’t we all think that a cool and thoughtful attitude towards the affairs of international politics is as important a tool in the country and world as it is in the family?

We’re always hearing the phrase, “If women ruled the world … ” but I don’t think we believe it in our collective consciousness.

courtesy www.indusladies.com

courtesy www.indusladies.com

If women ruled the world, there’d be no more wars.

If women ruled the world, aggression and bullying would disappear.

If women ruled the world, they’d exchange recipes.

Oops, didn’t mean that, but I’m sure lots of folks do.

So what I really like about the show is that Elizabeth (Beth) has a normal home life, with a husband a lot like mine, to whom compromise and intelligent conversation are not dirty words.  Where a man or woman isn’t afraid to say, “Oops, sorry, I was wrong” or “I didn’t mean that.”  Where teenagers are brats sometimes and angels other times.  Where even high-level political leaders struggle to solve the problems in their own homes while juggling terrorist  attacks on the free world.

I know, I know, the television show is a fantasy.  But I like my fantasy grounded in reality and knowing I’ll have a solution of some sort to very complicated issues – just like the issues in the home, country, and world.MS logo 2

Right now I’m binge-watching “Friends,” and enjoying how and why the show is so iconic and relevant.  Except for those portable phones.  They’re a hoot!

What about you, readers?  Have you watched “Madame Secretary?”  Do you like it?  Do you enjoy your film and television realistic or doused with a hefty dose of make-believe?   What’s your favorite binge-television watch?  Or binge-book read?


Posted in , , , ,



  • Helen says:

    Is he coming to visit me again 🙂

    Have Fun

  • Helen says:


    This one sounds like a good show although as you all know I really don’t watch TV but I do love to read and I binge read anything that is one the TBR pile that I am in the mood for at the time and believe you me I have a lot to choose from LOL

    Have Fun

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I know you’re not a TV watcher, Helen. To an avid reader like you it must seem like a waste of time LOL.

      So how do you organize your TBR pile? It must be huge! Do you read them in the order you purchase them, or just what strikes you at the moment?

      Do you read more than one book at a time?

      I’ll bet you’re a really fast reader. I’m jealous because I’m such a slow reader!

      • Helen says:


        I used to watch a lot of TV shows years ago but they just don’t seem to hold my interest anymore 🙂 With books I try to read them as close to release date as possible I do reviews for ARRA as well so I keep a little list in a note book but of course I also will just feel like reading one from my pile and I through that one in as for a fast reader not sure on that one I do read everything in a book but I tend to read around 10 a month but I still don’t think I will ever read all the wonderful books I have 🙂

        Have Fun

        • Jo Robertson says:

          That’s a lot of reading, Helen! I read about 4-6 books a month, but I usually like to take my time with them. My Kindle has just about reached its limit!

          I would enjoy writing reviews, I think, but if I do Amazon just takes them down because they say it’s a conflict of interest, me being a writer.

  • flchen1 says:

    I haven’t watched much of Madame Secretary, but that does sound appealing, Jo! I love Friends, and I know if I had the DVDs, I’d be binge watching all the time–they really did a great job of capturing so much about quirky friendships and relationships in that series!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Yes, Fedora, that was such a perfect ensemble cast! I’m watching it on my KIndle Fire through Netflix. I watch maybe one episode before I go to bed each night. It’s only 22 minutes, but I get some really good laughs every night.

      Dr. Big, of course, has sports on most every night!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Well we can”t even get CBS right now and I really don’t watch on there anyway. So nope, never saw the show and I can’t stand Tea Leone, never have been able to stoma h her.
    My favorite binge watch is McLeod’s Daughters. This is an Australian show, and the stupid channel which got it on here in the US, would only show the first three seasons, even though they owned the rights to the fourth season, they refused to show it. So I bought a region free dvd player and started buying each season, all the way through to season eight. I love
    snuggling up on the couch on cold, nasty days and watch til it feels like my eyeballs might fall out.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Amy! I think you’ve got me interested in a new show! Just what I needed LOL.

      McLoed’s Daughers? I wonder if I can find it on Netflix or Amazon Prime?

      • Jo Robertson says:

        What is it you don’t like about Tea Leone?

        I must admit when she was younger I didn’t like her either, but I think she’s one of those women who gets better with age.

        • Amy Conley says:

          Jo, it isn’t anything I can put my finger on, part of it is her voice, and I just don’t like her attitude. She comes across to me, as if she’s just so goody two shoes.

      • Amy Conley says:

        I know you can buy the dvds crom Amazon.

        • Jo Robertson says:

          I’ll check it out. Thanks!

          • Amy Conley says:

            Jo, I don’t knos if you’ve heard of Posie Greaham Evans, but she wrote every episode of MD. She also has either a trjlogy or 4 book series, got great reviews and she’s getting ready to release a new book shortly. Also on MD she wrote all but 3songs in over 160 episodes.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Jo,
    Heard a lot of good things about this show, but haven’t seen it. I like Tea in comedic roles and this show and also State of Affairs with Katherine Heigl for some reason haven’t appealed to me. I do enjoy political dramas like Homeland. I binged watched Better Off Ted and some older seasons of Midsomer Murders on Netflix.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Ha, Jane, you’re a soul mate.

      I only binge watch when I’ve had a really hard day the day before and need a reward — either a long 8-hour day of writing (very tiring) or a long day of schlepping around on my bum knee.

      My knee replacement surgery isn’t until April and I’m hoping I can wait that long; it’s a pain in the butt — or, rather, the knee (giggle).

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I tried State of Affairs, too, but it just didn’t appeal to me. I always give new shows a few episodes to get their rhythm, then dump them if they don’t meet my needs. Love Homeland.

      There are so many great shows on TV now, I have to be selective.

  • Deanna says:

    I haven’t watched Madame Secretary yet but it’s on my list of shows to watch. Hubs and I are very slow TV series watchers, often waiting until the season is over, and then slowly over the course of a few weeks watching the season through one episode a night.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      That’s a good idea, Deanna. Dr. Big and I don’t have the same tastes. I won’t let him watch Downton Abbey with me cause he ruins it and I love that show so much!

      My oldest daughter’s family doesn’t watch TV live. They stream everything; that way they can control what their 3 children watch.

  • Shannon says:

    I work for the government, so I often am disappointed at how unrealistic dramas like this are on TV or movies. This at least seems to have elements that I’d enjoy. Please, please tell me she isn’t defusing the bomb or driving her own car escaping agents with death on their mind.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      No, no, none of that, Shannon. Which is why I like it. She does some pretty amazing, but unrealistic negotiations in international politics. But the endings are usually upbeat. And I like that she’s a “normal” woman with a high-powered job. AND the most supportive husband in the history of the TV world!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I just hate those shows that are filled with car chases or foot chases or motorcycle chases.

      The only car chase I ever liked was the famous one in BULLITT with Steve McQueen racing through the crazy streets of San Francisco. That was so cool, but of course I was in my 20’s then and easily impressed.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    It’s not next 8:00 a.m. here on the left coast of the States; the weather is cold and cloudy, but promises to be in the high 60’s, low 70’s by this afternoon.

    How perfect is that!

    Oh, oh, and gas prices are below $2.00/gallon!

  • Cassondra says:

    Hi JO-

    I’ve never watched this show. Would love to see her performance, though I have to say, I’ve worked in all-female industries before, and I don’t believe the “If women ruled the world” mantras. In my experience, if women ruled the world, it would be a mean, catty place, and far less fair. Women are cliquey and competitive, often in backstabbing ways, whereas men will punch you straight in the face and knock you flat, and then say, “okay now that’s done, come on. Let’s go get a beer.” That balance of male-female energy is so important in ANYTHING. I think when you get too much of one or the other, things get twisted and go off the rails. In my experience, a nice balance of strong men and strong women is a very good thing.
    The thing I love about shows like the one you mention though, is how they show the family dynamic when the woman is the more famous, higher-income, more socially powerful of the two people. I saw that exact dynamic in the entertainment industry a lot, and it takes a really special, self-confident man to deal with it. So many men feel emasculated by that. And that right there–the forced gender role–that’s one thing I’d really like to see change. I think we’d all be the better for it.
    Because when you ARE That type of person–strong, confident, alpha, you can’t just turn that off when you walk in the door. The home has to be a mix of just the right personalities for it to work. I wish I could watch this show just to see how they manage that part.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hmm, I wonder if competition and stabbing in the back are traits that apply to one sex only. I’ve seen plenty of men do unconscionable things, too. I suspect both sexes have good and bad qualities, and I definitely agree that a balance of traits is important whether we label them male or female traits.

      The world is changing so fast and I see a lot of men in my circle of friends who are very comfortable with taking on traditional roles of women.

      You can imagine there has to be a lot of give and take in my home. We laugh that an alpha woman married to an alpha man equals fireworks!

  • catslady says:

    I haven’t been able to convince my husband to give that show a try hmmmm. We tend to watch evening shows together and I’m usually the one to give in. If it’s a show I could just watch occasionally I could do it but a lot of these really are better or sometimes necessary to watch in order. (Like Getting Away with Murder). We do watch The Big Bang Theory one after the other lol.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, you definitely have to watch “How to Get Away” in order because you’d have a really hard time if you didn’t.

      We watch BIG BANG too, Catslady. It’s one of the few shows we both agree on. And I usually give in too :-)), although I can always go in my office and watch TV. I’d rather spend time with Dr. Big! Even if his tastes run along Blue Bloods!

  • Jo, I haven’t seen Madame Secretary, but you’re making me feel as though I should. I loved Tim Daly in Wings and am glad he has another good gig.

    I binge-read whatever series I’ve just discovered, at least until I finish it, at which point I stew over when the next book will be out. As for TV, I binge-watch whatever series has what I’m in the mood for, be it explosions, swashbuckling, humor, or romance. I got Season 1 of Musketeers and foresee a binge of that in my future. The dh and I enjoyed a binge of Season 2 of Spooks (a/k/a MI-5) not too long ago.

    And I’ve been known to binge on all 3 LOTR movies and the original Star Wars trilogy. Though not both sets on the same day.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Daly is such a gentle (but smart) soul in “Madame Secretary,” Nancy. He’s a professor of ethics. Interesting, huh?

      LOL, Nancy, I binge-watched The Hobbit (the ones that are out) the other day which I missed on the big screen. Besides, I love Morgan Freeman.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Goodnight, everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by. We Banditas really enjoy the fellowship, humor, and insight our Buddies bring to the Lair.

    May all your reading and TV watching be binge-worthy!