Who Has The Remote? Explores Comedic First Families in Sitcoms

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WhoHasTheRemote.com is pleased to see comedic actress Jenna Elfman in her long-awaited return to weekly television. Following the actress’ recent talk with USA Today on her role in the presidential sitcom 1600 Penn, Who Has The Remote? explores the potential of her new ensemble series.

WhoHasTheRemote.com admires shows that are brave enough to fictionalize topics that don’t easily lend themselves to fiction, such as the topic of the presidency. Whether drama or comedy, audiences can have a tough time embracing the premise of a fictionalized U.S. President. In this context, Who Has The Remote? explores 1600 Penn, one of the most talked about presidential sitcoms currently airing on basic and satellite T.V.

Courting most of the publicity is actress Jenna Elfman, who plays imaginary First Lady Emily Nash-Gilchrist. Best-known for her five-year stint on ABC’s late-90s comedic hit Dharma & Greg, the actress serves as a fashionable, Michelle-like compliment to President Standrich Dale Gilchrist. Portraying the latter is actor Bill Pullman, who enjoyed brief mid-90s fame after his role in the 1994 sleeper-hit The Last Seduction.

In a recent sit-down with USA Today, Elfman explains that her character – having previously worked as a campaign manager – understands the Office of President more intimately than the average political wife. Nonetheless, the show emphasizes family dynamics over politics in its comedic take on this larger-than-life premise.

Wrapping up its first season, 1600 Penn has received mixed reviews overall. Drawing a fine line between funny and silly, critic David Hinckley of the NY Daily News placed this show firmly in the latter category in his cleverly backhanded review.

In terms of accolades, the show is unlikely to become the comedic equivalent of The West Wing – one of the few successful small-screen fictionalizations of the Oval Office. But it does remain to be seen whether 1600 Penn will outdistance Mr. President – the little-remembered, 1987-88 FOX sitcom in which screen legend George C. Scott played a fictionalized successor to then-President Ronald Reagan.

WhoHasTheRemote.com believes that a fictionalized presidential family can serve as a plausible premise for an ongoing series, providing that the story lines don’t intervene on current or historical political realities.

About Who Has The Remote?:
WhoHasTheRemote.com weighs in on the latest Hollywood news and the comings and goings of shows that hit the small screen.

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