25 Nearest and Dearest 10/25
The McCord Family (Madam Secretary)
Infinitely grateful to have Madam Secretary recommended to me by my dear friend Caitlin last winter because it’s the gift that keeps on giving. For those who’ve been keeping up with #100DaysofFanFavorites, it’s clear at this point that I’m the biggest fan of families. And the best, most unexpected part of Madam Secretary is how beautifully the series balances politics with Elizabeth McCord’s life at home. Additionally, so often on television, with the exception of FX’s The Americans teens aren’t written with authenticity today. As opposed to showcasing the reality of what families are like through organic character development, television series often focus more on ridiculous drama . But Madam Secretary is an impeccably well-written series, which reveals the life of the McCord family in intriguing and raw moments making them one of the strongest, most fascinating teams on television.
Truth be told, I never imagined I’d love Madam Secretary as much as I do, and primarily because I’m not the biggest fan of political dramas. However, from the very start I was intrigued beyond words with the McCord family. Henry, Elizabeth, Alison, Stevie, and Jason are always the center of phenomenal stories. I’m not entirely sure how it works for other people, but I’m in love with simplicity. And I’m a fan of the smallest moments that make life the worthwhile journey it is. Hence, when it comes to the McCord family, my favorite moments are often the quiet ones before an ordinary day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and their choices to frequently have it together are commendable.
I imagine that life with a mother who’s the Secretary of State cannot be easy, but the family makes it work, and they do so by remaining a team in the midst of stressful times. Obviously the McCord’s aren’t perfect, like all families, they fight and argue, but in every case, it feels raw. Nothing is over done or cringeworthy. And though they’re each so incredibly different from one another, there’s a closeness in the siblings that’s unfortunately too rare on television. There’s an almost always an unspoken promise in healthy families that the kids will always have each other’s backs, but the thing about Madam Secretary is the fact that we’re able to see those moments brought to life frequently. We’re able to see that promise come to the surface. Stevie, Alison, and Jason know that there will be times where they’ve got to take care of themselves and each other. They’ve also shown each other that they know one another, and that’s perhaps the moment riveting aspect for me. So often when we see siblings on television, there’s an awkwardness that’s stemmed not only from their age differences, but the lack of time that’s spent together. However, the McCord kids know one another as well as siblings should and can because they’ve chosen to not only bond as a family, but they have chosen to always put each other first. And in the same way, their parents know them just as well which is incredibly impressive for this day and age.
Jason is one heck of an opinionated kid, and that’s essentially what makes him special and one of the most fascinating kids on television. And frankly, not many men spend time with their sons nowadays thereby, making Henry just as special. I can think of about maybe five examples of solid father/son relationships, and that’s a tragedy all on its own. But Jason and Henry have not only spent a good amount of time together, they’ve shared incredibly moving moments that have showcased what it truly means to be a family. One of my personal favorite moments is when Jason realizes that Henry’s not only seen a lot of hardships, but he’s done things he regretfully carries with him to this very day. And the honesty with one another continuously leaves me floored. Henry could’ve held back the truth from Jason, but ultimately revealing what he’s done allows Jason the chance to not only learn something new, but it gives him the opportunity to be honest in the future as well. We give what we receive, and if parents put no effort in getting to know their kids, then they’ll receive the same negligence. Not every one is fortunate enough to grow up with someone they can admire of the same gender, but being one of the lucky ones, Jason has often chosen to acknowledge that though he and his father are different from one another, he never once wants to be in a position where they aren’t close. And for writers to tell this story with the authenticity that they have is admirable.
In the same way Henry has a solid relationship with his son, he’s established a similar closeness with his daughters. Did I cry like a baby as he watched Alison help Stevie get ready for her wedding? You bet I did. And though Stevie didn’t go through with it in the end, what I said back then was that I admired the fact that Henry didn’t talk her out of at with someone ridiculous over the top dad talk. The McCord family is always honest with one another, and that’s perhaps one of the reasons why it’s so easy to open up to each other. Henry’s gentle approach to situations allow for vulnerable moments to be dealt with gracefully and in doing so, it has allowed both his girls the opportunity to grow beautifully. Individually, he spends time with each of his kids building distinctly solid bonds with each of them which reflect wonderfully in their personalities outside of their home. Stevie and Alison know that they’ve got a father who not only loves them beyond words, but he’s the person they can feel safe enough to trust with everything.
I’m not a fan of making assumptions, but it’s safe to presume that the Secretary of State’s job isn’t the easiest. However, Elizabeth McCord handles it with a grace that’s incredibly noteworthy. It doesn’t matter how much work she needs to do at the office because she will always have time for children. Additionally, so often middle children feel as though they’re invisible and when Alison went through that phase believing that nothing she did mattered, Elizabeth’s exceptional approach to the situation made it clear that her kind, noble, and wise daughter is continuously cherished. Madam Secretary deals with quite a number of life and death situations, but no matter what she’s been facing, the first thought on Elizabeth’s mind has always been her children. Whether they are with her or not, they are her number one priority and the unique relationship she’s established with each of them continuously makes the show riveting. And I’ve always loved the fact that when her children call, she’ll answer the phone. When they come into her office, she’ll speak to them. It doesn’t matter what is happening because at the end of the day, they are her number one priority. Whether she’s cooking with her girls or they’re all taking some time to go horse back riding, she is a mother first, and Secretary of State second.
Unfortunately by the time I finished the 25 Love Stories portion of #100DaysofFanFavorites, I had no clue who Elizabeth and Henry McCord were. If I had, you best believe they’d be on that list, and pretty high up, too. Now while this post is strictly dedicated to the family as a whole, I feel as though it’s vital to mention that without their solid partnership, their children wouldn’t have turned out as exquisite as they have. I’m constantly in awe of the way Henry and Elizabeth have balanced their lives, but more often, I’m in awe of how beautifully they handle the most important matters in life. Henry and Elizabeth are perhaps one of the most intriguing married couples on television at the moment due to their organic representation. So often series creators believe that there needs to be tasteless and ridiculous drama in order to keep solid relationships exciting, but I’ve come to find that the raw portrayals of marriage are far more riveting. There’s beauty in simplicity and there’s beauty in quiet moments — both of which are a constant presence on Madam Secretary. Henry and Elizabeth are each other’s best friend. At the end of the day, coming home to one another and unwinding together has resulted in gorgeously profound moments that have strengthened them individually and as a team. Without Henry’s fervent support and belief in Elizabeth, she wouldn’t be the kind of Secretary that she is. For at the end of the day, as mentioned above, she is first a mother. But Henry has made sure that she could live her dream and be the kind of mother (and wife) she wants to be. Their decision to honestly confide in one another with whatever’s on their mind has effortlessly allowed their love to grow. And their remarkable choice to always listen to one another has strengthened their ability to trust, and understand their partner in ways no one else can. It is due to their unwavering adoration and remarkable communication skills where they can find the best ways to deal with whatever life presents them with. Henry and Elizabeth have built a rock solid foundation with their love — and in doing so, created a safe, beautifully adoring environment for their children.
Henry and Elizabeth are perhaps two of the busiest parents on television, but their children have always been their number one priority. And countlessly wonderful ways, their kids have been raised so admirably well, they’re wise enough to not only take care of themselves, but each other as well. The McCord family can’t always have dinner together, but believing that they’re loved regardless, they’ve each found ways to make their lives work. And with Elizabeth’s probable new position as Vice President, situations are likely to become a lot harder to deal with. But if there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s the fact that this family’s steadfast loyalty and love for one another will far outweigh stress. Not only will the kids find ways to make it work, but Elizabeth and Henry will continuously put their children plus each other first and their jobs second.