by DICK CHENEY
creator William Blake Herron
U.S. Vice President Natalie Maccabee (Sharon Stone) looks great for her age except for her neck. The night that she becomes vice president, the president gives her a special key that she decides to insert into a matching lock near her fireplace. Her butler Malcolm suddenly appears to intone, “You have just beat Lyndon Johnson’s record, Madam Vice President.” He takes her down the stairs of a secret door into a cavern that reads “The History Room” above its entrance.
In that cavern he shows her a copy of the Constitution that includes a super-secret addendum. The vice president, you see, has an agent of unknown identity under the discretion of the vice president. That agent appears behind her, walks slowly towards her, and kisses her hand.
Later, Stone is a meeting where a member of the Cabinet has had his daughter abducted by terrorists. “There’s nothing we can do,” the president explains, and Sharon gets this constipated look on her face, like I know what to do. The Maccabees were a Jewish dynasty formed by rebelled against their pagan forbears; they circumcised boys and the woods and killed their oppressors from trees.
Sharon Stone married a few Jews in her time, so Agent X creator William Blake Herron decided to bring that fascinating part of Sharon’s past onto her new show. Except, on Agent X, Sharon’s husband is the victim of a fiery car crash that she runs away from, clothes burning and tattered, as her vehicle explodes into flames. Inevitably we will learn that this was no accident, especially since Sharon keeps having flashbacks to the moment during her life on the presidential couch.
Stone’s two marriages to Jews both did not end in happiness. She was married to a Jewish television producer in the 1980s, but the marriage only lasted three years. Later she married reporter Phil Bronstein, who worked all the time and was notoriously verbally combative with Stone. She also considered Shimon Peres her mentor for some reason, and now she is an ordained minister.
Basic Instinct made a fortune for a lot of people, netting more than $350 million at the box office. Sharon displayed her vagina as a tortured writer. She was great in the role, but there was nothing really overly special about the performance or the movie. Watching it again today the script is absolutely terrible and the entire thing is saved by the direction of Paul Verhoeven, who was famously slapped by Stone after she understood that she would be showing off her lower half in the movie.
Agent X takes no such risks. Other cable networks are experimenting with violence and sex in their storytelling, but TNT’s original programming seems intended for an older audience. Stone is extremely charismatic when she has good material, but the writing on this show has her intoning impressive lines like, “All our players keep dying.”
I know that Sharon wanted to play a more serious role — that of a woman with intellectual heft. She would have been a lot better if she was playing the role of the secret, violent agent and the vice president was just a white guy, as he has been throughout history. Or you know, she could have just played a powerful vice president who does not need a man to do her dirty work for her. There seems to be a lot of untapped material there.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.
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