By Becka Wall – @beckawall

Forgive me, proponents of Netflix moderation, for I have binged. My latest conquest was “Madam Secretary”, the CBS drama with Teå Leoni as Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, but I got hooked the minute Elizabeth made jokes about polygamy with the King of Swaziland.

Unsure if you’re ready to make the binge-watching commitment? Here are 6 reasons why you should:


  • Brilliant, relatable, witty, flawed, and strong women. Elizabeth McCord is all of these things, but so are her friends, as well as her Chief of Staff and her Press Secretary – who also happens to be a woman of color, but who isn’t pigeonholed into a barrage of stereotypes. Huzzah!
    The women of “Madam Secretary” aren’t reduced to stereotypes – they are nuanced, complex people. The showrunners even wrote McCord’s teenage and college-age daughters as complex, nuanced people – a rarity in a TV show geared towards adults. 
  • A supportive significant other and family, who’s also still human. *SWOON*, Henry McCord. He’s handsome, he’s supportive, he’s an internationally recognized religious scholar. But Henry – and Elizabeth’s entire family – isn’t treated like a vehicle to just have scenes outside the office. we see them work through the challenges being Secretary of State thrusts upon their typically open, communicative family unit.


  • Standing up for what’s right. A common thread through the series is standing up to do what you feel is right whenever you can, and acknowledging when the circumstances you’re in force you to do something you wouldn’t usually do or advocate for. It’s fascinating to see Secretary McCord, her family, and her staff navigate diplomacy and standing up for what you believe. 
  • Sassy jokes and commentary. Who doesn’t love a good well-placed snarky joke from the Secretary of State or the President, even if they are fictional?


  • You’ll start paying attention to international news headlines more. Once I started watching Secretary of State, I found myself eying the headlines from other countries, and learning more about what was happening elsewhere. The show inspired me to be a better international citizen.


  • You’ll remember the importance of being diplomatic. I know how annoying it is that your cubicle-mate won’t stop whistling to themselves whenever they listen to Taylor Swift, but if Elizabeth McCord can negotiate a peace treaty with Iran and navigate a massive scandal around microloans, you can calmly ask your darling colleague one more time to kindly stop whistling.

Have I convinced you yet? Good. Head on over to Netflix and start watching.