With today's news that Sharon Stone is going to play the Vice President of the U.S. in TNT's pilot Agent X, there are some truths about what it takes to play a fictional female Veep. It starts at the name. And in that respect, Stone has a major leg up on the competition. Per Entertainment Weekly:
Her character, “Natalie Maccabee,” steps into the race for vice president after her senator husband dies. She gets the job, and discovers being veep comes with a top secret duty — protecting the Constitution in times of great crisis with the aid of her Chief Steward and a secret operative designated “Agent X” (a role not yet cast).
Somehow, the notion that the Vice President and a secret operative have a top-secret duty to protect the Constitution (the physical constitution, or are we on a more metaphorical level here? In which case, isn't it always the Vice President's duty to protect the Constitution?) isn't even the most notable part of that paragraph, and that's because NATALIE MACCABEE! What a fantastic, A+ name for a television. Popular (but not too popular) first name. Strong, Biblical surname. "Gracie Exodus" might have sounded a smidge too cartoonish, and Madison Proverbs a bit too dry. But Natalie Maccabee. She's gonna get things done.
The history of female Vice Presidents on TV and in mvoies shows that while it's not all in a name (it's just as often, if not more, about an actress who can really deliver), perception is power in politics, and the perception of a strong name (Natalie Maccabee! Honestly, it's almost hard to believe our good fortune) is pretty essential.