Wednesday, July 18, 2012

POLITICAL ANIMALS: CRACK FOR THE POLITCAL JUNKIE



If you enjoyed the story of Jack Stanton, the  candidate in Primary Colors, the movie and best selling novel, chances are you will love the new six-part television series Political Animals.

Primary Colours may have blurred the lines between reality and fiction with regards to Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign for the Democratic Nomination and the presidency, but it did provide did offer an eyes-wide-open view of  life on the campaign trail.

As a political junkie, I have enjoyed stories that provide glimpses from inside the vacuum of power. T.V. shows like The West Wing, movies like, Wag the Dog, the documentary, The War Room and books like Terry Fallis’s the Best Laid Plans and The High Road intrigue me.

No matter what level of politics one gets engaged with, from simple grass root school and parish councils to the Presidency of the United States, and everything in between, there is a science. There are cliques, small p-politics, partisanship and gamesmanship. These series, books and movies provide an often uncomfortable look at the sacrifices of virtue necessary to win a vote, a diplomatic row or an election.

Political Animals revolves around a Divorced former First Lady Elaine Barrish, who is currently serving as the Secretary of State to a President who beat her for the nomination. He President Garcetti administration is incompetent, his Chief of Staff and is loya,l but in way over his head.  Garcetti does not have the courage of his convictions and the ballsy Barrish wants his job. Her former husband is an incredibly popular and well former loved president who is a lousy person, know for his indiscretions.

Outside of the politicians, the media play a major role in this series. Their appetite for elevating the politician to celebrity and tearing them down is a major theme. The sensational reporting at any cost is mixed with some soul finding.

Like Primary Colors, USA’s new mini-series could be about the Clintons, except that in this case it appears like an alternative history of Hillary and Bill. A what if story?

Elaine Barrish is the Hillary Clinton that I wanted to win the Primary Race four years ago. She is the ambitious, intelligent, stoic, morale  and compassionate leader that I believe really is Clinton is.

No doubt, I am hooked.

Did I mention the cast.? Sigourney Weaver plays Barrish, channeling Hillary Clinton to offer a convincing, not perfect, female political heavyweight.  Other cast include: Carla Gugino, Ellen Burstyn, James Wolk and Sebastian Stan

Check it out, and let me know what you think of the series.

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