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Old August 6 2012, 09:57 PM   #31
stj
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Re: Political Animals

Some years ago I broke down a door to get to my sister who was comatose from a diabetic reaction and I have found a suicide attempt and I have found an aspiration victim. The dual climax to this episode was too powerfully and too personally affecting to really judge I suppose. It was good to see Ciaran Hinds do something besides an LBJ impersonation.

But, the wishful thinking that someone powerful would be so human as to care about some Chinese, even over personal political gain, is very attractive. It's very obvious that however she started, Elaine Barrish Hammond is not Hilary Clinton.

The journalists' byplay is sort of believable. It's obvious that Gugino wants to be a kind of Ted Sorensen/Arthur Schlesinger insider who gets to write books that get treated as history instead of catbox liner, although the show doesn't say it explicitly.
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Old August 6 2012, 10:50 PM   #32
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Re: Political Animals

The first thing Ellen does.

Half the price of beer and lower the drinking age to 9

The second?

Strip men of the right to vote.

Gynotopia.
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Old August 7 2012, 07:53 PM   #33
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Political Animals

TJ and Dougie continue to be interesting characters, but the journalist stuff is a snooze, and Elaine's lecture vis a vis the poor dying Chinese sailors was too one sided. I find it extremely boring when writers arrange things to make their main character some shining paragon of morality vs the awful people around her. Nope, far too easy.

This show is unlikely to get a second season, which is all for the best. It's had some good moments but overall it's a case of a very good cast being wasted on poor writing.
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Old August 7 2012, 10:46 PM   #34
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Re: Political Animals

This is a time of war, not a war with china, but still wartime, and those are spies.

After they rescue those seamen, don't they have to be hanged?

Although they're in uniform, so they don't qualify as out right spies unprotected by the Geneva convention.
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Old August 7 2012, 11:10 PM   #35
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Re: Political Animals

Is anyone else annoyed by the perpetual lensflare in this show? Is it supposed to signify something?
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Old August 13 2012, 06:04 AM   #36
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Re: Political Animals

The continuing story is dumped for the day, in favor of flashbacks and a resolution to the rinky dink Chinese sub crisis that 1.) really hammmers us with the Sorkinesque notions of world affairs the show is saddled with and 2.) kills the Elaine running for president storyline. Either the main arc is over or they're going to have to do script CPR. Neither was a good idea. The contemporary scenes were largely Granny and Bulimia clean out a bedroom, TJ sleeps in bed and Dougie and Susan go to bed. There's a kind of theme there, but it's not really a story.
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Old August 13 2012, 10:25 AM   #37
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Re: Political Animals

I was spending most of the time during the Susan/Douglas scenes hoping they weren't going to take the easy and cliched route. Unfortunately, they did. Doug had potential but there's nothing that kills a character faster than an adultery/cheating storyline. Disappointing, just like the entire episode. The cast is so good but the writing just isn't there.

(I did enjoy Bud punching the VP. Once again predictable but at least satisfying.)
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Old August 14 2012, 08:50 PM   #38
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Re: Political Animals

There were some enjoyable and funny scenes, one of them unintentionally so (I always have to laugh at women keeping their bra on during passionate sex in US shows). Bud became a more sympathetic character. I disliked the cheating storyline, especially because it's out of character for Doug to do this. Also, he's the chief of staff of the Secretary of State who should be more disciplined than that.
The cast is very good and most of the characters are fairly interesting, the visuals are good, too, but the storylines aren't very good.
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Old August 14 2012, 11:06 PM   #39
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Re: Political Animals

"This is not just off the record, I'm going to bend you over the record and take you on it."
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Old August 14 2012, 11:10 PM   #40
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Re: Political Animals

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Old August 21 2012, 03:00 AM   #41
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Re: Political Animals

Holy shit! They sunk Airforce One! I really loved that plane (whenever it appeared on The West Wing). It looked kind of sad and hilarious at the same time just lying there in the water off the coast of France just so that Elaine can kind of have her cake and eat it, too, because Garcetti turned out to be a decent guy, after all. (Although we probably won't get to see her do that.) I actually liked the turn of events that would have seen her possibly advance to the Vice Presidency instead of running on her own. But instead we got a dead President. It feels somewhat contrived.

I liked that they made the President of France a woman, though.
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Old August 21 2012, 05:53 AM   #42
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Re: Political Animals

This has been a faliure right?

Was this a left field fuck you, or the plan all along?

Because they'd been setting the VP up as a dick for a while.

Honestly, though, I would have liked a show about the grammy running for president better.
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Old August 21 2012, 02:40 PM   #43
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Re: Political Animals

It must have been the plan all along as this is only a mini-series and therefore can't be the result of storytelling over several seasons where the writers realise towards the end that they've written themselves into a corner.
It's a cop-out, though. Running against the sitting president of the same party is obviously a big no-no, and it would have made Elaine look quite power hungry while the show was trying very hard to paint all her political decisions as being motivated by high-minded principles and idealism. This way, she gets to run against an evil scumbag who's bad for America.
Considering this was marketed as a mini-series I'm somewhat frustrated by the fact that we didn't really get a self-contained story. What was the point of the show? I have no idea. Instead, we got fake happy-ends on some of the storylines (like the Washington Globe editor demonstrating his love for Susan in a manly fashion, T.J. possibly being serious about getting off drugs and Doug and Anne marrying) but some other were just left hanging (Anne's bulimia, Doug's cheating). I had to laugh at all the pseudo-feminist posturing from earlier episodes vanishing in a puff of love (either by a person of the opposite sex or the family).
I'd probably watch a second season because the cast is quite good and we might get better writing if we're lucky, but the show itself isn't very good.
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Old August 21 2012, 03:26 PM   #44
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Re: Political Animals

Well I'm looking at the resume of the shows creator.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0075528/

I'm actually ending season one of an Everwood marathon right now.

His work is continuously gutless.

Oh look!

He's behind Arrow as well.
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Old August 21 2012, 06:23 PM   #45
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Political Animals

If they're going to do another season, they sure hit on the right way to suddenly wake this torpid show up and make it interesting, by making the creepy weasel the prez.

They finale ratings went back up to the premiere ratings level, so who knows? Might be good enough for a renewal on basic cable.

I never expected this to be "just" a minseries because the premise isnt a minseries type premise, especially given the range of characters who have their individual arcs.

Its too big for a minseries. Hatfields & McCoys is a miniseries type premise, but this show was obviously a hopeful series, pending the ratings. It's rare for anyone outide HBO to do deliberate miniseries because everyone needs to maximize their return on investment with as many episodes as possible.

I wasnt expecting much in the way of sophisticated storytelling. USA network isnt AMC or HBO or even FX. This is pretty far outside their comfort zone as it is. Its not a quirky, cutsey cop show full of breezy adventures. (And that's probably why the ratings are anemic - their audience doesnt know what to make of it.)
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