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Old July 17 2012, 01:02 AM   #1
stj
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Political Animals

The pilot is up on Hulu, for benefit of Breaking Bad fans and others who missed it.

Excellent starring performance from Siguourney Weaver.

But on seeing this, it is no wonder that Sebastian Stan is in this, because this fictional world is very much like Kings. It is plainly directly analogous to real world people, yet it also plainly is not. Weaver is Hillary, divorced from Bill. Ellen Burstyn is a cross between Miz Lillian and Betty Ford. The sons are fictional, as we can tell from the lurid purple they are outlined in. Adrian Pasdar is Obama Lite, in several senses of the word. Carla Gugino is the girl who learns better, a feminist version of that Brock boy who wrote a bio of Hillary.

There's plenty of melodama but the feminist theme is hit hard.
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Old July 17 2012, 04:25 AM   #2
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Re: Political Animals

I did this thing once and it hurt me.

Put a scar in my personality that still weeps puss now and then.

"Commander in Chief"

Some offence to Geena Davis, but it's no wonder it's taken ten years to make another show about a woman in the White House, and I do like Veep a lot. Veep washed the stink off the subject so that we all could believe and take relief that Commander in Chief was just an awful tv show and that women should not be sent back to their kitchens before history repeats.

Seriously.

Commander in Chief was light weight vanilla awful.

Political Animal I do see a lot more hope with, and it certainly has the power of Kings at its best (Which also had some very low moments and God should have turned up before the final episode.) although Caesar...

At first, I thought that was her Sigorneys dad.

She really doesn't act like your regular great grandmother.
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Old July 17 2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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Re: Political Animals

Good cast, sub-Sorkin writing, eh. The ratings sucked so it wouldn't survive to another season anyway.

Best part: Bucky Barnes and this foul mouthed grandma swilling Jack Daniels margaritas. Can we just have a show with those two?

Worst part: Ciaran Hinds channeling Foghorn Leghorn.
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Old July 17 2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: Political Animals

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Worst part: Ciaran Hinds channeling Foghorn Leghorn.
I was thinking that he reminded me of a caricature of somebody...I say I say I think you've hit the nail on the head.
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Old July 17 2012, 11:55 PM   #5
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Re: Political Animals

Hinds was written as a combination of Billy Carter and Roger Clinton, instead of as a parallel world Bill Clinton. It was colorful, which can be entertaining. North Carolina accents can vary but Hinds' was more Texan or Floridian, or even hill country, than North Carolinian. Lots of North Carolinians are closer to that softer Virginia accent, and the urban areas are influenced by heavy immigration. And of course a genuine Outer Banks accent would provoke amazement

The worst character was Doug, the "good" son. There's no hint of a real character there yet, but, unlike Hinds, no possibility of entertainment either. His bulimic fiancee, signposted as Young Woman Whose Personality Has Been Repressed by a Male Chauvinist Society, was more interesting.

Ten o'clock Sundays is reserved for Breaking Bad, but so far it's entertaining. Guys making out is still pretty uncommon (so far as I've noticed.) If nothing else it will be interesting to see if Stan gets to play EVIL HOMO again. The worst sign of course is the rah-rah patriotic foreign policy plot. It would be interesting if the journalists were actually spies. But I expect the mediocre Sorkin style tropes to prevail.
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Old July 18 2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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Re: Political Animals

The Full Sorkin is too much.

Maybe what we really always needed was a half Sorkin?
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Old July 20 2012, 12:28 AM   #7
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Re: Political Animals

I'd rather have the full Sorkin.

I finally managed to watch this and found it pretty boring at first, but the narrative took up speed and I like the scheming and backstabbing that's going on. They could have done with sticking a few less issues into the pilot (suicide attempt, drug abuse, eating disorder, betrayal, journalistic ethics) and it the show was a bit too in-your-face about the oppression and objectifying of women thing for my taste.

Sigourney Weaver was great. Fake Bill Clinton needs subtitles. I did appreciate their messed-up relationship in the end, though.

I laughed out loud during the elevator scene when the journalist said, "And here I thought for a minute I'd get the I'm sorry speech."

I've read that this got better reviews than the Newsroom overall which I find surprising because I think the latter is much better written with a much tighter narrative.
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Old July 20 2012, 02:41 AM   #8
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Re: Political Animals

WTF?

This is a 6 episode miniseries?
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Old July 20 2012, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re: Political Animals

I guess that explains why there were so many plotlines in the first episode.
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Old July 20 2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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Re: Political Animals

I found the first ep really disappointing. The only thing that made it watchable was Sigourney Weaver, who was fantastic.
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Old July 20 2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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Re: Political Animals

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
WTF?

This is a 6 episode miniseries?
Their goal was to have it continue as a regular series, though. With the low ratings, however, that's unlikely. Sigourney Weaver can't be cheap.
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Old July 21 2012, 12:37 AM   #12
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Re: Political Animals

Although, upgrade her producer credit into an executive producer credit and she has to pay herself.

It really depends on if she believes in the project, even if the American public doesn't.
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Old July 21 2012, 08:30 AM   #13
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Re: Political Animals

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
Although, upgrade her producer credit into an executive producer credit and she has to pay herself.
That's not how television works, generally. An EP is a senior producer -- not the person in charge of the purse strings. In this case, it looks like the main production company is Warner Horizon Television (a subsidiary of Warner Bros.) and the network is USA (a subsidiary of NBC-Universal). They're the companies funding this project.
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Old July 24 2012, 01:06 AM   #14
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Re: Political Animals

Caught the second episode, the second time around.

Realized the harsher, less appropriate accent by Hinds should have been a giveaway, Bud Hamilton is modeled largely on LBJ. How stupid of me not to see it right away. Helps understand the Hammond character but the politics aren't right, namely, Hammond doesn't really have them.

Weaver is still compelling, Burstyn/Stan is compelling, Gugino doesn't have any politics other than up with women and Dougie still hasn't given us a handle on the character.

It's only six episodes, worth finishing I think. Wonder why no one tuned in?
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Old July 24 2012, 01:26 AM   #15
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Re: Political Animals

It's possible that being on USA -- a cable network known for light and episodic fare -- was a detriment to the series. The mixed reviews probably didn't help.
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