Political Animals

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by stj, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    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.
     
  2. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    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.
     
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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. :rommie:

    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.)
     
  6. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    It was advertised as a limited series, yes, but USA was upfront in their publicity that they wanted this to become a regular series if the ratings were good enough.
     
  7. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    I'm sure President Petrelli / Sylar probably just flew out of Air Force One at the last second before it crashed. I don't know why he's going by the name Garcetti now, though.

    I think it would have been a more interesting storyline if the show gets picked up to have Elaine reject the VP offer and run against Garcetti even after coming to understand and respect him a little more recently. It's certainly more interesting and nuanced than running a black and white good versus evil campaign against Vice President E. Vil McDick (if they don't fish Garcetti out of the water). There won't be any doubt who you should root for in the campaign and you won't care what she does to undermine him, where you might care about what she does if it was Garcetti.
     
  8. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    I would have liked that storyline better, too. But I suppose that was deemed too simple by the writers because it's basically the situation Elaine was in at the beginning. She did think that Garcetti was a decent man but that he wasn't a good president because he gave in too willingly. Or something like that.

    When do you guys think we'll find out whether there will be a second season?
     
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The ads even called it a season finale. This cast is a triumph of acting over dialogue and plot, so I could live with it being true.

    All the main political storylines were finished last episode. Crashing Air Force One could be called a soft re-boot maybe.

    Re the show's feminism, there's nothing pseudo about it. It was never any kind of radical feminism that questions current (patriarchal/bourgeois) notions of romantic or maternal love. It was always a liberal/lifestyle/identity politics kind of feminism.

    As far as any torpidity is concerned, they shouted out that Dougie was going to be a bad boy in any second season. And nobody (except Brannon Braga) ever hired Carla Gugino to not do sex scenes. And they are going to trade Sebastian Stan to the other team too. And while Adrian Pasdar is a pretty good actor, you know what? Dylan Baker is better. That Spiderman remake missed a trick hiring Rhys Ifans instead of him.

    Last and least, this is an alternate world where Hollande won the French Presidential election instead of Mitterac or whoever it is.
     
  10. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    Huh? I don't quite understand what you're trying to say here. Is there a word missing? Or do you mean they'd recast the French President to be more like Hollande (although I doubt they'd ever show up again) in the second season?
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Soon, I imagine. I imagine Sigourney Weaver is in high demand, and needs to know if a pick-up is happening pretty quickly.
     
  12. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That was supposed to be "this is an alternate world where Segolene Mitterac or whoever it is won the French Presidential election instead." Yes I wrote it backwards but this is French politics, so it doesn't really matter, right?

    Right?


    Right? (Please!)

    :lol:
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How would this show proceed without Sigorney?

    Kill the character or turn her into Vera Peterson.

    Always talked about but never seen.

    Or would the good son step up?

    Although she was appointed and not elected, so succession does not fall through her family line.

    So did we like this or veep Better?

    Veep was a farce but it had more kill or die tension over really trivial shit.
     
  14. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    I figured it was something like that. Did we get the name of the French President or did you make that up? If you meant Ségolène Royal (who also ran in the Socialist primary and was the candidate the last time around) that would have been fairly interesting but the actress looked nothing like her (way older). Ségolène and Elaine could have traded stories about their piece-of-shit ex-partners (I'm actually not sure who left whom in the case of Royal and Hollande, though). They kind of missed the boat on that one, though. But as I said, it's unlikely that the French President would show up again.
    By the way, I think Hollande's private life which is so entangled in politics would have made for an interesting little show like that, too. It's kind of awkward if your ex-partner is in a party leadership position and you have to play nice with her while your new girlfriend is kind of jealous. I suppose that's more a plot for Sorkin.


    I haven't seen Veep. Is it any good?
     
  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's an Americanism of an English show called "the Thick of it' which climaxed with a movie where they go to Washington called "in the loop".

    But yes Veep is quite funny in a tense sort of Curb you Enthusiasm way.
     
  16. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    Ah, I've heard of the British show and film and wanted to check them out for a while but I haven't got around to it, yet. I'll add Veep to the list, too, then.
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You'd get the story you want if this were on AMC, FX or HBO, but its on USA, and Virtuous Elaine vs E. Vil McDick is more their style. Garcetti will remain with the fishes.
     
  18. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Really? Because the what do we do if there's two presidents seemed like foreshadowing.
     
  19. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mitterand et Chirac. Partly a tribute to the persistent rightward shift in France, but also because Pulp Fiction had me convinced I couldn't have been remembering her last name correctly.

    I think of the last French presidential race as Hamburger vs. Dutch vs. Jarhead for Pycho's seat.* It all seems like an out-of-period noir gangster flick. Who says the French are more couth than the Yanks?



    *Marine Le Pen being Jarhead and Hollande Dutch, naturally.
    Psycho is just too obvious to bother explaining.
     
  20. Count Zero

    Count Zero Watching Moderator

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    I had a suspicion it was a clever play on the two names. I think it might be a little more fitting for Hollande, though. The connection to Mitterand is obvious (and that's true for Royal, too) and Hollande is from the same region as Chirac (Corrèze which is part of "La France profonde" - deep France aka the equivalent of Hillbilly country, I suppose). Not long before the election, both of them attended an event there, and senile Chirac trailed behind Hollande announcing repeatedly that he would vote for them. Hollande looked half amused, half annoyed by this.

    French politics are really quite interesting and fascinating and they'd make excellent fodder for all kinds of movies and shows but to the outsider the goings-on are somewhat incomprehensible, sadly enough.