There will be no whitewash in the White House.
Richard Milhous Nixon Statement on the Watergate affair, 17 Apr.
I must confess, I have been on a political-White House-West Wing-Washington DC-campaigning-democratic-republican TV show kick! Netflix has three incredible shows available right now. And I am just finishing up my third series this year.
Gah! I love them. But for different reasons.
House of Cards
First, I watched House of Cards. 2013-2014. It is disturbing on so many levels. Ay-yi-yi. The very first scene was just terrible and a perfect introduction to the whole show, but I could not look away. It’s a political drama (though I might characterize it as more of a thriller, honestly) starring Kevin Spacey as a power-mongering, manipulative, controlling politician with a wife to match played by Robin Wright. These characters pretty much want to make you flee America and renounce your citizenship.
It is so awful and so good. Oh my. If you’re queasy or very anti-R-ratings, this is not the show for you.
The West Wing
Then, there is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed, The West Wing (1999-2006). It’s 7 seasons of looking into the lives of the west wing staffers at the white house. It got almost 200 nominations for awards over the years and won almost 100. The characters are so well developed you feel like you know them and can respect them even when your opinion differs. I actually learned a lot from this show about the ways our government works – things I should have been learning in school, but somehow didn’t.
It’s a great show and even though it started in 1999 and technology has advanced rapidly since, they somehow managed to create a very timeless setting, with contemporary story-lines and ongoing issues that face us. If you’re an intelligent, thinking American citizen, you’ll like this show and your belief in democracy will be strengthened.
Final episode, final season, you cannot help it, “Bravo! Bravo” Really good!
Finally, I am just about to finish the 3rd season of Scandal (2012-ongoing) starring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a “fixer.” She runs a crisis management firm and Washington DC is portrayed as a very (very) naughty place. And wow-oh-wow. Tantalizing. Engaging. Seductive. Even though it is network fare, I’d say it deserves an R rating, too.
A few of the characters are pretty cartoonish and obvious and the story moves so quickly that character development is choppy and contrived at times with flashbacks, flash forwards and maybe even a few flash sideways. :) Just kidding. But regardless, very compelling watching. Olivia Pope is quite cool wearing white and the show sucks you in, naughtiness or not.
Sigh, now what? I am going to go on presidential withdrawals.
I may have to resort to watching one of my favorite Washington-presidential type movies:
- Mr Smith Goes to Washington 1939. So idealistic. And I still believe we can be, contrary to what the current TV series portray. I want to believe Jimmy Stewart exists and can bring our great country together for the good of the people – yes, we the people! Oh say can you seeeeeee?
- Dave 1993. Idealistic again. And romantic. How one good-hearted citizen can change the course of a presidency when the top dog is a sorry _____. Plus cute and romantic.
- The American President 1995. This movie may have sort of been the precursor for The West Wing? Did I hear that somewhere? It’s smart. It’s well cast. It’s thoughtful. I enjoy it.
President Andrew Shepherd: What I did tonight was not about political gain.
Leon Kodak: Yes sir. But it can be, sir. What you did tonight was very Presidential.
President Andrew Shepherd: Leon, somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor’s working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence Headquarters. He’s going about doing his job… because he has no idea, in about an hour he’s going to die in a massive explosion. He’s just going about his job, because he has no idea that about an hour ago I gave an order to have him killed. You’ve just seen me do the least Presidential thing I do.
What am I going to do, people???
What am I going to do?