Just watched the premiere of the USA Network miniseries Political Animals. Reckoned it might be some form of good – Sigourney Weaver doing TV is something that carries some weight.
Weaver plays a very thinly veiled Hillary Clinton. I mean, very; it’s like this started as a piece of Hillary fan fiction. She’s the wife of the two-term philandering 42nd President of the United States who runs for president herself years later, loses the primary, but ends up working as Secretary of State for the man who defeated her. VERY. They could’ve named her Clillary Hinton and still been no less subtle.
Within this context, she deals with family secrets, with journalists digging for those secrets, and with international gamesmanship. It’s watchable, the parts are well played, but it fails to be convincing. This is neither racy enough to be a guilty pleasure (although there are various scenes of sex that go beyond what one would find on the broadcast channels) nor insightful enough to be a serious drama. Its world of journalism is focused one women who are far too concerned with proper use of the term “bitch”, and where conflicts apparently arise because Carla Gugino isn’t the sexy one. (Carla’s the good-gal journalist in this, the one who holds back reporting a story so she can use it as blackmail; actually reporting the story is something left to the bad-gal journalist. The script is focused enough on the women in power as dealing with the carelessness and abuse of the men around them that I’m left wondering if this was crafted with Lifetime in mind. Add in some ugly gay stereotyping and we’re left with… watching Sigourney do her thing. Which is of value, of course, but while I’ll be DVRing the upcoming episodes, I would not be surprised if I forrgo actually watching them.