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Series: Alpha House
Gary Trudeau's Sitcom about four U.S. Senators sharing a townhouse in Washington, DC. Gil John Biggs (R-NC) (John Goodman) is a former college basketball coach who sees the Senate mainly as an easy paycheck and never-ending parade of perks; Robert Bettencourt (R-PA)(Clark Johnson) is a bigshot in the party establishment who concentrates on getting big campaign donations while under investigation by the Ethics Committee; Louis Laffer (R-NV)(Matt Malloy) is deep in the closet, while Andy Guzman (R-FL)(Mark Consuelos) is a Ted Cruz Expy at first glance until we discover the size and extent of his libido. The show was released as a Web Original on Amazon, with the first three episodes free.


This work contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Louis, from deep in the closet. Since he's a conservative GOP senator facing a primary challenge he's trying to become even more of an Armored Closet Gay.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The "what if your wife was raped and murdered" question is asked during Gil John's debate rehearsal. Gil John doesn't answer beyond crushing his soda, which upsets Maddie because she would like to know the answer. Later, while Gil John is complaining, he says he doesn't want to get upsetting questions like that during the real thing, because of course it renders him speechless with anger. After that, we see a number of affectionate moments between the two.
  • But Not Too Black: Robert Bettencourt's upbringing. A black custodian at his office also comments that Bettencourt's campaign ads are clearly catered to white Pennsylvanians, which Bettencourt doesn't deny.
  • Crocodile Tears: When a prominent representative dies in the season finale, both Guzman and Armiston use the funeral to self-promote their respective agendas.
  • Dark Secret: Andy doesn't know Spanish and is taking lessons in secret. His parents thought it would hold him back.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Andy, who finds a girlfriend immediately after splitting up.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Gil John uses the joke "at least I don't shoot blanks" during his debate with Digger Mancusi. Unfortunately, Digger and his wife have trouble conceiving naturally and Gil John's comments are interpreted to be a joke about that. Needless to say it doesn't go over well.
  • Fan Disservice: John Goodman naked.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Louis and his wife Louise, although Louis isn't above a Precision F-Strike.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Gil John, a Fatal Flaw of his.
  • Heroic BSOD: Gil John starts feeling disillusioned with his political career, realizing that it's mostly his wife's ambition that's driving him. He sneaks off to his hometown to try and get his bearings only to realize that old racist attitudes he thought people had grown out of still exist in an insidious passive-aggressive form and that the average man on the street's idea of what the Republican Party stands for is nothing close to what drew him to politics in the first place. He retreats to a beach to fish and drink beer. A conversation with a rival campaign operative ends up leading him to find new resolve to try and be the kind of politician he originally aspired to be.
  • Hollywood Autism: Dilly, the (supposedly) High School-age poll numbers expert
  • The Malaproper: Gil John, mostly because he doesn't give a damn. As soon as someone tells him about zingers and RINOnote  issues, he's calling them "stinkers" and "hippo issues."
  • Memetic Mutation: In-universe, something that is feared by the Senators. Some examples:
    • Louis' interview on The Colbert Report, which ends with a homoerotic wrestling match.
    • The video of Gil John attacking a soldier with a folding chair.
    • One of Louis' staffers accidentally uploading a photo of his own penis onto the Senator's Twitter account.
    • A photographer shooting Rep. Guzman for a piece in Vanity Fair appears to be modeled after Annie Leibovitz.
    • A pair of Nevada investors who Rep. Laffer tangles with in regards to a possible showgirl workers strike are painted very much in the style of the Koch brothers.
  • Nerves of Steel: An arc light blows and crashes to the ground right behind Andy while he's making his rebuttal to President Obama's speech. He doesn't even flinch. (The way he talks about it afterward suggests he might have planned it.)
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Inverted. The opening credits have the protagonists cut into footage of Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama, and the characters appear or are talked about on several real-world shows.
    • Chuck Schumer has a cameo interacting with Bettencourt in an episode where President Obama appears via Stock Footage.
    • Grover Norquist and Anthony Weiner have cameos in the season finale. Norquist has a speaking role, where Weiner, maybe considering his recent troubles, stays silent.
  • No Party Given: Averted; all the main characters are Republicans. Word of God is this is because they have more interesting primary battles than Democrats.
  • Only Sane Man: After taking a hit in the polls for applauding something Obama said during the State of the Union address, Bettencourt decides to portray himself as this during a primary debate. Considering his opponents were a restaurant owner who boasted of his ability to dodge taxes, a PETA treasurer, the self-proclaimed reincarnation of James Buchanan (who debated in character), an alchemist, a "self-educated libertarian" who advocated repealing all laws, and a 9/11 truther, this was not exactly a challenging task.
  • Put on a Bus: A senator played by Bill Murray is put on the bus in the first minutes of the pilot, which drives the plot of the first couple episodes as Guzman moves in. The Bus Came Back in the closing credits of the season finale.
  • Raised by Wolves: Asked of one of the interviewees by Louis.
  • Red Herring: At a club, Andy makes an acquaintance with a very attractive Spanish-speaking woman and invites her to the house, and strange noises are heard from his room after Adriana leaves. She bursts in to find them—studying Spanish because Andy's hired her as a tutor.
  • Self-Deprecating Humor: Chris Matthews' cameo is him making a hugely implausible segue to shill his new book while his guests awkwardly try to get back to the subject of Gil John's campaign vid.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: In episode 8, when Louis is recruiting a new housekeeper.
  • The Voice: This trope is invoked in the first few episodes, as Gil John's wife (painted as the real brains behind Gil John's administration) is only heard on speakerphone from his district, however, in later episodes actress Julie White does appear in person.
  • Walk and Talk: Lampshaded and played with when one character tells another, "Walk and talk with me." They do... but then they only go about ten feet. Does that really count?

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