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I felt we needed a place to discuss this because a lot of us love discussing the politics behind stories both intended or unintended. We all love discussing it and its nice to have a place to discuss it in these charged times.
I was thinking of asking what people thought were the most interesting post-election Trump related media.
The Good Fight on CBS Access devoted their entire second season to dealing with the subject.
Uh. I haven't see it. How it was?
Hasn’t the whole impeachment storyline been roundly criticized as white liberal fantasy?
I'm not sure impeaching Trump was a specifically white liberal fantasy, though impeachment was always something that was unlikely to happen. Still, given the criminal activity Trump has been up to, I don't see why it's something that is fantastical.
In the show, the DNC is depicted as exploring the option and immediately throws the protagonist under the bust for being "too radical" seeming as a season 2 climax.
Season 1 was something of a typical dramedy lawyer show. It's strongly Chicago liberal with none of the Good Wife's cynicism about the subject. The Good Wife very often had a disgusted and loathsome view of rich white liberal hypocrisy to go along with their pro-liberal stance. The Good Fight is much more idealistic with Christine Barransky's character having lost her fortune and taken up with a black firm interested in police brutality cases.
Season 2 is a lot crazier and more hilarious (and better) with the focus being on how ridiculous the Trump presidency is and how it's messing with character's minds. Regular characters include ICE agents who are insanely cruel, judges appointed by Trump who are completely idiotic, and trying to get information from various hookers that Trump slept with. It's also shown the FBI is helping Trump cover up his crimes and the law firm is under attack by his associates.
The DNC is shown as seriously pursuing plans to impeach Trump after the mditerms, though, which we know isn't true.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 19th 2018 at 8:20:38 AM
If the second season of that show was a white liberal fantasy - don't know if it is, haven't seen it - I don't think anyone would be at all surprised. Hell, if something like Victoria existsnote for those unaware, that's a book that would probably be the modern alt-right's Turner Diaries if it had inspired any actual real-life terror attacks, and if it didn't sound unintentionally hilarious. Features things like the federal government collapsing because it's being hamstrung by sensitivity measures, and the protagonists being plucky all-American racist, sexist homophobes that triumph over jet fighter-piloting feminists with the power of 'common sense' (and a spoonful of Artistic License – Military), I can imagine an equivalent liberal fantasy popping up in short order, too.
I believe that quote is more describing the type of people it appeals to than the show itself.
I’ve seen parts of it, and I’ll admit the whole “making the Trump admin way worse than it is in real life” thing didn’t resonate with me. In light of the actual horrible things that are going on exaggerating them seems unnecessary, and comes off a little desperate.
Edited by archonspeaks on Oct 19th 2018 at 8:49:32 AM
There's no need to make up and exaggerate stuff when it comes to the Trump administration — it's not like what he's already doing isn't horrible enough.
I'm generally confused at the idea it IS making things worse.
One of the episodes most criticized was that they appointed an idiot misogynist as a judge—and this was before Kavanaugh.
A second episode treated like garbage was the idea that Trump had ordered ICE agents to viciously go after a African American who had lived literally his entire life in America except for the day he was born.
...Which seems entirely Trumpish.
I mean, what is exaggerated? Trump is fully in the Tyson Zone.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 19th 2018 at 10:52:35 AM
Both of those plots were massively exaggerated, taking it almost into Saturday morning cartoon villain levels of idiocy and evilness. The judge one in particular was a little pointless considering what Trump’s actual nominees have been like.
Ultimately, it almost comes off like people wishing it was really that bad so they could fight back more.
The interesting thing about Trump being in the Tyson zone is that it means you can make whatever joke you want about him in your movie and it's entirely plausible.
Like. When Jurassic World claimed that the United States President doesn't think dinosaurs are real, I totally bought it. That is absolutely a thing that Trump would say.
To be fair, it probably is safe to say that Trump is in the Tyson Zone. In fact, I'd actually argue that's part of what makes him so dangerous.
The thing with Trump is that he, in practice, has a sort of inversion of a Controversy-Proof Image. He's so controversial that criticizing him is beating a dead horse and satirizing him is pretty futile.
Ultimately, it almost comes off like people wishing it was really that bad so they could fight back more.
Well, it's a dramedy so I don't see what the problem is with exaggeration for humorous effect. If you want a completely serious critique of the administration then a television show like that may not be the best place for it. Mind you, I actually appreciate it being Lighter and Softer than The Good Wife because that show really depressed me at times.
It's why I felt Mister Robot has really gone downhill since Season 1 because as much as I love grimdark, the Darkness Induced Apathy with this show is strong. I was really interested in a group of hackers fighting against a corporate overlord—and what I got was a show which says the bad guys would always win and the hackers were every bit as bad as the system.
Well, you did ask us how we thought the show handled the Trump administration. You can’t just un-ask a question.
And like I said, personally I think there’s enough horrible stuff going on in real life that exaggerating it is entirely unnecessary in this context. It comes off a little tasteless. I also felt that the whole “the impeachment is really happening” story line edged a little too far into wish fufillment, though that’s understandable.
I’ve been putting off starting Mr. Robot, mainly because I don’t have the headspace for another primetime show right now. I’ve found that trying to watch too many of those at the same time can be exhausting.
Edited by archonspeaks on Oct 19th 2018 at 1:26:59 AM
No, I'm appreciating the discussion.
Sorry if I sounded dismissive.
Your critique is most welcome. How would you have done it?
I remember the confusion a lot of posters had a few months ago when the two sides of this forum were sharply divided.
"Yes, Trump is going to be impeached!"
"That's a tasteless joke."
"That he's going to impeached."
"Why wouldn't he? He's a criminal and we'll have the House."
"It's not funny."
"No one is joking!"
"You can't seriously believe he'll be impeached."
"Of course we can."
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 19th 2018 at 1:27:36 AM
I wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong with the show, per se. Like you said, it’s Lighter and Softer wish fufillment in many ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I would just encourage them to watch their exaggerated takes on real life events, they can come off a little dismissive to the actual event by making the whole thing into a joke or a caricature. And frankly, they don’t need to exaggerate at all.
The impeachment stuff is still pretty controversial, though people are kidding themselves if they think it’ll actually happen even with the House in our hands.
Edited by archonspeaks on Oct 19th 2018 at 1:32:05 AM
Two other very politically charged shows right now are interesting in their riding
of the Trump coattails.
1. Murphy Brown is basically playing the whole "The Good Fight" thing as full comedy but with the same story. The Hillary Clinton Era (Hillary guest starred on the pilot) feminist is inspired to come out of retirement to fight against the rise of Trump power politics. Also, to try to restore the dignity of the news which has become a joke.
Ironically, in a comedy.
2. Roseanne was actually interesting because a lot of American families were divided by the rise of Trump era politics. Throwing aside Roseanne Barr is a horrible racist, which I know is the equivalent of "but otherwise, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" I think the premise is just not as interesting with the Conners.
SNL does the same thing and I personally find it funny. Better take solace in the great comedy the administration has managed to create than to sit around at all times despairing about the doomed country. Plus, satire is a good way to reach some people that would otherwise have never paid attention to certain issues.
Edited by Grafite on Oct 19th 2018 at 9:41:59 AM
With something like Mr. Robot: Personally, I never got into the show (I've seen an episode or two), mostly because the protagonists are outright anarchists which makes me a bit uneasy. I do think having hacker rebels fight a corporate overlord is a potentially cool premise, though.
As for having the heroes actually turn out to be bad guys: On one hand, part of me is a little amused. On the other hand, as much as I think The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified is a bit overdone, I think if you're going to have a story starring rebels, those rebels should be good guys. Having Bomb-Throwing Anarchists pitted against an evil establishment is going to make your story hard to get into.
In general I'm not overly fond of 'twist villains' either.
Well, in Mr. Robot, the company of EVILCORP (not actually it's real name), is a banking system which is based around predatory loans and building up massive debt in America. The team of F-Society is planning to wipe out all their debt in America ala Fight Club except it's via hacking.
It's not really a spoiler to say they succeed because there's no show without it.
However, the sequel seasons are all about how wiping out all that debt just makes thigs worse and the rich to get richer.
Law & Order SVU recently tackled incel culture in an episode to mixed results.
It is a decent (albeit highly simplified) counterargument that their problem is lack of sex.
Their problem is they're scumbag misogynists.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Oct 19th 2018 at 6:32:11 AM
You forgot the part about how stubborn they are.
The article is aware of that. It's the show or at least a character within the show that doesn't seem to know that.
Given how tone deaf SVU has been about rape culture at times, it seems to be more a case of the former.
I mean, Ice T is rebutted with a fairly accurate, "They want women to serve them 24/7 for free."
Just not as harsh as it could be. It's still pretty damn harsh.
Other times they have being spot on, I mean being a long runner mistakes just pile up in general.
I mean another aspect people fail to relizes is the defeating tone incel tend to have, the idea they cant never be happy or having someone is something many men thing at one time or another in their life.
I can get while incel think like that even if I find their thought process disturbing.
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How well does it match the trope?