Follow TV Tropes

Following

Politics in Media - The Good, the Bad, and the Preachy

Go To

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 7:28:06 AM

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.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
KazuyaProta Porky from A Industrial Farm Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Porky
Oct 19th 2018 at 8:11:39 AM

Hasn’t the whole impeachment storyline been roundly criticized as white liberal fantasy?

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 8:15:28 AM

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.

Uh. I haven't see it. How it was?

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

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
PresidentStalkeyes 'Tyanut'sya k nebu...' from Novosibirsk Station
'Tyanut'sya k nebu...'
Oct 19th 2018 at 8:37:49 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 , I can imagine an equivalent liberal fantasy popping up in short order, too.

Space Russian Cyborg Clone Agent Ladies With Electric Knuckle Cannons? [Art by Spunky]
Oct 19th 2018 at 8:49:20 AM

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

M84 Such heroic nonsense from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Such heroic nonsense
Oct 19th 2018 at 8:51:12 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.

Disgusted, but not surprised
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 10:52:02 AM

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

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Oct 19th 2018 at 11:46:40 AM

[up] 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.

TobiasDrake Exposition Dragon from Colorado, USA Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Exposition Dragon
Oct 19th 2018 at 11:57:06 AM

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.

The greatest trick prejudice ever pulled was to convince the world it did not exist.
Protagonist506 from 'MURICA Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Oct 19th 2018 at 12:03:38 PM

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.

"Any campaign world where an orc samurai can leap off a landcruiser to fight a herd of Bulbasaurs will always have my vote of confidence"
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 1:20:43 PM

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.

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.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Oct 19th 2018 at 1:24:41 PM

[up] 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

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 1:25:44 PM

No, I'm appreciating the discussion.

Sorry if I sounded dismissive.

My apologies.

Your critique is most welcome. How would you have done it?

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 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."

"What 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

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Oct 19th 2018 at 1:29:54 PM

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

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 1:37:28 PM

Agreed.

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.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Grafite Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Oct 19th 2018 at 1:40:35 PM

[up][up] 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

Life is unfair...
Protagonist506 from 'MURICA Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Oct 19th 2018 at 4:45:55 PM

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.

"Any campaign world where an orc samurai can leap off a landcruiser to fight a herd of Bulbasaurs will always have my vote of confidence"
CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 4:50:48 PM

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.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
Oct 19th 2018 at 6:06:51 PM

Law & Order SVU recently tackled incel culture in an episode to mixed results.

He [Carisi] explains how “Chads” are sexually active perceived alpha males and “Stacys” are attractive women who have sex with Chads. Ice-T chimes in that that’s ludicrous because “that’s why God invented hookers.” Carisi responds that “Sex workers are part of the problem. For these guys, men shouldn’t have to pay for sex. A woman should want to please any man, any time.”

While the show gives a decent introductory explainer of this dangerous group, this exchange is so disappointing. The idea that incels’ problems can be solved by sex workers is as common an argument as it is dangerous. Incels are not just regular men who have trouble finding dates. They’re angry, entitled, potentially violent misogynists whose identity is rooted in their deep disdain for women. Sex workers cannot be used as a shield to protect other women from their dangerous behavior.

In examining the evils of incel culture, SVU gets halfway there. It’s disappointing that the subject is ultimately left on a note of “if his mother hadn’t screwed him up” or “if the girl had gotten his prom invitation” (it turns out he had his crush’s phone number wrong), maybe he wouldn’t have turned out this way.

I’m glad SVU is exposing incels to audiences that might not be familiar with their disgusting beliefs, but it would have been nice to see a deeper look at how systematic misogyny, racism, and rape culture have contributed to these communities of men obsessed with white male dominance, rather than focusing so hard on one individual’s more easily understandable motivations.

https://www.themarysue.com/incels-svu/

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 6:31:54 PM

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

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
RabidTanker God-Mayor of Sim-Kind Relationship Status: TV Tropes ruined my love life
God-Mayor of Sim-Kind
Oct 19th 2018 at 6:55:56 PM

You forgot the part about how stubborn they are.

Answer no master, never the slave Carry your dreams down into the grave Every heart, like every soul, equal to break
Oct 19th 2018 at 7:00:51 PM

[up][up]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.

CharlesPhipps Author from Ashland, Ky Relationship Status: Lovey-Dovey
Author
Oct 19th 2018 at 7:31:54 PM

Is it?

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.

Author of The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, The United States of Monsters, and Lucifer's Star.
unknowing "GREAT AND GLORIOUS DESAPAIR!" from somewhere..
"GREAT AND GLORIOUS DESAPAIR!"
Oct 19th 2018 at 7:59:16 PM

[up][up]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.

"There is only one truth in this life and that is DESPAIR!"

Total posts: 8,569
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report