So I got the flu, second time this semester, and given the weather conditions, I don’t have much choice but to sit around at home. As much as I love reading and I still have that Proust novel winking at me across the room, sometimes I don’t feel like reading, studying or anything that requires more than eye-muscle activity. Many of you probably know by now that I am a huge fan of quality movies and my understanding of holiday season revolves around “the award season”. We just left behind the Academy Awards along with Sean Penn’s distasteful jokes and needless to say, I was up all evening refreshing CNN’s awards page since I was not home to watch the ceremony. Embarrassingly, I have not seen many of the nominee movies including Birdman, which I intend to see during the spring break while I’m enjoying the 65 degree weather in Turkey.
Instead of traditional Hollywood, I have been investing my time in the TV shows. As a politically bitter individual, nearly all my life choices somehow (including some guilty pleasures) have been centered in politics, including my daily brain- numbing ritual, also known as watching some series. Don’t be fooled by my wording, the shows are nothing like the Bachelorette or Jersey Shore… First of all, those two are not just brain numbing; they actually kill your brain cells*. Second of all, the political shows can be pretty educational, especially if you are an International Relations/ Studies or Political Science major. Here is my top 3 list of political TV shows:
1. The Newsroom
Besides just informing, the news we watch or read everyday shape how we perceive political events on daily basis. If we want to eat (get informed), a news channel is the restaurant we go to and if we are smart enough, we should ask for the best quality of food that has the least modified ingredients, which, in a way, represents the source of the news as in the people or places that cause the events. This TV show, The Newsroom, exposes the viewer to the journey of “food”; where the restaurant buy the ingredients from, how they cook it, what do they do to make it presentable and how does the “food” get to our tables. In a decade of which Kim Kardashian is more frequently trending on Facebook than Obama, who recently vetoed the oil pipeline bill, I think we need this TV show to explain us the difference between “the tabloids” and “the news”. Brought to you by Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom is almost an educational tool for the ones who are interested in the politics… Or people who want to appreciate political humor:
2. House of Cards
One of my favorite movies is The Godfather 2, and within the series, this is one of my favorite quotes:
Michael: My father’s no different than any other powerful man – any man who’s responsible for other people, like a senator or a president.
Kay: [laughs] You know how naïve you sound?
Kay: Senators and presidents don’t have men killed.
Michael: Oh, who’s being naïve, Kay?
This Netflix series is mostly based on proving how naive Kay is. As it is focused on a married couple in which the husband is a Congressman who (spoiler alert) sneakily makes his way to the Presidency, the show mostly focuses on the role-plays of power and manipulation. If you have already lost faith in your government but you want to learn how everything practically works because your text book and prof only tells you the theoretical side of things, this is your show.
Warning: It can get depressing or dark at times.
Mmmm, in a way your typical CIA agent story (maybe with a bipolar twist) and goes hard on Middle East which I don’t really appreciate… HOWEVER, it is better than 24, eventhough I enjoyed growing up watching Jack Bauer kick butt everywhere , I still think Homeland has more of a realistic touch to it that makes it better. Anyway, this TV show will probably show you the “Intelligence” part of CIA and will teach you the bureaucratic side of homeland security. Acting isn’t half bad, so I’d recommend it.
*Not scientifically proven