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In fact, political TV shows can be unflatteringly precisely about the US government.


Political television shows are a staple of American entertainment, with sensational dramas like Card castle or character-driven comedies like VEEP giving us a fictitious look at the inner workings of current government systems. While most are grossly disproportionate, such as Scandal (although based on a real fixer Judy Smith), others can still teach us a thing or two about the real inner workings of government. Let’s turn to some of our favorite TV shows to see how they portray government more accurately than we might have thought.

On the militarization of the police

Brooklyn’s fictional 99th Borough, run by Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), also stars Andy Samberg as Detective Jake Peralta. In the 19th episode of the first season, titled “Tactical villageThe Nine-Nine unit performs exercises using high-powered weapons and military-grade machines. And even though it was serious training, the team were thrilled to play with these “toys” as they called them.

While this is a comedic take on the weaponry of the police force, the provision of military grade machinery to local law enforcement agencies is true. Police stations across the country are receiving (sometimes brand new) military equipment through subsidized programs like the Program 1033; many other programs supply small constituencies with military weapons like chariots and rams.

So, it’s scary, but precise: Brooklyn nine-nine used satire to illustrate the militarization of the police force and the enthusiastic attitude of their employees to participate.

On corruption in Congress

A motivated and power-hungry congressman named Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) manipulate the system in Netflix. Card castle rise through the ranks of government. The Underwoods’ efforts to keep secrets and expose others for their personal gain are appalling, but have made a hell of a good TV. Sadly, the show also reveals some of what might be the true inner workings of the US government (with a certain savage sensationalism, of course).

I spoke with a member of the Brooklyn Democratic County committee Colleen Hughes to give him his opinion on which is more realistic, and one element of the show that Hughes found particularly intriguing was the idea of ​​whipping the votes.

“Essentially, vote flogging means ensuring / pressuring / negotiating with your party members to vote based on the party platform, rather than their own individual interests or the interests of their donors or their supporters. voters, ”Hughes told Lifehacker. Whipping the votes, says Hughes, is an accurate representation of how members of Congress push congregation bills through.

On the importance of local government

Parks and Recreation (a.k.a Parks and Recreation) is a mock documentary-type comedy following the wacky procedures of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The show stars Amy Poehler as deputy director of parks and recreation, Leslie Knope, and the silly antics of her staff. He Also stars Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, Knope’s boss, and his colleagues played by Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir and Retta.

Their office prides itself on the bureaucratic systems it uses for its parks and local events, including large color-coded binders and a multi-season fight to bridge a local chasm.

“Comedy apart,” says Hughes of Parks and Recreation, “It’s a pretty accurate portrayal of the monotony and ridicule of local government.”

She also congratulates Parks and Recreation for portraying the impact of local government, saying “something as simple as cleaning up a park, clearing snow from snowy streets and even a memorial for a pony can have a direct positive impact on you and life from your neighbor. “

On idealism in the White House

Another show that Hughes praises for its accuracy is The west wing.

West wing is also a pretty accurate, if incredibly idealistic, representation of the White House, ”she said.

West wing featured A-List actors like Allison Janney, John Spencer and Martin Sheen depicting the inner workings of the official workplace of the President of the United States.

On Selfish Insecurities In Leadership

The Vice President’s office is featured in the popular HBO show, VEEP, and while VEEP does not describe government procedures very well, exaggerated characters tend to be surprisingly faithful to life in terms of ego.

Former insider Tommy Vietor, who worked under the Obama administration, confirmed that the selfish actions of government officials and members of Congress were right. Vietor told VEEP writer David Mandel on the podcast Pod Save America, “You guys nail the fragility of the ego, and, like, the everyday idiocy of decision-making.”

Yes, the one element of the show that we hoped was overdone was the one that was the most authentic.

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