Power runs in the family is the catch phrase for the USA Network’s new six-part limited series “Political Animals” that features the who’s who of leading TV stars.
The star-studded cast for USA’s “Political Animals” – that premieres Sunday, July 15 at 10 p.m. ET – is almost as interesting as the show’s premise about a former First Lady who becomes secretary of state; while in real life that would be Hillary Clinton, but for “Political Animals” it's veteran actress Sigourney Weaver in the role of Secretary of State Elaine Barrish. Also featured in this six-hour miniseries is “Fringe” actress Blair Brown who guest stars as an investigative reporter hell bent on getting a “Watergate” styled expose on Secretary Barrish. In addition, there's Oscar-nominated Dan Futterman plays newsman Alex Davies who sexually messes about with a fellow journalist Susan Berg, played by Carla Gugino. The stellar cast of “Political Animals” also includes Sebastian Stan from “Captain America” fame; while "Big Love’s" Ellen Burstyn provides the senior woman presence. This “limited series” also includes veteran TV actors Adrian Pasdar, Brittany Ishibashi and Ciaran Hinds; with James Wolk from “Lone Star” also rounding out the regular cast.
The series was written by Greg Berlanti of “Brothers & Sisters” fame, states the USA Network website that features a special “Political Animals” overview with somewhat revealing interviews with the miniseries stars.
Political Animals is a “façade” of a former first-family
The six-hour miniseries “Political Animals” will air each Sunday beginning with the pilot episode on July 15 at 10/9c; while USA Network did not say if the series proves to be successful; if and when it will be picked-up for a longer run as a regular TV series.
Moreover, the USA Network’s marketing overview for the new show states how this “limited series event” aims to “pull back the curtain on the polished façade of a former first-family (the Clinton’s in real life) as they navigate the complex world of political and personal ambition.”
In addition to the all-start cast, the USA Network recently announced that Linda Powell - the real life daughter of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell - will be featured in this first pilot episode as the “national security advisor to the president.”
In turn, General Powell also served as a former Secretary of State whose recent book “It Worked for Me” explains how all politics are really local; while also noting how just about anyone and everyone who is a politician in today’s Washington has to serve someone, and it’s not often those who elected these lawmakers.
Also, the series was principally photographed in Philadelphia; while there’s other “shots” of Washington, D.C. where the show is supposed to take place.
Political Animals mostly about sex and some politics
Imagine if politicians were really statesmen, and really cared for all people of the U.S.; while that may sound like fiction, it’s one of the main plots; while the arching story line seems to center on sex that’s mirrored in the real life sex scandals of both John Edwards and Herman Cain.
In the role of Secretary of State Elaine Barrish, Sigourney Weaver, 62, plays a “divorced former First Lady;” while TV critics say that’s not far off from when Hillary Clinton could have divorced former President Bill Clinton for his White House indiscretions; while today Hillary Rodham Clinton serves as the 67th U.S. secretary of state.
While this is yet another case of real life mirroring fiction on TV, preview scenes of Weaver playing a former First Lady who’s been screwed over puts one to mind of the Clinton’s; and that’s why this new “limited series” might get new legs if the concept catches on; as was the case with the highly successful “West Wing” TV series.
Flawed former first family exposed on TV
In the end, reviews for “Political Animals” - from preview showing of the pilot that debuts on the USA Network July 15 - state how this TV drama is generally about screwed-up members of the former first family who are not happy campers with political life in Washington, and focus on sex and power for enjoyment.
For instance, Greg Berlanti, the creator, writer and pilot director for “Political Animals” is featured on the USA Network website comparing his cast of former first family members as “our closest thing to American royals. “I hadn’t seen that on TV. "They're out of power and they're just like us: There's a sex addict, an alcoholic, a rageaholic kid, a drunk grandmother. They are as flawed as we are and all we want is to see them get them back in the White House,” explained Berlanti on the show’s website.
However, the show’s main star is the real life 62-year-old veteran actress Sigourney Weaver who plays former first lady Elaine Barrish who is today the secretary of state who wants to do good for the country; while even mentioning the word “compassion.”
Also, it’s interesting to note that Weaver explained in a real-life interview that her father was Governor Nelson Rockefeller's campaign manager. In turn, Weaver said in a USA Network interview that “I actually worked on Capitol Hill and campaigned for Rocky to get the nomination as opposed to Nixon. That summer in Washington made me feel cynical about the system and that was the 1970s. Actually, I've always been one to do very cause-related things. For me, it's not so much about candidates, but about issues."
The pilot for “Political Animals” premieres Sunday, July 15 at 10 p.m. on the USA Network; while this first show will be repeated on both July 17 and 20. Check your local TV listings for times to catch Political Animals in your area.
Image source of the USA Network poster for the limited six-hour miniseries “Political Animals” that has its debut on USA July 15. Photo courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_Animals_(miniseries)