Running for political office is kind of like snagging a role in a top Hollywood movie. As soon as you sign on the line, you’re fair game for every reporter, photographer and talk show host. You don’t even have to actually do anything obnoxious, illegal or stupid – if they don’t like you, they’ll find a way to spin the most innocent action into a story.
The one difference between being a politician and being a movie star is that stars aren’t usually held accountable for the failures of the family. In politics, it’s a whole different story. If you have a son who went joy riding in someone else’s car or a spouse who pays for companionship, it’s going to come back to you as soon as you start to get ahead in the race.
Political life is tough on candidates but it can be even tougher on the family members who never asked to be put under a microscope and that’s what the short-lived series Political Animals is all about.
Sigourney Weaver stars as Elaine Barrish Hammond, a former first lady and current Secretary of State, who is also considering making her own run for the Oval Office. Trouble is, her family has already gone through this dance and they’re not anxious to do it again.
Political Animals is more Dallas than West Wing, so don’t be scared off by the weight of the subject matter. Politics is the background, but the story really revolves around what happens when you put fallible people under that much pressure to be perfect.
Sebastian Stan (Once Upon a Time) and James Wolk are great as the “problem vs the perfect” brothers but it’s Ellen Burstyn who steals every scene she’s in as Elaine’s free-spirited, outspoken mother.
The series originally ran on the USA Network and sadly there are only six episodes. Still, it plays well as a mini-series and since it’s more soapy than serious, it’s an easy show to watch on a Saturday night.
Political Animals: The Complete Series hit stores this week. You can pick up your copy at Amazon for only $14.95. That’s a great deal on an entertaining series.