sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

  • Mood:

President Hollywood

This was a BBC4 programme last night on the parallels between Hollywood potrayals of POTUS and the real thing. I have to admit, I was expecting it to be about how the media is used to manipulate voter perceptions, but it didn't get that deep. It was, mostly, "nowadays, you have to look like a movie star."

There were interesting parallels presented, taking moves from the 1930s onwards, as well as most of the entire run of The West Wing (well, duh). Parallels went in both directions, they said: the popularity of the everyman outsider coming into the DC political life stems from Mr Smith Goes to Washington, playing on a Lincolnesque image, and especially after Watergate.

Maybe. But I wonder how many of these everyman candidates have not been, y'know, immensely rich.

They mooted that Hilary might have had a tougher time because there had been more (and more popular) portrayals of black presidents recently than of female presidents (Morgan Freeman and Dennis Haysbert vs Geena Davis; they did mention a pre-WWII movie I forget, but they forgot about Whoops Apocalypse - strange, that...).

There was a reason given - though I forget it - why the UK has had a female prime minister, but the US hasn't had a female president. I personally wondered whether it was because the UK had already had several female sovereigns, and one of them - Elizabeth I - was legendarily strong[1].

So, an interesting programme, but I really wanted it to go deeper: here's what happened - here's how it was portrayed. Here's how the voters responded. Alas.

It also seemed to be very much from the US point of view - or maybe that's just my age. Reagan was presented as being an untouchably charismatic personality, whereas I mainly remember The President's Brain Is Missing! and "okey-dokey Don" from Spitting Image.

There's lots of other thoughts I had, but they were all ill-formed and rambling, and there's stuff cooking...

[1] Concrete elephant, etc.

Tags: movies, tv
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.