ABC's Scandal (Photo: ABC)
by Clarence Page
Among other landmarks, 2013 was the year of a big comeback for dramatic and comedic TV series about spies, politics and other shenanigans in
That's a big turnaround from 1998, when President
But 16 years of scandals, terror attacks and paranoid theories later,
For me, that's a lot to hate-watch, the sort of TV viewing that grabs your attention, if only out of fascination with how bad it is. Shows about the Kardashians or anything that is titled "The Housewives of (fill in the blank)" comes to mind.
Hate-watching is how I watch a show that purports to show how Washington works when I know in my heart of hearts that similar real-life situations produce more drama or comedy, usually unintended, than the one that the show's writers have made up.
Unfortunately, hardly anyone writes insider fiction like
In my endless quest for a Washington version of my ideal show -- HBO's "The Wire" -- in pursuing reality-based avenues to enlightening entertainment, I have come up with my own 2014 Hate-Watchers Guide to Fake D.C. on TV:
"The Blacklist" and "Hostages" end up on the bottom of my list because, as much as these well-done counterterrorism thrillers take place in Washington, they're not really about Washington.
"The Americans," about Russian spies living undercover in D.C. in the early 1980s, would come closer if we were still in the Cold War, not the age of Vladimir Putin.
"Scandal" is one of the highest rated shows on TV, precisely because it is so far removed from reality. I had high hopes when the show, created by Shonda Rhimes, launched star
My favorites, to my own surprise, are two comedies: HBO's "Veep," starring
Maybe it takes a comedy to capture Washington's essence in these polarized times.
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Article: Copyright © 2014, Tribune Content Agency, LLC. "Hate-Watching Fake DC on TV"