For a disclaimer, a reader informs me I am an episode or two behind in my post numbering. Please forgive me. As not to screw up the system, I am going to keep it.
If it’s Sunday, it’s time for basic cable’s worst political show in recent memory — Political Animals.
What’s in store this week? Well, a ginger Congressman is opposing a bill Elaine supports and she thinks he’s a “putz.” T.J. defends him, saying he’s smart. Elaine probes and asks how he knows this, he responds there was a spread in Vanity Fair.
Elaine’s mother points out he has “The best abs on the hill.” The Member’s name is Sean Reeves (R-OH), and the writers this week portray him as sort of a hybrid of Scott Brown and Aaron Schock. The writers are insinuating that this “Child protection” bill — and who is opposed to something worded that way? What bad things could it possibly contain? — is held up by 12 or so House members.
Special note: 12 House members rarely ever hold up shit. Ever. The writers must have mistaken the House with a more august chamber known as the “Senate.”
Fast forward a few seconds, and by that, I mean rewind a bit. Turns out Elaine’s son T.J. is having an affair with Rep. Reeves, who is from Akron and married with two kids. According to each other, they’re in “love.” (What could go wrong?)
Back to the present, T.J. is telling his AA group about this, which I am sure really is something Elaine might want to know about — not that AA members would ever leak a salacious story like this to anyone. But more on this later.
Doug goes to meet with Washington Globe reporter Susan Berg at her sister’s house, because as you might remember she was living with her editor earlier in the show. Her sister, however, is sequestered in her room because she had a crush on Doug when he was in the White House. (Are the Hammond boys like the Kennedys? Who writes this tripe?)
Bud is trying to revamp his image, and by that I mean he has a publicist he brought up from LA and he is sleeping with her. Not but a few minutes into the show and we’ve already had two sex scenes.
Doug tells Berg in their off-the-record reporting session that T.J. is under constant supervision by an AA chaperone, and at that point is annoyed she is prying into their personal lives. (Reporters do that? Really?)
Berg responds that “full access” means full access.
Remember that picture of the Obama administration in the Sit Room for the Bin Laden raid? Imagine that. Barrish strides in and turns out a Chinese sub hit bottom 13 nautical miles off San Diego. Because of the depth of their SOS, we’re the only ones that heard it. It’s almost a melange of K19 and the fake out from Capt. Ramius in Hunt for the Red October. If you were wondering, 13 nautical miles is 14.96 real miles.
Elaine wants to tell China, but pretty much everyone else is opposed, except President Garcetti, who instructs Elaine to reach out to China via the back channels.
Back to the “child protection” bill. The VP informs Elaine it is going to pass because Sean Reeves is going to vote for it with 11 of his House GOP friends. The VP tells her it’s because they found out Sean was gay and they’re blackmailing him. Elaine is “appalled” and wants to distance herself from it, until the VP informs her that she’s already involved because he is cheating on his wife with her son.
Cue: MOST ABSURD PART OF THIS WEEK’S EPISODE!
Are you sensing a pattern? This show has one absolutely absurd scene — and I’m being generous — each week. This week is Elaine telling the Chinese that their sub is cooking their sailors like hot pockets in a convection microwave oven.
Her long-time friend from the Chinese embassy comes over, and Elaine says to his translator that since they both “speak so many languages,” she apologies for “having to put him out of a job for a moment.” (The translator speaks English, as does the emissary from China…)
Official time out: If this show is allegedly portraying Hillary Clinton, how many foreign languages does she really speak? Zero. Her predecessor, Condi Rice? Five. Of course, the writers need to make Hillary’s doppelganger speak 14 languages in this show, which is absurd, but I digress.
Hillary, er, Elaine and her Chinese friend agree to speak French, so she can tell him that they have a downed submarine. Presumably so their translator won’t know what’s going on.
accident = accident
nuclear = nucléaire
submarine = sous-marin
California = Californie
distress call = SOS
Call me crazy, but if I heard all of those words uttered, I’d have a vague idea of what was going on, and I barely speak Spanish. I am sure their translator had a vague idea. You can play along at home. Imagine if you over heard this:
“Dites, si vous votre pays a eu un accident sous-marin nucléaire au large des côtes de Californie.”
Back to the show. China tells Elaine they can cook out and die off of San Diego. Elaine is pissed.
Now we jump to Elaine telling T.J. to stop his affair with Sean, he responds “I’m in love with him!” He also pleas for her to step in and stop this so Sean can come out and be his gay lover, presumably. Elaine won’t hold them off.
In the Oval Office, Elaine tells the Prez and the VP that China won’t save them and we should. The VP tells her to “spare us the morality talk” since she is planning on running against them in the primary.
Annie (Doug’s fiancee) is meeting with Georgia, the new journalist with the stupid pitch about the Circulator, and guess what? RG3 is her new client. Then Georgia tricks her into confirming that Doug will be 10x busier with the campaign. Oops.
Doug tries getting Susan to kill Georgia’s story, saying “Georgia ambushed her, OK? It was a very sophisticated line of questioning.”
Berg replies “Georgia doesn’t even know how to spell sophisticated.”
Let’s pause. Annie and Georgia are both dumb. That, and this wasn’t a sophisticated line of questioning at all, unless you think playground banter of “Does your mom know you’re gay?” qualifies as ‘sophisticated.’ Susan agrees to try and stop Georgia from running the “Elaine Barrish is running story.”
Georgia isn’t above blackmailing Susan into sharing a byline with her on the big story, which Berg uses as a claim to already having the story. Berg isn’t having any of this “sharing the byline” thing, but later recants.
T.J.’s club is opening, and he ran into Reeves at some hotel — and invites him to the opening. But back at the Barrish/Hammond household, it’s time for opening night.
President Hammond follows the advice of his publicist and tells T.J. he isn’t coming, also calling him out on being both a mooch and an addict. T.J. responds he hasn’t supported him since he came out, which is a lame defense. Elaine chimes in when T.J.’s sober bodyguard mentions the Congressman from Ohio is on the guest list, insinuating that he’s just trying to win back Rep. Reeves. T.J. uninvites all of them.
At this point, you’re apparently supposed to feel sorry for T.J. in the way that you felt for Zoe Bartlett when she was kidnapped on The West Wing. But the writing is so bad that you just want T.J. to die off because he is such an insolent shit.
T.J. arrives at his club, and looks at the VIP cards, sadly thinking about the time that Rep. Reeves broke up with him. He then gets drugs from one of his employees, and proceeds to start snorting cocaine.
Elaine is again in the Oval Office, late at night, and tells Garcetti that she’s running against him, but only after they save the Chinese together. Garcetti doesn’t fire her on the spot and agrees to help China. Lame scene.
Back at the club, T.J. is on line #10 of cocaine, and his sober bodyguard sees him doing drugs and tries to stop him. T.J. gets violent, and with the worst line of logic/screenplay writing I’ve seen, convinces him to do a few lines. He then kisses him, and I’m not sure if this guy is gay or whether T.J. just sexually assaulted him — in addition to the physical assault of course. And who said Democrats weren’t any fun?
The show ends with a rewind to his previous suicide attempt, death by carbon monoxide in the car around Christmas. Elaine saves him, something T.J. earlier claimed he’d never thank her for.
President Hammond, who broke off his relationship (business/sexual) with his hussie publicist, now decides he’s going to the club. Before he gets to T.J.’s champagne room, he notices that his sober bodyguard is high as hell, and yells “where is my son?”
He runs upstairs to find that T.J. had OD’d on coke, covered in vomit. “Call an ambulance!” President Hammond yells to his detail, while muttering “I’m sorry” to his son, whom I hope they kill off. He is a horrible character.
Until next week of this horrible show, have fun kids.