During this time of political turmoil, it seems hard to find a middle ground in Washington. The entire government shutdown is a reflection of how America's two political parties are so disparate that they can no longer work together. So where do you go to find a politician who acts like a sane human being?
Why, primetime dramas, of course.
At the New Yorker festival on Sunday, the creators of three different dramas discussed how they try to find a political center in their shows. Robert King, creator of the CBS drama The Good Wife, said that his show does its best to show both sides of an issue — his writing staff even includes a former general counsel to Senator John McCain. King said that some of his best story ideas result from heated arguments in the writers' room. “When there’s great fury on both sides, you know you’re into something,” King said.
Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC's Scandal, said that she made the show's president a moderate Republican to avoid any comparisons to President Barack Obama. And Armando Iannucci, creator of HBO's Veep, said that the show uses both Republican and Democrat consultants.
My job is to pull the team back to the center. I want it to be about the process in Washington. We want to taint everyone with the same brush.
It's sad when a government on a fictional television show can be more reasonable than our actual government, but there you have it. Maybe while they're not working, Congress can get caught up on Veep, The Good Wife, and Scandal to finally see the politics of their constituents reflected somewhere.
Or maybe we should just pretend these shows are real and all our government shutdown problems have been solved. Sounds like a wonderful political fantasy... oh Veep, take me away!