It’s no secret that Americans have had enough of their government.
Last weekend, Senate Majority Harry Reid, of all people, cited a statistic that Congress’s approval rating is lower than North Korea’s.
But when it comes to television, the country can’t get enough of political drama and comedy. The 65th annual Primetime Emmy award nominees came out Thursday, and political shows popped up in almost every category, including both Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series.
From thrillers like “Scandal” to the sitcom-style “Veep,” there’s definitely room for politics in today’s TV hits. See below for the nominees:
Category: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Damian Lewis), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Claire Danes), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Mandy Patinkin), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Morena Baccarin)
The Politics: Showtime’s explosive look at the CIA has more cliffhangers than Claire Danes has on-screen breakdowns. The show follows a bipolar CIA agent (Danes) and an American Prisoner of War (Lewis) found alive in Iraq after eight years. “Homeland” won for Outstanding Drama Series in 2012, and both Lewis and Danes also cleaned up in their categories.
“HOUSE OF CARDS”
Category: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actors in a Drama Series (Kevin Spacey), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Robin Wright)
The Politics: It’s the story of a South Carolina Congressman and House Minority Whip (Spacey) who gets passed over for a promised Secretary of State nomination and doesn’t take the betrayal lying down. “House of Cards” is the first Netflix original series to receive an Emmy nomination. (“Arrested Development” star Jason Bateman snagged one, too.)
“THE GOOD WIFE”
Category: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Christine Baranski)
The Politics: Series co-creator Michelle King admitted that former New York governor-turned New York City Comptroller candidate Elliot Spitzer was one of the inspirations for this series about the family of a Cook County state’s attorney who resigns amidst a public sex scandal. Four season’s later, he’s mounted a successful comeback — we’ve yet to see if Spitzer can pull off the same.
Category: Oustanding Lead Actors in a Drama Series (Jeff Daniels)
The Politics: Political dramas penned by Aaron Sorkin have a history of doing well at the Emmys (see: The West Wing) but not everyone has been as emphatic with the behind-the-scenes look at fictional Atlantic Cable News, a station struggling with its own ideologies. The show takes place in the very recent past, so ACN is covering the exact same issues as real news stations in the last few years.
Category: Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Sigourney Weaver)
The Politics: The USA miniseries focuses on a highly political family: Weaver is the Secretary of State and a former First Lady, having divorced her ex-President husband (Ciaran Hinds) for cheating on her throughout their time in the White House. After a failed presidential run, she’s biding her time and trying to keep her family’s sanity intact.
Category: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Kerry Washington)
The Politics: Washington plays Olivia Pope, the best crisis manager in Washington. She cleans up other people’s messes, despite the fact that she’s embroiled in her own: an on-again, off-again extramarital affair with the President of the United States.
Category: Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Tony Hale), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Anna Chlumsky)
The Politics: “Veep” takes a humorous look at one of the less glamorous jobs in Washington. Louis-Dreyfus plays fictional U.S. Vice President Selina Meyer who struggles with feelings of powerlessness and is perpetually waiting for the President to call.
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