If you’re like me and watch about a billion too many TV shows then you may have noticed a trend in many current programs. More and more shows are creating plot lines which focus on American politics. I don’t mean shows like The West Wing, Veep, or House of Cards, current shows that are picking up on political themes are ones that have previously shown little to none connection with the political happenings in America, but are now incorporating them into their narrative in a major way.
American Horror Story: Cult
A list about political TV shows would not be complete without mentioning the current season of Ryan Murphy’s popular FX show. Previous seasons have made throwaway comments about the state of America, but never enough for it to be considered a recurring idea in the season. While the show has certainly suggested it’s political leanings with certain character choices and representations of certain people, this season is the first to incorporate explicit conversations and storylines solely focusing on the impact of the politicians chosen to lead the country. The season follows Sarah Paulson as Allyson “Ally” Mayfair-Richards and her wife Ivy Mayfair-Richards played by Alison Pill as they struggle to cope with Donald Trump winning the 2016 political race. Trump’s win inspires Evan Peters’ Kai Anderson to start up his own radical political career as well strengthening his power on what seems to be his cult. The win also correlates directly with the start of a group of deranged clowns, who make it their mission to terrify Ally.
Late Night Comedy Shows
While the idea of a comedy show host like Jimmy Kimmel or Stephen Colbert suddenly going on a political monologue has never been shocking, this year it seems as though politics are a much more talked about issue, due to there being a new major news story every day in America for the past year. Stephen Colbert especially has embraced this opportunity to share his political leanings, clips from his show posted on YouTube commonly get millions of views. This new focus of his nightly monologues has come with a lot of backlash and praise. Jimmy Kimmel has also been known to bring up his political views every so often, most of his speeches coming from a place of raw emotion as opposed to talking politics for the sake of being funny or inciting anger from either side. Saturday Night Live has definitely had a fair share of broadcasting political comedy, but current episodes have not only had more political skits making fun of the current administration, but also has received more public outcry from newer skits, whether than outcry be good or bad.
The show has not made an plotlines thus far about politics, but creator John Wells has hinted that season 8 will focus a lot more on what “Trump’s America” will look like for the Gallagher family. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Wells claimed, “We live in a world in which everybody is talking about what’s happening…and we try to go right at it.” He continued to hint that Gallagher patriarch, Frank will be the one entering into the world of politics, William H Macy later making claims hinting at the same idea. How Shameless will contribute commentary on the current state of the American government will be seen on November 5th when the 8th season premiers.