Watching the premiere of Spike's The Kill Point recently something struck me, or rather, re-struck me -- there are a lot of TV shows lately that are either explicitly about what a shitty government we've got, or implicitly about the shittiness of our government's preferred policy approaches. A brief rundown:

  • 24 (2001, but 2002 is when it really kicked in) - Despite all the hype about what an awesomely conservative and pro-war, pro-torture show this is, even a superficial viewing shows otherwise. Season two was the closest thing the show has had to a confrontation with the Islamofascistâ„¢ menace, and that season included a) the President being removed from power for his refusal to take aggressive action that the neocon analogues wanted, but later being proven right, and b) a reveal that the ultimate villain was in fact an American oil tycoon. Season five goes far beyond this into full-speed Reichstag fire territory, as the President and his associates orchestrate a series of attacks in order to secure support for himself and his new security bill. In a final insult, the disgraced President is allowed to simply resign and live out his life quietly. In a general sense, the show is a terrible argument for torture and other lawless security behavior, because no matter what bad things CTU agents do, terrorist attacks keep coming and keep getting worse.
  • Boston Legal (2004) - The most politically liberal show on TV, even with William Shatner as a mouthpiece for Republican dead-enders, it premiered just as Bush was about to win the 2004 election and never blinked. It's featured all sorts of explicit and implicit references to the Administration, the war, the new security state, etc.

  • Over There (2005) - Steven Bochco's viciously boring set-in-Iraq series was meant to be apolitical, but any honest portrayal of a civil warzone is necessarily going to look pretty horrible. Public opinion had not yet fully turned against the war or Bush when the show premiered -- it was about a month before Hurricane Katrina -- but there seemed to be little outcry over anything other than the fact that the show wasn't very good.
  • Jericho (2006) - Two dozen nuclear bombs are detonated in American cities, and only the folksy wisdom and charm of a tiny Kansas town can show us how to rebuild society. Oh, also, it looks like the Secretary of Homeland Security was behind the attacks.
  • The Kill Point (2007) - Iraq vet gets screwed several times while in-country, winds up in Leavenworth for a year, comes home with his platoon-mates to rob a bank and gets applauded by by-standers watching him hold hostages when he tells his story.
  • K-Ville (2007) - "Katrina" is now shorthand for the Bush Administration's domestic fuck-ups, so I don't expect this is going to portray them too well.


Posted by Aaron S. Veenstra ::: 2007:08:18:10:18