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5 TV Shows to Watch In This Political Nightmare

The United States, and the rest of the world if we’re being honest, is currently in (political) shambles and if you find yourself not being able to handle any more of your Twitter or Facebook feed, then look to these five television shows that showcase the world of politics in a better light than what we are currently dealing with. 

“The West Wing” 

This seven season political drama (all on Netflix!) is about cutthroat presidential advisors that have their personal lives tangled with their professional duties as they struggle to run the country. The show successfully combines sophisticated, smart drama and non-cheesy workplace comedy. Whether it’s President Barlet’s passionate monolouges or the staff’s hearbreaking moments, this show will go down in TV history. “The West Wing” shows how working in politics can look envigorating and how the process of pushing progressive values can be difficult, yet extremely rewarding. This show provided me with a great escape, which is why it’s my favorite of all time. 

“The Newsroom” 

In a lot of ways, “The Newsroom” is what first inspired me to be a journalist because I was so enthralled by the chaos that goes on in running a live news show. From the BP oil spill, to the Arab spring, the show harnessed these current evens like no other and in every episode we watched Jeff Daniels play a sharp, caustic news anchor (Will McAvoy) whose main objective was to address the news in the least-hyped way possible. 


In an election year as insane as this one, “VEEP” helps us to maintain our sanity. If you watch it, you may see some resemblences to the Donald Trump campaign. For example, in the season two finale there was the dunce move made by Dan (Reid Scott), who gave Selina a plagiarized speech. Sound familiar? Does it remind you of Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech during the Republican National Convention? As the show keeps on running, we keep on laughing because it nails American politics so well – the corruption, incompetence, and tangling of personal conflicts are detailed so well that it makes you forget this is actually real life. It is the comedic version of “The West Wing.” 


This historical thriller focuses on a group of enslaved blacks attempting to escape from a Georgia plantation, displaying how politics played a huge role in the enforcement of the American slave industry. With so many heavy themes it can be easy to forget “Underground” is a painting of American politics as they once were, and in a plethora of ways, still are. What this show portrays so well, though. is how America has been built for whites at the expense and expolitation of black Americans; it shows you the whites in power, who are predators, in politicians’ clothing then it shows you the real-life superheros who rebelled against an entire system. 

“House of Cards” 

It would have been wrong of me not to put “House of Cards” on this list. Even though the Netflix original can at times be overblown and ridiculous, it always manages to keep me on the edge of my seat. “House of Cards” captures the savage atmosphere of the American political system the same way “VEEP” captures the slapstick side of the system. The underlying beast of the political system is perfectly shown by the menacing, wrenching monologues of Kevin Spacey’s, Frank Underwood. It’s scary to watch real-life politics move in this direction, but you should definitely give this show a chance. 

Kaylie is a freshman studying Journalism + Design and Economics at The New School in New York City; in her free time she likes reading, walking aimlessly around the city, coffee, and petting cute dogs.
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