What will TV & Film look like under President Trump?

donald trump in television president potus 45 black ish shonda rhimes trevor noah daily show 24 culture response tv television roseanne

It happens with every new president – the sort of social change that prompts an evolution of the cultural zeitgeist, and a reappraisal of how we approach our entertainment. Tracking it backwards, you can see these shifts across presidencies develop, often quite starkly – most obvious is perhaps 24 during the Bush years, a programme directly influenced by both 9/11 and that administration’s response to it.

Trump the man has always lived his life flitting around the edges of the silver screen; guest appearances as himself on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Home Alone 2, and most notably his years as host of The Apprentice, are all demonstrative of a man who’s largely been defined by his media presence. But as Trump the president prepares to take to the big stage, it’ll be interesting to see just how the world of media begins to treat him; certainly, it’s clear enough that opinion is far from favourable, with satirists John Oliver, Trevor Noah & Samantha Bee regularly criticising Trump, while Meryl Streep recently gave an impassioned speech denouncing him. The question posed, then, is this: how will this affect the media we consume, and the art that we view?

A longer article, and one I’m quite pleased with. I suspect I might return to it at varying intervals, actually; certainly, it’ll be worth another look in four years time to consider how the arts have responded to 6 months of Trump and 3 and a half years of Mike Pence.

(That joke aged poorly, evidently. I did just give the article a brief skim-read; it’s a little superficial, in all the ways you’d expect, but it’s not bad either. Very clearly shaped by the discourse of late 2016, but it could’ve been worse. Came close to predicting Roseanne, or at least the logic that lead to it. Well, maybe not predicting.)

Facebook | Twitter | Blog Index | General TV Index

The Crown Episode 7 review: The Cold War is brewing but ignored in Scientia Potentia Est

the crown scientia potentia est benjamin caron peter morgan claire foy victoria hamilton eisenhower review netflix

Yes, it’s clear enough what the episode is trying to say – despite the lack of formal education and a clear lack of confidence, Elizabeth does in fact have the ability to stand her ground and hold her own with these elder statesmen. But is that quite the right message to send? After all, it is essentially validating the education she received – a final note to turn around and say “well, actually”, dismissing Elizabeth’s well-founded grievances about her lack of schooling.

In many ways, it’s actually quite bleak; ever since her youth, Elizabeth has been groomed for one specific role in mind, limited and curtailed and most of all controlled. It’s perhaps not that different from breeding animals, depending on the comparisons you want to make. For a while it’s criticised, but then finally excused. It’s okay because it works. It doesn’t matter what happened to her, because the eventual aim is achieved.

This episode, I’d argue, is the one most diminished by The Crown’s abject refusal to admit to any flaws the Monarchy may have. It’s the only one that even comes close to launching a meaningful critique of the institution – before going on to make some fumbled apologies and continue glorifying them. For all that Peter Morgan can insist he “wants his independence”, it’s hardly apparent here.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog Index | General TV Index