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Jacob’s top 6 political movies and tv shows

November 4, 2016

As Election Day approaches, the Courier has decided to make a list of the top six movies and TV episodes on elections and campaigns. As a political junkie, I am more than qualified to make this list and hope that you check some of these out! Enjoy!

6. The Ides of March (2011):
Starring Ryan Gosling as a young campaign manager, Philip Seymour Hoffman as an experienced manager, and George Clooney as the presidential candidate they are working for, The Ides of March is one to watch when you want a suspenseful political drama. Based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon of House of Cards fame, George Clooney directs this great film that shows how far some will go for power.

5. Primary Colors (1998):
Loosely based on the 1992 Clinton campaign, this movie brings an allstar cast of John Travolta, Emma Thompson, and Billy Bob Thornton into the dirty, scandal ridden world of politics. Governor Jack Stanton (Travolta) represents Clinton, while his wife (Thompson) is Hillary Clinton and Thornton is a James Carville like campaign consultant. This film was also directed by Mike Nichols, who directed other great films such as The Graduate and Charlie Wilsons War.

4. House of Cards Season 4 (2016):
Arguably one of the greatest shows about politics in the past five years, House of Cards season 4 focuses on President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) as he runs for reelection while First Lady Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) runs for a Congressional District in her home state of Texas. While butting heads throughout and dealing with an all too family Russia (like the real election this cycle), it is a great season to watch if you want to waste a weekend. With this season, I can’t pick just one episode.

3. The Campaign (2012):
This comedy brings the comedic power of Will Ferrell and combines it with Zach Galifianakis to make an amazing political comedy. When a 5 term Congressman from North Carolina is challenged by a small-town nobody, chaos ensues with so many memorable one liners. The movie is a clear parody of dark money that was found Constitutional under the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, with two of the characters obviously the Koch Brothers.

2. Parks and Recreation: Bowling for Votes (2012):
Another one of the best shows about politics (even if it is about the small town of Pawnee), Parks and Rec has a great line of episodes that chronicle Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) run for City Council. During this episode, she holds a campaign event at a bowling alley and gets into a fight with a potential voter, becoming obsessed with winning him over. Check it out!

1. West Wing: 20 Hours in America (2002):
Okay, let’s be clear: The West Wing is the best show on politics ever created. Now that I have that out there, “20 Hours in America” is a pretty great episode. When Josh, Donna, and Toby are left behind at a campaign event in Indiana, they must hopscotch across the state in order to get home to DC. During this mess, President Bartlett continues his campaign, completing stops at a military base and a conference. The episode has the perfect amount of emotion and humor with an ending you will never forget.

Jacob Marx
Political Editor

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