Since it’s the week of the Fourth of July, I figured I’d start the month with a post about my favorite US government focused films and TV shows. I’ve come up with a list of movies and TV shows that I feel are good and also happen to have that theme. Hopefully you’ll agree with me. I’m sure there are many films and shows that should be on the list that I don’t include. Some of this is because I simply haven’t watched them. So feel free to suggest other films and tv shows in the comments area. I know I’m missing quite a few of the classics.
West Wing (1999-2006)
West Wing was a liberal slanted TV show that showcased the inner workings of an Administration and written by Aaron Sorkin whose known for fast witty dialogue. It starred Martin Sheen as President Jed Bartlet, and included many famous faces over the years including Alan Alada, Jimmy Smits, Ed Begley Jr., Rob Lowe, and many others. This is one of the best written shows in my opinion and remains one of my favorites. While it is liberal slanted (The administration is democrat) I feel they try their best to portray the Republican characters with dignity. I do feel I should warn you – the finales tend to hit you hard with feels.
Designated Survivor (2016-?)
Designated Survivor is a show that explores the contingency of the Designated Survivor. When an attack on the capital leaves the President and most of the government dead, Tom Kirkman is sworn in as President as he was the designated survivor for the State of the Union speech. He must deal with conspiracy and rebuilding his nation after such a severe attack. IT has an excellent cast led by Kiefer Sutherland and excellent writing for the most part. While it has been cancelled by ABC, I still hope it gets renewed by another distribution company.
You can’t have an Independence day theme without mentioning the movie with the day in the title. This sci-fi thriller has aliens attacking us, and the world meeting the challenge. It has an amazing Cast (Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, Brent Spiner and Judd Hirsch) and a good script. The sequel is also pretty good, although I prefer the first movie.
The American President
This is more of a romance film then one focused on the US government. It is also has Aaron Sorkin (who wrote the majority of West Wing) on the writing staff, so maybe that’s why I liked it. In this film the President (played by Michael Douglas) falls in love with a lobbyist played by Annette Bening. It’s a cute romance, which brings us to our last selection. Also features Martin Sheen as the Chief of Staff before he would go become the President himself in Sorkin’s West Wing.
Dave is a romantic comedy featuring Kevin Kline as Dave, a temp office employee who has a side job as being President X’s double. This comes in handy when the actual president has a stroke while having an affair. The Chief of Staff brings in Dave to act as the president for a while so they could hide the president’s condition. And he manages to convince everyone, including the President’s wife (Sigourney Weaver) for awhile. But the COS is up to no good, and Dave has to decide whether to go along with the plan or change things. Also this movie has Ben Kingsley as the Vice President and Frank A. Langella Jr as Bob Alexander the corrupt Chief of Staff.