USA’s POLITICAL ANIMALS: Pilot Review

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Political Animals – Pilot Review
by Kyle

USA Network takes a dive into the world of dirty sexy American politics in the hotly anticipated limited series event, Political Animals.

Starring Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver, the series follows Elaine Barrish(Weaver) whose marriage to the philandering former U.S. President Bud Hammond (Ciarán Hinds) comes to an end after 32 years. Two years later, Elaine is working for current President Paul Garcetti (Adrian Pasdar) as the Secretary of State after losing against him in the previous election. With her ex-husband still an impending force in her life, Elaine’s family, which also includes poster child Douglas (James Wolk) and reckless screw-up TJ (Sebastian Stan) is further complicated by the ravenous D.C. journalist Susan Berg (Carla Gugino) who is hell-bent on destroying Elaine’s reputation and career.

The pilot episode quickly develops a cast of intriguing characters and provocatively complex storylines set in the backdrop of D.C. politics. Sigourney Weaver is brilliant in the leading role, with her verbal sparring against Gugino’s journalist character immensely entertaining to watch on screen. Sebastian Stan is also a major highlight as the openly gay train-wreck younger son of the family. The series is certainly more scandalous and gritty than the lighter more comedic fare USA Network generally offers, but this is a welcome change to their slate of programming, and proof that the network is ready to develop more sophisticated programs to compete with other cable networks like HBO and Showtime.

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This review has done what it’s supposed to: It has made us want to see the show. But…

“Scandalous and gritty?” With actors who look the ones in the pic? Actors who, thanks to the miracles of Photoshop, bear no resemblance whatsoever to real people? (And probably to themselves as well. We mean, that’s Sigourney Weaver?)

Wait, we apologize. It actually says “more scandalous and gritty than the [usual] fare USA Network…offers.” Well, of course. Even ONCE UPON A TIME is that.

Well, we’re still gonna watch.