Three things Seattle Times writers love this election week: political satire "Primary Colors," HBO show "Veep," and the movie "Election."
Don’t we all need a good laugh at this point in the race? I was pleasantly delighted by this new comedy series that premiered last spring on HBO. It follows fictional Vice President of the United States Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her inner circle as they battle the day-to-day political games in Washington, D.C. Seek it out (On Demand or HBO Go); it’s good for a laugh or two.
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This uproarious political satire was a sensation when it was published in early 1996. A thinly disguised portrait of Bill Clinton and his 1992 presidential campaign, it was authored by “Anonymous,” later unmasked as political columnist Joe Klein.
Klein tells the story through the eyes of Henry Burton, an idealistic young campaigner for Jack Stanton, a Southern governor who bears a pronounced resemblance to a certain Arkansas governor. Burton becomes increasingly disillusioned with Stanton’s unkept promises. Then it comes out that Stanton is having an affair with Cashmere, his wife’s hairdresser, and all hell breaks loose. Hilarious, sad and an indelible portrait of life in the campaign pressure cooker.
Mary Ann Gwinn,
Seattle Times book editor
“Who cares about this stupid election?” begins the campaign speech of a would-be student-body president in Alexander Payne’s great 1999 satire, “Election.” Based on a novel by Tom Perrotta, this darkly hilarious (and very R-rated) film is a perfect showcase for the young Reese Witherspoon (playing, with perfect comic timing, a teen politician so bullheaded you know she’ll be a success) — and a sly mirror of real-life politics, playing out at a Nebraska school.
Seattle Times movie critic