Political Animals: The Complete Series DVD review


  • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino, James Wolk, Sebastian Stan, Brittany Ishibashi
  • Producers: Greg Berlanti, Laurence Marks, Sarah Caplan
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013
  • Run Time: 301 minutes



            Transparently borrowing from reality for its cliché and predictable story, “Political Animals” attempts to enter the world of political television shows alongside “The West Wing” and the more recently successful Netflix Original, “House of Cards.” There is a strongly feminist through line in the narrative, which is ironic considering how sex-obsessed and exploitative nearly every episode of the miniseries seems to be. This show wants to have its cake and eat it too, but by trying to be everything and please everyone, it just ends up a jumbled mess of incoherent angry feminist rants amidst poorly constructed real-life recreations. In the end, it just feels like a de-fanged feminazi version of “House of Cards.”


            The series jumps around with flashbacks that are entirely unnecessary, especially when they reveal information that doesn’t really need to be shown once we have been given back-story enough to understand what happened in the past. If you followed Hillary Clinton’s failed attempt at running for President or her embarrassing marital issues while in the White House, there are no surprises here for you. Sigourney Weaver plays Clinton… I mean, Elaine Barrish Hammond, former first lady attempting to shake off her latest defeat in her political career and marriage. After blaming her husband’s infidelity as her reason for being unable to win a primary election, Elaine divorces her philandering former President husband (Ciarán Hinds) and prepares her plan to run again despite any damage it does to her family.


            I have no problem with a miniseries about the first female president, or one which appears to be heading that way. The problem that I had with this series is two-fold, and the first has to do with the angry feminist ideals written into the story. Elaine is not a proud female as much as she is a sexist woman who hates men and even admits that she wants to become president because she is tired of the egos of men. I found this personality equally egotistical, not to mention sexist and spiteful in the way she speaks of men in a way that would never be allowed were a man speaking about women. This type of double-standard goes completely against the feminist ideology, not to mention the fact that this series insists that every character is also sex-obsessed. There are far too many unnecessary and exploitative sex scenes, which seem to be inserted just to give it more edge. For example, what reason was there to have two separate scenes in which Elaine’s son discusses his impending nuptials with his fiancé during sex? These scenes could have been shot dozens of other ways. The sex doesn’t fuel the plot in any way, other than to titillate audiences as if they were all as sex-obsessed as former President Clinton… I mean, former President Hammond.


    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10

    Historical Significance: 2/10

    Disc Features: 0/10



    No comments: