In today’s confusing political climate, it’s often difficult to tell fiction from reality, so what better time to tune into these whip-smart shows that satirise and shed light on current and past events?
On the Virgin Media Store, a selection of candidates of the highest calibre are vying for your attention in the US Politics collection. Whatever your preferences or beliefs, there’s bound to be something for you.
If you’re into historical drama, there are epic films like All The Way and Confirmation, as well as limited series such as The Looming Tower and Show Me A Hero. If you prefer the party line towed by rigorous documentaries, you can try The Newspaperman. For fictional struggles rooted in realism, you’ll want to check out the policies of the The Newsroom and Billions. Or for laughs on the lighter side of the divide, the multiple award-winning satire Veep is nearly as ridiculous as real life.
To help find the right candidate for you, we’ve compiled a handy voter’s guide with all the facts you need to know. Read on to discover which is most deserving of your allegiance…
For the history buffs…
Meet your candidate: Lyndon B Johnson succeeded John F Kennedy as President of the United States following the latter’s assassination, and fought to pass the Civil Rights Act alongside Martin Luther King.
Qualifications for office: Based on a Tony award-winning play, this blistering HBO film was produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Trumbo’s Jay Roach. A strong team.
Endorsed by: Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston reprises his stage role as Johnson opposite Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Infinity War) as King and The Fighter’s Melissa Leo as the First Lady.
For the high achievers…
Meet your candidate: Brace yourself for a titanic clash of power and ego between prosecutor Chuck Rhoades and billionaire hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod.
Qualifications for office: Three seasons in and this show only gets better; introducing new twists and turns that both threaten and help its leading men.
Endorsed by: Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis star as Rhoades and Axelrod, respectively, with Maggie Siff (Mad Men), Malin Akerman (Rampage) and Asia Kate Dillon (Orange Is The New Black) in support.
For hard-hitting drama fans…
Meet your candidate: Law professor Anita Hill speaks out about the sexual harrassment she allegedly endured from her former employer Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court.
Qualifications for office: Released long before the advent of the #MeToo movement, this account of Hill’s ordeal is powerful and timely, and features some stand-out performances.
Endorsed by: Scandal’s Kerry Washington plays Hill, while The Wire’s Wendell Pierce plays Thomas. Jeffrey Wright and Greg Kinnear also star.
For twists and turns aplenty…
Meet your candidate: A star-studded drama about the US-led investigation into global terrorism and a rivalry that may have set into motion the attacks of 9/11.
Qualifications for office: This ten-part series is based on Lawrence Wright’s deeply researched book, and adapted by the author, Capote’s Dan Futterman and Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney.
Endorsed by: The cast includes Jeff Daniels (see also: The Newsroom), Jackie’s Peter Sarsgaard, Tahar Rahim (A Prophet), Alec Baldwin and Michael Stuhlbarg.
For those who like their politicians embattled…
Meet your candidate: When the city of Yonkers is ordered to desegregate its public housing, politician Nick Wasicsko is met with strong opposition in his battle to make it happen.
Qualifications for office: This HBO show has a heck of a political pedigree; it was written by The Wire’s David Simon and directed by Crash’s Paul Haggis.
Endorsed by: Oscar Isacc (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) plays Wasicsko, with support from Winona Ryder, Bob Balaban, Jon Bernthal, Jim Belushi and Catherine Keener.
For sass, slander and satire…
Meet your candidate: Say hello to perennial also-ran Selina Meyer, the self-absorbed vice president, for whom greatness is always just out of reach.
Qualifications for office: Armando Iannucci’s show has won 17 Emmys, nine of them for star/executive producer Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s one of the most consistently smart shows ever made.
Endorsed by: As well as Dreyfus, the core cast includes comedy geniuses like Gary Cole, Hugh Laurie and Arrested Development’s Tony Hale.
For angry news anchors…
Meet your candidate: Studious, neutral news anchor Will McAvoy snaps at a public event and goes viral, driving his new producer (and ex-girlfriend) to encourage him to develop this fiery persona.
Qualifications for office: This is Aaron Sorkin’s follow-up to The West Wing, so expectations were sky high. While this is a different beast, it finds its own, highly effective groove.
Endorsed by: How long have you got? Jeff Daniels plays McAvoy, with support from Emily Mortimer, Dev Patel, Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston and more.
For the (press) freedom fighters…
Meet your candidate: A documentary about the late Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, a towering figure who helped uncover the Watergate scandal.
Qualifications for office: Directed by John Maggio, The Newspaperman taps into Bradlee’s own insights, as well as those of his friends and family, resulting in a well-rounded picture of the great man.
Endorsed by: Henry Kissinger, Tina Brown, Robert Redford and legendary Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are among the interviewees.
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