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The Best and Worst of Politics on Television in 2016

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Royals Is, Well …

It’s a soap opera of life in the palace of the fictional English royal family. If this is for you, you already know it.

The Best:

Game of Thrones Shows the Upheaval of Civilization

It’s difficult to summarize season 6 of Game of Thrones without offering spoilers, but it’s been a season that answered more questions than it left behind. This is a plus, given that the series is nearing its end. While some story arcs have dragged on (and on, and on, and on …) the inter-family politics in this season put it on the list.

Scandal Predicts the Future

Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes compared this season of Scandal with the election cycle more concretely than almost any other show, and it’s not a stretch. Mellie Grant is running for first woman president against Hollis Doyle, a poorly articulated rich boy with a background in business. And for some reason Doyle keeps winning. This show gets props for keeping the drama alive in season 5 and and proving that Shonda Rhimes has yet again predicted the future with her amazing insight.

House of Cards Shows Us How Subtle Can Be Compelling

Season 4 of House of Cards took a turn towards subtlety in season 4, dividing fans into two camps: those who miss the melodrama, and those who are ready for the show to demonstrate some maturity. Drama is spun into the second half of the season particularly through one of Claire and Frank’s now signature sexual escapades, but some old mechanisms of the show have disappeared. Viewers wondered on Digital Spy why Frank stopped talking to the camera for episodes on end, for instance, and the tones of money and manipulation in politics were more understated. This may be a plot-driven shift, or it may be a response to the election, a nod that there can be no competition with real life this year.

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