It’s the day of the presidential election in the United States, and while we are thinking of everyone there today, we’ve got a few suggestions of things you could watch if you’re politically inclined.
House of Cards (2013-2018)
Maddy Raven, Film & TV Editor
House of Cards, the Netflix version, is an adaptation of the 1990 mini-series by the BBC of the same name.
It’s not for the faint hearted. Despite the considerable debate around the show given accusations levelled towards lead actor (and producer) Kevin Spacey and his subsequent removal from the show, the content itself remains miraculously morally ambiguous.
Everyone in this show is genuinely a horrible person
A true revenge tragedy, Robin Wright plays a stunning Lady Macbeth as Claire Underwood: wife to Frank Underwood. When he is denied the role of Vice President after having served as the majority whip for the Democratic Party for years, and despite promises made to him, the Underwoods scheme to enact revenge on the new president and to fast forward their climb to power.
Watching the two of them take on the world and literally burn every bridge they have in order to accumulate more power is fascinating. It’s also stunning to look at: every actor in this show is at the top of their game. Everyone in this show is genuinely a horrible person, and I love it.
Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)
Katya Spiers, Digital Editor
If the current political climate is a little too bleak to warrant a watch any seriously politically-minded TV, then Parks and Recreation is the perfect way for you to get into Election Day spirit while still maintaining a safe social distance.
Set in the fictional Indiana town of Pawnee, the series follows the trivial pursuits of the town’s Parks Department as they attempt to transport Pawnee from obesity epidemic to lush green paradise.
What I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring really loudly at me
With an America’s best-of-a-bad-bunch-candidate cameo and a running joke that Leslie’s dream man ‘would have the brains of George Clooney, and the body of Joe Biden’—which may be a little close to the bone—Parks and Recreation has certainly lost none of its relevance. And with seven long seasons to get through, it is the perfect series to see you through lockdown number two.
Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), dir. Stanley Kubrick
Sam Vickers, Deputy Editor
This satirical masterpiece from Stanley Kubrick sees Peter Sellers masterfully switching between playing three separate characters, as the US government desperately tries to call off a missile strike authorised by a rogue General, hilariously named ‘Jack D. Ripper’.
Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!
Released during the Cold War, Kubrick persistently mocks the idea of nuclear attacks from the Soviet Union with his bold satire and archetypal character. Peter Sellers steals the film with superb acting, arguably peaking in the final ten minutes when we finally meet the eponymous Doctor, who is extremely obviously an escaped Nazi eugenicist using a pseudonym.
With excellent comic timing, the film runs at only 102 minutes, and is a romp from start to finish.
Layla Nathan, Sub-Editor
If you love politics, intrigue and you love it a bit sexy, then you’ll love Scandal (2012). Perfectly filled with romance and pure scheming this show is House of Cards (2005) mixed with Greys Anatomy (2005-).
In fact, it may not be a surprise that Greys Anatomy shares producer and show writer with Scandal. Shonda Rhimes is a showrunner, creator, head writer, and executive producer of many television shows such as Private Practice (2007), How to Get Away with Murder (2014), The Catch (2017), and Station 19 (2018).
Perfectly filled with romance and pure scheming
Starring Kerry Washington, Scandal is the perfect lockdown show to binge-watch during the American election. Scandal received a Peabody Award and Washington was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy. I promise if you give it a watch, you’ll get hooked and see why.
Featured: IMDb / gettyimages.com, Netflix, Inc., © Sony/Columbia Industries Inc.
Do you have any other films or television series you'd recommend for an Election Day re-watch?