The art of politics–the true essence of it—is foreign to most people. It is hidden behind hyperbole, condescending rhetoric, and mudslinging. However, this is only the part that we see. What is behind the scenes is a whole different ball game.
The world created by Beau Williams in his hit Netflix series House of Cards follows Frank Underwood, a major player in the Democratic Party. The series depicts the dark side of Washington politics, what goes on when the cameras are not rolling. The show focuses mainly on the manipulation and struggle for power that goes unseen to the American public.
Similarly, critically acclaimed HBO series, The Newsroom, focuses on a systematic problem prevalent in our nation. The show, created by Aaron Sorkin, centers around Will McAvoy and his determined team of producers, who set out to create a news broadcast worthy of the American electorate. The show focuses on recent major news events in relation to the world of the fictional television station Atlantis Cable News (ACN). His use of these recent events gives viewers a certain feeling of familiarity, and oftentimes the viewers know more about what is happening than the characters.
McAvoy’s team feels that the American public is being served an injustice. That cable news has drifted away from what it was initially intended to be. They, as a team, disregard the worries of advertisers and corporate officials to set out to produce a news show that will properly inform the American public.
The show begins with one of McAvoy’s more notable monologues where he is asked the question “Why is America the greatest country in the world?” His answer, which begins with, “It’s not the greatest country in the world professor, that’s my answer”, is what spurred many people’s interest.
However, Sorkin’s ability to craft characters that the audience is able to connect with is what keeps many viewers hooked. Sorkin is able to give the characters depth and importance that ranges outside of the workplace, really giving viewers that human connection.
The Newsroom and House of Cards have the unique ability of being both entertaining and informative. Williams and Sorkin have done viewers justice and have done a great job at educating America, while also entertaining them.