Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday Movie Post

Yes, I know it isn't actually Monday, but since I just saw one of these this week...how about some of my favorite movie and TV election returns? Either watching the returns on TV, or waiting for the results, or counting the ballots...No particular order, but:

1. Citizen Kane. I'm a big fan of the two newspaper front pages, ready to go: "Kane Elected" or "Fraud at Polls"

2. Battlestar Galactica, Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2. Avoiding spoilers, but I'm not sure I totally bought the outcome of the Adama/Roslin scene.

3. The Candidate. Not the justly famous last line, but the great cliche stuff from during the day.

4. Mary Tyler Moore show, The Snow Must Go On.

5. Election. I've been meaning to watch this again so I can do a post on it. My memory of it was that it was an excellent movie, but not particularly interesting for politics. Certainly a memorable vote count, though.

6. NewsRadio, Who's the Boss, Part 2. And I still think Bill voted for Dave, don't you?

7. Columbo, Candidate for Crime.

8. The Wire, Margin of Error. By the way, I've finally finished Season 4 and just began Season 5, but I keep getting distracted by one thing or another.

9. Mad Men, Nixon vs. Kennedy. OK, the election returns are incidental to the episode, but a good one nonetheless.

10. The West Wing, various episodes...actually, don't really have one I like all that much, but I'm running low here.

What am I forgetting? What are your favorites?


  1. Of course Bill voted for Dave. He was megalomaniacal, but he wasn't a fool.

  2. Obviously, the hamburglar guy that Matthew saw stole Bill's ballot somehow. It's all that makes sense.

    As for BSG--you're right, the guy who deposed Roslin is not going to swallow a Baltar presidency if he doesn't have to. Though evidently he learned his lesson later by refusing to even accept Zarek as interim president...I always thought the greater problem was the whole Gina detonating the nuke was a pretty clumsy way of setting up the occupied New Caprica material.

  3. Ah, I guess we're not spoiler free down here in comments (but please, nothing about Season 5 of the Wire. Please?).

    Actually, I bought Adama (who after all could reverse it down the road if he wanted), but found it harder to buy Roslin.

    As far as the plot devices...I guess my feeling about BSG and DS9 is that if you're willing to watch a show which posits worlds with interventionist but still entirely mysterious God/Gods/prophets, then you pretty much have to accept some deux ex machina. Granted, they could have made that clear earlier in BSG.

  4. The Simpsons: "Sideshow Bob Roberts"!

    Kent Brockman: "And the results are in. For Sideshow Bob, 100%, for Joe Quimby,1%. And we remind you there is a 1% margin of error.

    Lisa: I don't think Bob won that election legally. I can't believe a convicted felon would get so many votes and another convicted felon would get so few.

  5. @Jonathan

    Sideshow Bob Roberts is an amazing piece of political satire:

    Birch Barlow: Mayor Quimby, you are well known for your lenient stance on crime, but suppose for a second that your house was ransacked by thugs, your family was tied up in the basement with socks in their mouths, you try to open the door but there's too much blood on the knob--

    Mayor Quimby: What is your question?

    Birch Barlow: My question is about the budget, sir.

  6. And that's not even the best Simpsons election episode.

    "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos."

  7. ("Homer the Heretic")

    Homer: Come on, TV. Give me some of that sweet, sweet pap!

    Man on TV: Well, let's define our terms, gentlemen. Are we talking about redistricting or are we talking about reapportionment?

    Homer: Oh, well, can't win 'em all.

    Man: We interrupt this public affairs program to bring you a football game.

    Homer: Yes!

  8. Another Simpsons: "Much Apu About Nothing". This is the episode where there is a referendum on illegal immigration.

  9. There was an episode of the Adam West Batman series in which the Penguin runs for mayor, Batman runs against him, and there's a tense election night waiting for the returns from a precinct in Gotham City to find out who's won. Then Batman and Robin beat up the Penguin and his henchmen. I think more election nights should end in single combat between candidates and their campaign staffs.

  10. How about the defeat of Alan Jones (Sensible Party) by Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel (Silly Party) in Luton?

  11. The great thing about "Candidate for Crime" is the way the senatorial candidate hates his chief strategist/Svengali enough to actually murder him. I bet those feelings are not uncommon.

  12. Wow, I can't believe I forgot the Python election returns, which is clearly the best ever by a wide margin. And, yup, I saw that Batman not all that long ago, and it's a good one, too. Replace Mad Men and West Wing on my list, please.

    And yup, good point about campaign managers & candidates.

    The Sideshow Bob episode has lots of good election stuff, but I don't think it really quite qualifies for this list.

  13. "Well, this is largely as I predicted, except that the Silly Party won. I think this is largely due to the number of votes cast."

    "Well, there isn't the swing, how about the swong?"

    "What do you make of the nylon dot cardigan and plastic mule rest?"

    It's amazing how Monty Python's political analysts were so close to actual broadcast news it's hardly even satire.

  14. Sorry to bring up the Sideshow Bob episode, but you may have missed (because I did, many times) an article on the front page of the paper announcing that SSB was elected by the votes of dead people, and dead pets (Lisa - "You too, Snowball?"). Underneath the main article was another - "Why Shouldn't Dead Pets Vote?." If dead pets sweep Romney into office, expect a similar editorial in the Wall Street Journal.

  15. West Wing apologia: Will Bailey, rainmaker

    "In the 47th, Horton Wilde, who's dead, is losing by 88 votes. It was a perfect storm. . . . Low Republican turnout because the President won the Midwest. Low supporter turnout because Webb didn't have an opponent, and the DNC gave up on it a week ago, so the RNC left town, and they never saw the exits your guy Will Bailey was seeing."
    "Plus, there was an actual storm."

  16. What, no "Gangs of New York"?

    Killoran: Monk's already won by three thousand more votes than there are voters.
    Boss Tweed: Only three? Make it twenty, thirty. We don't need a victory. We need a Roman triumph.

  17. Been a long time since I saw it, but SHAMPOO is set entirely on the day of Richard Nixon's victory in '68. Much could be said said about how the movie approaches the relationship of politics and culture, what they say about each other.

  18. Northern Exposure had a great episode in season 3, "Democracy in America". It was inspiring and captures the awe I sometime have when I reflect on what our country has built over the last two centuries, just from the simple act of voting.


  19. Street Fight, a documentary about the Newark mayor's race between Sharpe James and Cory Booker. It's a tremendous film and really shows the depth of Jersey Democratic politics. It's also hilarious and takes a number of bizarre turns.

  20. I'm a few episodes into season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. So "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2" is fresh in my mind. I agree that I didn't totally buy it. They have built a pretty good relationship after getting off to a rocky start. So they seem to trust each other to some degree. And Adama even says he doesn't trust Baltar. So his reason has to be democratic principles, which is a little odd coming from the top military official who consistently balances the need to survive with other democratic principles. But I guess they had to get the story where they wanted it to go.


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