Tuesday, August 4, 2015
FOX Presents: The GOP Follies
This Thursday evening (August 6th), the Fox Entertainment Group will premiere the first installment of what they fully expect will be a blockbuster series. Sneak previews and advance reviews have already won the show automatic renewal through November, 2016. In fact, Fox is hoping this series will become an international sensation, influencing millions for years to come. It may well achieve this goal. However, although Fox intended to produce a drama of biblical proportions—a serious study of the human condition—advance word has suggested it succeeds admirably as farce, tinged with an undercurrent of spine-tingling fear.
Headlining the cast for this series will be “The Donald”, a Kenyan-born caricature of a successful businessman. The pompous nature of this character is a tribute to the screenwriter’s imagination. His allegedly “storied” business career proves to be a fascinating mixture of successes and bankruptcies (picture Bozo the Clown on a bungee ride).
“The Donald” quickly reveals many quirks: he’s petrified of, and disgusted by, women who breast feed (believing instead that women ought to be paraded in antiquated beauty pageants). He’s vaccine-phonic, a climate change denier, and apparently has a serious issue with war heroes; particularly those who fought in the Vietnam War (no, “The Donald” never served).
Joining “The Donald” in this cast is a ventriloquist’s dummy (named “Walker”) who, while initially humorous, quickly runs out of steam. The interesting twist here is that there are two ventriloquists manipulating “Walker”; they are cryptically referred to as brothers, and they somehow cast a dark shadow over the proceedings. Your first impression is that “Walker” may be a humorous simpleton; we see him spouting silly rhetoric about teachers, labor unions, and education. Unfortunately, that’s the extent of his act, and he repeats it incessantly. Quite sad, actually.
“Bush” appears to be the patriarch of the cast (interestingly, there is no matriarch, nor is there any female presence at all in this opening installment). “Bush” seems to represent the very notion of entitlement that he professes to abhor. We begin to wonder about his family life. Does “Bush” have siblings? Are they successful? Is “Bush” over-compensating? Yet, in spite of his obvious flaws, “Bush” emerges as a somewhat well-intentioned goofball of a character; sympathetic where others are not.
In direct contrast to “Bush”, there’s a blowhard Texan named “Cruz”. You know from the moment you lay eyes on him that this guy can’t be trusted. He’s written as a villain, and takes to the role like a pig in mud. You get the feeling “Cruz” would be willing to shut/bring down our own government in order to further his own ambitions—and to hell with the country’s safety!
Next in line comes “The Huckster”. A bass player, a preacher, and oh yes, the former governor of Arkansas. “The Huckster” has been treading the boards for years, hoping to make an impact but seemingly content to sell books when the latter is not feasible (i.e.most of the time). “The Huckster” caught the preaching bug when he worked for a televangelist, though to his credit he served “in person” (as pastor in Pine Bluff and Texarkana for a dozen years). An ardent opponent of evolution, gun control, and gay marriage, “The Huckster” is prone to making outrageous statements that have no basis in reality. Don’t let the folksy charm fool you, “The Huckster” can sling mud with the best/rest of them while invoking the name of God to justify his actions.
These, then, are the primary characters in the new drama. There are lesser supporting characters: “El Rubio”. Dr. Ben, Rand “I-want-to-be-Ron” Paul, Bobby Jindal (usually referred to as “Bobby Who?”) and the delicate, sweet flower from New Jersey, Chris Christie. There also appear to be a myriad of bit players, but their names escape me.
The series has its moments of comedy, but falls flat in short order. The one dramatic moment for this viewer occurs when the realization sets in that these individuals are running for President of the United States. It’s a deeply disturbing and truly scary thought.
For those of you who might be intending to watch, don’t. For our friends and allies around the world, our humble apologies. Avert your eyes, cover your ears, and may we never need to speak of this again.