Obama’s Television set Picks: Anything Edgy, With Hints of Reality

December 30th, 2013

Melinda Sue Gordon for Netflix

The Netflix collection “House of Cards,” is established in a dysfunctional Washington.

— War, terrorism, financial battle, mass shootings — this kind of is lifestyle in the Oval Business office for President Obama.

Yet in his few silent moments, this president seeks not to escape to the scrumptious back again-stabbing of the “Real Housewives” or the frivolity of the singing young adults on “Glee.” By his very own accounts, Mr. Obama is drawn in his spare time to demonstrates like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire,” the variety of weighty, darkly rendered television that echoes the sadness and strife that make up so much of his workday.

These times, when Mr. Obama retreats to the White Residence home following a long working day on the other stop of the colonnade, he is operating his way by way of the DVD box set of AMC’s “Breaking Undesirable,” the award-winning Television set drama about a drug-dealing higher faculty teacher. The display just ended after five seasons, but the president is way behind and usually reminds individuals around him not to give everything absent.

Close friends say Mr. Obama is also keenly awaiting the new season of the Netflix show “House of Cards,” which starkly depicts a dysfunctional Washington — a theme that need to seem to be all way too common. At a meeting of technological innovation executives very last week, Mr. Obama jokingly lamented his personal inability to maneuver the halls of Congress in the way of Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood.

“I want items ended up that ruthlessly efficient,” Mr. Obama was overheard declaring to Reed Hastings, the Netflix C.E.O., who invited the president to do a cameo on the show. Mr. Obama joked of the sleazy, congressman-assassin Mr. Underwood, “This guy’s obtaining a great deal of stuff done.”

It may be a fool’s errand to psychoanalyze anyone — permit on your own a sitting down president — primarily based only on the books he reads or the music he listens to, or the television exhibits he watches.

Monthly bill Clinton was a admirer of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” the medical-pupil drama, and “Boston Legal,” the occasionally goofy courtroom saga starring William Shatner. Since leaving business office, Mr. Clinton has explained he also favored “24,” Fox’s terrorism cliffhanger, and — you guessed it — ABC’s “Scandal,” a political thriller established in Washington. Ronald Reagan, a previous actor, as soon as offered to appear on his favorite present, the sitcom “Family Ties.” (His supply was rejected.) Franklin Roosevelt was explained to like Mickey Mouse cartoons in an era lengthy just before cable made Television edgy. George W. Bush was stated to not be a distinct admirer of tv, but made exceptions for A&ampE’s “Biography” and a selection of sports packages.

But for Mr. Obama, “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards” are rarely the exceptions to what has turn out to be a obvious pattern. Mr. Obama is also a devotee of Showtime’s “Homeland,” which provides an eerily common mirror to the president’s own overseas policy adventures: terrorism, Iranian nuclear negotiations, drone strikes, and an intelligence company struggling for legitimacy with Congress and the American folks.

And the list of heavies continues. Mr. Obama has informed people he is a huge fan of “Game of Thrones,” a brutal imagining of the wars in medieval Europe. He has raved about “Boardwalk Empire” and the BBC’s “Downton Abbey,” two period dramas that doc the angst and issues that individuals confronted during people occasions. And he has worked his way by means of the DVDs of AMC’s smoldering “Mad Men” series, telling close friends that the character of Peggy Olson has provided him insight into what it should have been like for his powerful-willed grandmother in a planet dominated by gentlemen.

Then there is HBO’s “The Wire,” which Mr. Obama has continuously known as one of the “greatest demonstrates of all time.” The drama depicted the poverty-stricken tasks in Baltimore and documented the drug war among worn-out cops and the city’s African-American inhabitants. (The president’s favorite character: Omar Little, the stickup male who robs the drug dealers.)

David Simon, the show’s creator, explained in an interview that he wonders no matter whether Mr. Obama was drawn to the demonstrate simply because it dealt so directly with the problems of social and financial strife.

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