TV in Trump's America

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, and opinionated about something that makes us very happy…or fills us with indescribable rage. In this edition: the rise of political television in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.)

It started with Nazi symbols strewn across public transportation and billboards across D.C. and New York. No, it wasn’t the alarming rise of anti-Semitic vandalism that had skyrocketed in the first three months of the Trump administration. It was advertising The Man in the High Castle, the dystopian Amazon series based off the 1962 Philip K. Dick novel set in an alternate 1960s where the Axis powers won World War II.

And it was just the beginning in a recent surge in “newly relevant” and timely TV shows that took on new meaning after the election of Donald Trump to the White House. The Man in the High Castle kicked off a spate of fictional TV shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods, whose stories were conceived long before the White House was even a glimmer in Trump’s eye. But these science-fiction and fantasy stories, at first cautionary or highly theoretical tales, now take on an eerie prescience as fiction and reality collide on the small screen.

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veep season 6 trailer

For the past five years, HBO’s Veep has been one of the most consistently hilarious shows on television, a scathing portrait of American politics that blends inside baseball, old-school farcical storytelling, and some of the most creative profanity in television history into one very cynical single camera sitcom. The sixth season arrives at a time when real-life Washington D.C. looks even more ridiculous than Veep could have ever imagined, but at least the new trailer promises that the series will be as funny as ever.

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Veep Season 6 teaser

Veep is currently facing a very strange challenge that the show couldn’t possibly have seen coming when Armando Iannucci first created it several years ago: namely, the fact that real-life politics has far surpassed any twisted insanity that a bunch of TV writers could ever come up with. Since the inauguration, each day has yielded enough blunders to account for a season’s worth of storylines on Veep, and our actual politicians are starting to make Jonah Ryan look smart and decent. And none of this is really funny — it’s actually kind of terrifying.

So will Veep season 6 try and reckon with our new (and horrible) political reality? Will it accidentally comment on recent events? (You know, the way every movie seems to be “about Trump” now despite the fact that all of them were conceived and shot well before the 2016 election.) Or will it blithely continue on, as oblivious to the real world as its characters are? We’ll find out when Veep returns in a couple of months, but in the meantime here’s a trailer to remind you of where we left off with Selina Meyer. Watch the first Veep season 6 teaser below.

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Orphan Black season 4

Welcome to Peak TV, where there is so much television news that we have to cram together updates on Orphan Black, Veep, The Americans, Prison Break, Orange is the New Black, Catastrophe, and Bill Nye Saves the World into one little news post.

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2016 Emmy Opening - Jimmy Kimmel

Last night ABC’s late night host Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 68th Annual Emmy Awards, and he made the typically long-running ceremony a little more tolerable with his quick wit. As is customary for the show’s host, Kimmel partook in a fun opening number that saw him meeting up with some familiar faces from the world of television, all of which were nominated in some form for the awards handed out throughout the night.

After the jump, watch Jimmy Kimmel do some carpool karaoke with James Corden, hitch a ride with a certain modern family, run into a a TV president and even ride a dragon in the 2016 Emmy opening. As a bonus, you can also watch Matt Damon showing up during the ceremony to mock Jimmy Kimmel for losing the Emmy he was nominated for last night. Read More »

Game of Thrones Season 6 - Maisie Williams as Arya

All men must die, but some shows get to look Death straight in the eye and say “not today.” HBO has officially renewed Game of Thrones for season 7, to the surprise of absolutely no one. And while they were at it, the network went ahead and re-upped on Game of Thrones‘ usual Sunday night companions Veep and Silicon Valley as well.  Read More »

‘Veep’ Season 5 Trailer: Selina’s Back

 

Veep Season 5 trailer

As we hurtle through what a lot of people believe to be the weirdest primary season ever, HBO’s Veep has its work cut out for it. Namely, is it even possible for this show to out-crazy the stuff going on in real life? Based on the first Veep season 5 trailer, the answer is a solid “maybe” — but we can rest assured the insults on this show will continue to be the most profanely poetic ones heard anywhere on television.

Veep picks up with the fallout from that season 4 cliffhanger, with Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) still struggling to hold on to power. Season 5 could be a huge turning point for Selina’s political career, but it’s a turning point for Veep too — this will be the first season without creator Armando Iannucci. Watch the Veep season 5 trailer after the jump.
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game of thrones season 6

HBO’s sessions for the Television Critics Association began with a major Game of Thrones announcement. With fans in turmoil over the fate of Jon Snow for nearly a year now, HBO has confirmed that the sixth season will premiere on Sunday, April 24 at 9PM. Sunday night being HBO’s big original programming night, Game of Thrones season six’s premiere will be followed by the returns of Silicon Valley and VeepRead More »

Veep Season 4

Selina Meyer’s presidency and Pied Piper may be in pretty precarious situations at the moment, but the shows about them are doing just fine. HBO has renewed both Veep and Silicon Valley, following their season premieres last night.

That’s the good news. The disappointing caveat is that when Veep returns next year, it’ll be without series creator Armando Iannucci. More details on the Veep and Silicon Valley renewals, and Iannucci’s departure, after the jump.  Read More »

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Veep Season 4

The more things change, eh? Season 3 of Veep ended with a major step forward for Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), as the president’s resignation put her in the Oval Office. And the Season 4 trailer begins with her reveling in her new position of power — she’s like “a real-life Mariah Carey,” in the immortal words of Mike (Matt Walsh).

But it’s not long before she finds herself drowning in the same old bullshit: incompetent staff members, petty rivalries, broken equipment, and her own delusions of grandeur. Watch the Veep Season 4 trailer after the jump.  Read More »