A hundred and thirty days of President Trump and I am all out of ideas for my blog. I think the world, collectively, cannot focus on anything else. There was the Teresa May drama, the early elections, the French elected a new leader, but the hard focus is on America and Trump and the supposed Russian meddling. These aren’t good writing prompts. These are stale inputs from old war movies that have been hashed to death over the past several decades.
Compare this with the Obama presidency. He inspired a host of TV shows all centered around the White House and the American Presidency. I was considering writing a story myself, about a boy next door, who as it turns out, grows up to be an Obama like political superman, a clever play (I think) on the fact that his birth certificate was MIA. Did Trump inspire ‘Designated Survivor’? The travel ban was the main focus after the designated survivor took over. It is a fact that he caused a lot of mayhem in various writers’ rooms with his sudden, unexpected win. Homeland had to tweak its script at the last moment, same with VEEP, but is that the right kind of inspiration? I am not sure. The shows seemed off-track and the twists forced. Even Steven Colbert, the expert in political satire, with the Late Show with Steven Colbert, is forced to repeat the same kind of dialogue over and over in his monologue, all focused on Trump Tweets. Can he do any better? His peers have a wider spread, but Colbert still rules. The quality of late night shows is at its lowest, because whatever is winning happens to be those Colbert plays on Trump’s tweets.
Movies and shows bank on positivity, to win over audiences dreaming of the magical kind of hope and triumph that’s encapsulated into the visuals everyone wants to believe is achievable. The current state of mind is very far away from the one that holds on to any kind of hope. It is unbelievable, yes, since as Trump points out repeatedly, the job numbers are high, the Industrial Average has spiked and the Consumer Index is more positive than negative. Yet, the sale of one book, Orwell’s “1984”, that spiked around the same time to unusual highs, is indicative of an opposite kind of sentiment. As the days pass on, I see more and more weepy comments online and some of those are from well-known comedians.
( Check out Hari Kondabalu on Twitter)
Soon, the impact will become clear as more old shows get revived. When you cannot bring in the fresh goods, give something that worked well a reboot. There is ‘Will & Grace’ for instance, and ‘Twin Peaks’. More will follow.