What Political Nonsense Am I Watching?
By: Lanie Tunnell
Back in 2012, I fell in love with the Presidential Debate series. Barack Obama has become an icon thanks to the hour and a half segments that launched him into stardom. So when I heard they were coming out with three more debates, I was ecstatic, until they announced the new cast.
The two main roles would be played by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I could see Clinton in a political position, but I was also worried she’d accidentally leak the plot before the debate even started. With Trump, I was a little perplexed. He had a lot of TV experience, sure, but I thought the only thing he knew about the government had to do with the holes in the tax system.
Still, I found myself huddled in front of my laptop with my trusty political pooch, Tater Tot, to watch the first of the three part series unfold. I tried to maintain hope for the program I had once loved. I shouldn’t have done that.
I don’t know who forgot their lines, but someone sure did. Trump seemed to get very confused and started reciting seemingly random streams of consciousness that usually included the words “ISIS,” “corrupt,” and “disgrace.” It could have been some sort of code message to the Oompa Loompas that give him skin and hair care tips about his orange glow and wispy locks, but there’s really no way of knowing for sure.
Whenever Clinton said her lines, she at least had everything memorized and neatly prepared, but because her co-star was improvising, the whole thing was like watching two different shows at the same time. What was really bizarre, though, was that whenever Clinton wasn’t reciting her lines, she was shaking her head, laughing, or rolling her eyes in a way that reminded me of the patients in American Horror Story: Asylum. Clinton has either gone off the deep end or I really was watching a horror story.
Things didn’t get much better from then on out. Clinton would portray a composed politician trying really hard to do their job, while Trump used animated facial expressions and frequent interruptions to display dominance. I even checked a few times to make sure I wasn’t accidentally watching an Animal Planet special on how male monkeys strut around in a show of superiority or a program about a muskrat with some sort of rabies that prevented the animal to do anything except smile.
Towards the end of the show, I was starting to feel like the candidates were drinking something that wasn’t water. Trump kept talking about China, but he insisted on pronouncing it “Ginah.” He made sure to really drive the correct pronunciation home by repeating the word over and over and over again. Clinton started talking to entire countries by looking directly into the camera as if she were on a Skype call. It was a very bold attempt at breaking the fourth wall, I must say.
By the time the credits were rolling and the commentators started chattering, I snapped back into reality to find my dog frantically packing up his leash and treats while I had seven different tabs open on my computer for plane tickets, currency conversion charts, Expedia, and Hidden Wiki conspiracy theory pages from the deep web.
I really wish someone would have warned me that the new Presidential Debate series was going to be in the horror genre instead of political thriller. I could have saved myself a lot of phone battery and sleepless hours of nervously scrolling through Twitter in hopes of finding reassurance among my fellow Americans.
Nine out of ten, do not recommend.