With Downton Abbey not returning until January, I am desperate for a show full of political savvy, power, lust, family dynamics, and of course, a strong-willed grandmother. Enter Political Animals, the new USA Network limited series about a family steeped in politics and chock full of scandal. Sign me up!
It may be a different century and continent than Abbey, but it appears women still struggle with balancing power and their role in the house. While in previous centuries, women carried powerful weight in the background and inserted themselves in cunning ways into mens’ decisions, Political Animals will feature Sigourney Weaver as a woman who holds power in the public eye, yet is struggling with resolving this with her private life.
Premiering Sunday at 10 p.m., I certainly will be in front of the boob-tube to enrapture myself in the Hammond Family. A former first family with a Secretary of State for a mom, a homosexual son, a goodie-two shoes for another son, and a philandering husband to boot, Political Animals is sure to keep me involved. I am curious how Sigourney Weaver will negotiate power with her role as a mom to this not-so motley crue in this day and age. I barely have any power or recognition, and I find myself negotiating with my children to behave when out in the real world. Who wants to be embarrassed and not appear as the perfect mommy? Not me. I doubt Sigourney in her role as Elaine Hammond.
Often I call on the wisdom and family lure my grandmother handed down to me before she passed away, and most often it works. I look forward to seeing how Ellen Burstyn plays grandmother, Margaret, to the Hammond Family. I get the feeling that she rules the roost, and has more to do behind the scenes than the Press Secretary (like the Dowager in Abbey).
As a woman who is constantly touting work family balance, I am not sure that I could even begin to advise Weaver on how to handle a role in the public eye while being a mom and wife (to obviously a jerk?). How does one resolve their private family business with a career that relies on making decisions for the country in which they judge every private action? I have not a clue, but I worry that is what is holding back women in politics.
That and the pressure of the work schedule in contradiction to the need to be with family and can ‘we have it all?’ – power and family? (which was obviously noted in the infamous Atlantic article by Slaughter last month). With this show, we can watch the internal mommy wars play out. Although it is fiction, we may find some truth in it.
I know that I am going to be snagged hook, line, and sinker on the Hammond Family after just catching this sneak peek:
I also am most excited to see the role of the power hungry news reporter, played by Susan Berg, who has made a name for herself by reporting Hammond Family scandal. Another issue that women seem not to be able to resolve: taking advantage of one another’s misery. tsk tsk.
Talk to you on Monday – post show!