one-and-a-half out of four
Rating: TV-14 for mild language and situations and remarks audiences might find uncomfortable
Released by: U.S. electoral college
Director: Stable Genius
Actors: Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr.
Showing: All day, every day on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, NBS, ABC, PBS
Of Note: This is a satirical review. “Trump: White House” is not a real TV show; it is reality.
Last January, creators of the hit “2016 Election” released the spin-off series “Trump: White House” which has provided plenty of entertainment — and agony — for the masses.
Airing for almost an entire year now, the show has produced some of the most-talked about and controversial moments of 2017 television. The action centers around a real-estate mogul and reality TV celebrity who wins the most powerful position in the world: the U.S. presidency. It follows him, his staff and family (who are part of his staff) throughout their day-to-day operations.
While the show is engaging, there is much that needs work.
First of all, the main character could use some development. Donald Trump is brash and difficult, always saying the worst things at the worst moments. At times, you think his character has grown, but then another tweet to the contrary comes out. The show should stop exaggerating his flaws and show some better qualities.
In fact, the whole Trump family could be reworked. Not much is seen of Mrs. Trump; she could definitely be used for more than just arm candy. Writers need to give her a voice and some character development (women in general are severely lacking in this sausage fest). The Trump children — Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric — have roles within the admnistration that are unclear. Besides repeating what Daddy says, they don’t add much to the story. For this show to be believable, the Trump family needs to be more like the Kennedys and less like the Bluth family of “Arrested Development.”
There is no real standout from the supporting cast either. Most of the White House staffers — written as dry, one-dimensional, party-line followers — are predictable and boring. The staff has such a high turnover rate it’s hard to keep track of who is who, especially in the first few months of episodes, when people were getting fired on a weekly basis. Audiences had no time to form attachments and so, by the time they were ousted, no one cared. Just when viewers got used to the angry and awkward Sean Spicer, he was out. Anthony Scaramucci lasted only 10 days, so no tears were shed for him (although in that short time writers managed to give him some memorable nicknames).
Much like the characters, numerous plot lines emerged only to quickly fade away. It was incredibly difficult to keep tabs on all the show’s subplots; one or two were added almost every week, even if the last one was never resolved. It was as if the show writers were just making stuff up as they went along.
Inside the U.S., the healthcare reform plot was totally abandoned, and suddenly the tax bill storyline took its place. Internationally, the Russia collusion storyline never resolved before the new season. Possibly this was a grab at a season-ending cliffhanger to draw audiences in for next year. Another ongoing plot line that may keep viewers tuned-in is North Korea’s nuclear missiles perpetually aimed at the U.S., combined with the tirade of insults exchanged by both countries’ leaders, making for disastrous diplomatic relations.
However, the drama was too over-the-top as FBI director James Comey was fired, campaign members were arrested and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. So many loose ends left audiences dissatisfied.
Another issue writers need to address is the dialogue. “Trump: White House” needs to hire Aaron Sorkin to get some snappy “West Wing”-style banter. The current writers are horrendous and need a thesaurus. The president’s vocabulary is filled with the same words repeated over and over, sounding like a high school speech class.
There is much for “Trump: White House” to improve on, and one can only hope script-writers manage some changes before the season two debut. Rumor has it that “Trump: White House” is scheduled to run until at least 2020, with a possibility of four more seasons after that, unless something drastic happens to get it canceled before then.