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LS Polls Done, These TV Shows Promise To Provide More Political Drama

Turn On The TV
1/12

Turn On The TV

By Anika Ghei

The recently-concluded Lok Sabha Elections provided enough drama to last for several seasons of a show. From family jibes to temple runs, tears to insults, the Indian political season had it all. However, now with the numbers out and winners declared, the focus has moved (at least temporarily) to introspecting the reason for losses, and working on the path ahead for the winners.

But if you still need your regular dose of power fights and politics, there's always a bunch of shows - that even with (and despite) the extra drama are often a reflection of society - to turn to.

So we've rounded-up a list of binge-worthy shows that promise to make up for the void that the elections left. While they may not give you reason to discuss BJP and Congress by the water-cooler at work, these series will give you enough fodder to indulge in political engagement - while even keeping you up-to-date with all that is controversial, relevant and endearing about politics.

Agencies
‘The Handmaid's Tale’
2/12

‘The Handmaid's Tale’

Directed by Kari Skogland, with Elisabeth Moss in a pivotal role, the dystopian drama garnered critical acclaim right from the time of its release.

Based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 best-selling novel of the same name, the show tells the story of a society that takes over the United States of America, and subjects women to reproductive slavery by forcing them to bear children of the elite. These women were typically ‘handmaids’ whose appearances were marked by a red cloak and a white-brimmed bonnet.

This series, just as the novel, is politicised in its relevance to past and present affairs in the United States, as parallels have been drawn to movements around the reproductive rights of the 1980s and Donald Trump's America.

Agencies
‘Designated Survivor’
3/12

‘Designated Survivor’

The show revolves around a lower-level cabinet member who after being appointed the president of the United States, has to find ways to keep his family and country afloat. The political drama has heaps of anti-terror action wherein the ‘Designated Survivor’, Tom Kirkman, played by Kiefer Sutherland, constantly has to navigate through terrorist plots.

Critics have drawn parallels between the dilemmas faced by Kirkman to those faced by Trump in their tenure as presidents, eliciting debates regarding whose decision-making is to be sided with.

Agencies
'Sacred Games'
4/12

'Sacred Games'

‘Sacred Games’ is riddled with meaty-cliffhangers, terror plots, and political turmoil. The show stars household names Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Saif Ali Khan and Kalki Koechlin, and is only one season young. It portrays a cat and mouse chase between Gaitonde - a heavyweight gangster, and Sartaj - a police officer who despite his demons is determined in his resolve to make a difference; all leading to the bigger implication, Mumbai's doom.

‘Sacred Games’ teases out the tangles between religion. corruption, politics, and violence - all while creating waves of its own beyond the limitations of the screen. The show has also had its fair share of controversy as comments on Rajiv Gandhi, Bofors scam and the Babri Masjid demolition in it seemed to infuriate many.

Agencies
‘Political Animals’
5/12

‘Political Animals’

With Greg Berlanti as creator, ‘Political Animals’ is a TV mini-series starring Signourney Weaver as the former First Lady. The show follows the journey of Weaver as she loses her nomination for President, only to then be appointed Secretary of State by her political rival. A parallel storyline also traces the familial strife in her life.

The show has been hailed by critics for the autonomy it gives to its women characters, who powerfully express their emotions and ambitions.

Agencies
‘Madam Secretary’
6/12

‘Madam Secretary’

An American political drama series created by Barbara Hall and written by Joy Gregory, it was first aired on CBS on September 1, 2014. The show explores the life of a determined United States Secretary of State - Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni), who battles diplomacy, office politics, and other worldwide issues; parallelly also granting viewers an insight into her personal life.

While it has received mostly favourable reviews, the content is often termed controversial in nature - a scene depicting the President of the Philippines making a move on the U.S. secretary caused significant backlash from the Philipino government.

Agencies
‘House of Cards’
7/12

‘House of Cards’

A drama heavy show, ‘House of Cards’ is a solid watch for anybody interested in politics and the government. Initially starring Kevin Spacey as a lead, the story revolves around a man named Frank Underwood (Spacey) who gets passed over for Secretary of State, and consequently exacts revenge on those who betrayed him.

While the show, with its dark comedy and tragedy, received critical acclaim with seven Emmy and two Golden Globe awards, the backlash against Spacey due to sexual harassment allegations almost shut it down.

The resulting final season did not star Spacey, with the writers having to rewrite the show and the limelight shifting to Robin Wright. However, the show still remains a must watch for any political aficionado.

Agencies
‘Pradhan Mantri’
8/12

‘Pradhan Mantri’

Directed by Ketan Mehta, the show is built around a fictional prime minister who takes on the responsibility of combating problems faced by contemporary India. Kay Kay Menon takes the lead by playing PM Anirudh Prakash, while Malavika Tiwari plays his spouse.

In this series, the character of Anirudh Prakash is an honest politician who tackles serious issues such as defence scandals. While fictionalised, this show enables us to engage with the ordeals of the political world on a more personal level.

Agencies
‘The Wire’
9/12

‘The Wire’

Almost completely written by former police reporter David Simon, 'The Wire' explores a number of facets of crime, with a major emphasis on politics. Initially focused solely on crime and law enforcement, the show has progressed to engage with the drug-trade, unions, school system, and Baltimore institutions - giving it all a political spin.

This show stars Wendell Pierce and Dominic West, and is regarded for providing an accurate demographic representation of Baltimore, with a primarily African-American cast. Lauded for its realistic depiction of urban societal ordeals, ‘The Wire’ is often regarded amongst the best TV shows of all time.

Agencies
‘Veep’
10/12

‘Veep’

A political comedy, ‘Veep’ brims with satire, clever retorts and dialogues that induce a belly - ache kind of laughter. Following the life and career of Selina Meyer - the President of the United States, the show’s commentary on the prevalent corruption and incompetence makes its stance on the American presidential politics spot on.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been praised for her comic timing, and even won an Emmy for her performance.

Agencies
‘Armanon Ka Balidaan-Aarakshan’
11/12

‘Armanon Ka Balidaan-Aarakshan’

Directed by Ravindra Gautam, the political thriller was released in 2011. It follows the journey of Sumedha, a girl who lost her brother to protests held against the reservation system - but falls in love with Aakash, a boy who instead benefited from it. The series depicts a myriad of family strife, love, and inequality - making it an interesting watch.

The show was surrounded by its fair bit of controversy, as it was served a notice by the I&B ministry for airing promos containing political violence. Starring Muni Jha, Pariva Pranati and Aarya Kumar, it also features appearances from other actors including Dolly Bindra.

Agencies
‘City of dreams’
12/12

‘City of dreams’

‘City of Dreams’ by Nagesh Kukunoor is a classic tale of gang violence set in Mumbai. Inundated with sex, violence and strong language - the show begins with the murder of a polarising politician - an event that spirals quickly into power wars and bloodshed.

Hard-hitting in its political inclinations, the show lays emphasis on a multi-layered storytelling style in order to further the narrative. Recent reception has not been favourable, but since it is only one season old, only time will tell.

Agencies
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