You know what I've rediscovered the past two nights? I know, you don't, so I'm going to tell you — made-for-television movies and mini-series.
Well, okay, you got me, not all made-for-TV stuff (most of those Sci-Fi Channel ones I could do without), but some of it is quite good. Sunday night, for instance, I watched Recount, HBO's retelling of the 2000 election debacle in Florida. Then last night I watched part one of The Andromeda Strain, A&E's update of the Crichton novel.
Recount, almost unquestionably, is the better one of the two, but as the subject matter is totally different I could see your disagreeing with me. Frankly though, in my mind, Recount is just better made. They're both undeniably fun, but Recount has far more substance to it. The problem with Recount though, and most people would say that it's actually a good thing, is that it makes you care about what happened in 2000 again.
I'm not going to get into a Republican vs. Democrat thing; both sides are made to look pretty poor in the film in my opinion. Republicans would argue that Baker is portrayed as a mean guy, more interested in swindling an election than allowing the people to have their say. Democrats would argue that Warren Christopher isn't the doddering old fool he's made out to be. They're probably both right, but, let's face it, this was only "based on a true story" and not actually a true story, so you have to give the writers and actors some leeway.
Looking beyond the partisan bits and pieces, the whole thing just made me angry. Is our nation really so bad off that we can't even manage a presidential election? How is it that someone can be in charge of certifying election results and help chair the campaign? Isn't that almost the definition of "conflict of interest?" So, give it to Recount for stirring up emotions eight years gone and convincing everyone (as if we didn't know already) that this election is an important one and that we should all go out and vote (if only HBO could make there be candidates we respect and agree with, too, they'd really have something).