Friday, August 17, 2012

TV Review: Political Animals

I realize that when watching television dramas one needs to engage in some suspension of disbelief but, good God; Sigourney Weaver deserves better than to be spouting lines written by twelve year olds. I’m on the same wave length as my sister, who said she is still watching it because, “The series is so short that I figure I might as well see how it turns out.”

The latest episode involved a Chinese submarine going down 13 miles off of San Diego, with China so unwilling to admit spying on us that they were willing to let the crew of 100 die, and the American government so unwilling to let the crew die that they were willing to risk all out war with China. Oh, please. The scenario was so riddled with idiocy…

A real Chinese ambassador confronted with a charge of spying would most likely have responded along the lines of, “What? Are you on crack or something? Of course we’re spying on you. That’s what world powers do, they spy on each other. Hello?”

The USN submarine rescue operation is not in Hawaii, it’s in on Coronado Island in San Diego, so it wouldn’t take a couple days to get there, it would take just over an hour. Six hundred feet is actually not very deep, and would not present a difficult or tricky rescue, but the water 13 miles off San Diego is one whole hell of a lot deeper than 600 feet.

There’s also a few things wrong with the idea that the Chinese crew was going to “scuttle” the sub to avoid detection, and with that being an act that would spread radiation far and wide on the West Coast and kill millions. The most obvious flaw is that irradiating an ocean and killing millions is a pretty weird way to “escape detection.” I suspect that millions of dead people would be noticed pretty quickly and that it would not be particularly difficult to figure out what caused it.

The more subtle flaw is that we have lost two nuclear subs at sea and the Russians at least four, and the escape of radiation to the ocean has been zero. Even if, by some freak chance, the reactor vessel did breach, the reactors which power ships are infinitesimally smaller than the reactors which are used in shore based power generating stations, and the radiation release would not be even close to that described.

In the same episode a reporter (who is, of course, exquisitely beautiful) blackmails her way into accompanying the Secretary of State’s Chief of Staff (who is also the Secretary's son) on a trip to the West Coast on a private airplane that rivals Air Force one, has a dining room and a uniformed stewardess to serve dinner. Oh, jeez.

The Secretary of State doesn’t have a Chief of Staff, and if she did he would not be travelling on that kind of plane. If a reporter blackmailed him into taking her along he would not have her travelling in his private quarters, serving her dinner, and plying her with wine. He despises her and she is there because she is a blackmailer, remember?

As soon as that particular little scenario was revealed to us I told my wife he was going to have sex with her. Do I need to tell you I was right?


  1. Well put. It will be interesting to see how they top all that in the season (series?) finale.

  2. bruce1:13 PM

    This goes beyond suspension of belief, but that's not uncommon for Hollywood. I can pick out the errors without being in the Navy, politics or anything else. Ok, if it is simply entertainment, some diversion is normal, but come on people.. do you really think we're that stupid? BTW, what show is this and what is Ms. Weaver doing in it?