Rebooted 1990s TV show “Murphy Brown” is continuing to prove itself to be too weighed down with vapid political rants to be a successful sitcom.
In its second episode since its original run 20 years ago, called “I (Don’t) Heart Huckabee” according to Fox News, the titular character, a liberal journalist played by Candice Bergen, sneaks into a White House news conference.
In a creative (is “creative” the right word?) use of editing technology, the episode features a fake cameo by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. This is a somewhat more underplayed approach to bringing in politics compared to its previous episode, which featured an embarrassing appearance by Hillary Clinton.
Sanders appears — thanks to some TV magic that spliced together clips of the real Sanders actually talking to reporters.
Diane English, the show’s creator, told the website Vulture that the effort to fabricate Sanders’ presence on the show “took a village.”
“We dedicated one of our writer’s assistants to pulling every press conference with Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” she explained.
“We found five of them where she was wearing the same dress and her hair was the same, so we had a lot of choices for facial expressions and words.”
Let’s see whether all their hard work was worth it. In the scene, Brown interrupts reporters after sneaking into the press conference disguised as a French reporter (comedy gold).
The character hops onto her handy soapbox and confronts Sanders — that is, the digital Sanders clipped from real-life news conferences — telling her, “The role of the White House press secretary is to create transparency in the government and tell the American people the truth, but that’s not what’s happens in this room.”
She brings up a “a meeting with Russians in Trump Tower” and the handling of immigrant families at the Mexican-American border, and then accuses Sanders of being a liar. The crowd of reporters gasp and one character utters a “wow” over the daring.
“The most basic principle of journalistic integrity, to report the facts, is totally out of reach,” Brown continues.“If we can’t get to the truth, why are we even here?”
“Let’s show this administration we’re not gonna take it anymore!” Brown encourages the reporters as she walks out. But no one follows the visionary. Cue laugh track.
Check it out here:
It’s hard to even try to figure out what was intended to be accomplished with this segment, other than just the obvious liberal wish fulfillment. It seems like it was meant to be some great moment of fearlessness in the protagonist challenging Sanders, but … it literally didn’t happen.
It’s one thing for a fictional character in a TV show to confront another fictional character, because the audience can relate a well acted-out experience to real life when the story is strong.
But what’s the point of a simulated call out of a real person by a fictional one? Forget the politics, it’s bad script writing.
Maybe some of the show’s “editing in clips of real people who actually work in politics” budget should be shifted to hiring funnier writers. It is (ostensibly) a sitcom after all. And the “com” is short for comedy, not commentary.
That said, if you want to listen to mouthpieces for leftist ideology, punctuated by a laugh track, you’ve found the right show. If you want to watch something funny, keep looking.
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