Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"The Hill" Gives 'em Hell

If you read my earlier post on the Sundance Channel's reality series "The Hill," then you know that I was hesitant to commit to watching regularly because of the emotional trauma that I experienced as I watched the pilot's coverage of the 2004 presidential election. But since then, I've tuned in for a few more episodes, and now I'm a full fan.

It's actually really fascinating the way that the show has been structured. Rather than the entire thing centering around a continuing narrative, each episode focuses on revealing the machinations of one Congress member's office in response to relatively recent major political events. Episode 2 covers social security reform and the CIA leak, Episode 3 covers the nomination of John Roberts for Supreme Court justice, and Episode 4 (which aired tonight), covers Hurricane Katrina. I'm disappointed that there will be only six episodes, what with all the wacky shit that this universe — not to mention this administration — comes up with.

As you can imagine, it's really interesting to see what was going on behind the scenes when those issues were big in the news cycle. But even better than the sneak peek aspect is the fact that you learn things that were never part of the media reports — in some cases, information that seems so critical I wonder why no one made a big deal of making the public aware of it. Unfortunately, I can't think of an example to share because I watched Episodes 2 and 3 around 2:00 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Why the night owl viewing? A friend of mine who goes to law school in DC and has interned on the Hill herself was in town over the weekend. Because she doesn't have the Sundance Channel, she can't partake in the pleasure of "The Hill" the show, so I saved up a couple of episodes on my DVR for us to watch together. Because of our busy schedule, we didn't get around to watching them until after a long day of shopping, sushi, and swigs (at a bar — so I wanted to go with the alliteration, so sue me!). Surprisingly, even when exhausted, I was completely engaged by "The Hill." Of course, our ability to concentrate on the show might have also had something to do with the sugar in the two pints of Ben & Jerry's that we downed while watching... Regardless, truly excellent TV.


Anonymous Lace said...

I'm a fan of the Hill, as well - I just caught up on all the episodes

I really enjoy the show, and I like that it focuses on separate news events, instead of a more sort of Real World style continuous saga, because i think it is more relevant in politics especially to focus on it in terms of issues and policy rather than a timeline, because everything is usually connected to a specific event or piece of legistlation.

I really enjoyed them debating in the office, about whether or not to sign on to the Iraq troop reduction act, since Wexler voted for the war in the first place. That was really interesting. And I loved watching Wexler's response to Katrina particularly since he's from a state that is hurricane country. he's a great public speaker - I want to see more of him on the House floor, getting animated like that. It was great.

I'm really looking forward to tonight's episode!

9:57 AM  

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