Best political dramas and films to indulge in this election season: Scandal, Bodyguard, Homeland and more

Best political dramas and films to indulge in this election season: Scandal, Bodyguard, Homeland and more

How liberating

Text: Yong Le Man

Politics has been synonymous with television for decades, from award-winning films to daily shows. If you, like us, can only live, eat and breathe politics these two weeks as the Singapore General Election 2020 draws closer, we got just the thing for ya. Below, a rundown of the best shows to satisfy your insaitiable appetite for all things political.

1. Scandal

Shonda Rimes — showrunner of critically acclaimed medical drama Grey's Anatomy —is also responsible for Scandal, a political thriller based in Washington D.C. The show stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope — who became the first African-American lead in a network drama in nearly four decades when she was cast, bringing much needed change and perspective to an increasingly stale and saturated television climate. If that's not enough to convince you, the show was named Television Program of the Year by the American Film Institute; received the Peabody Award for Excellence in Television ; and was honored as Outstanding Drama Series at the Image Awards.

You can catch Scandal on iTunes.

2. Bodyguard

Widely tipped to be the next James Bond, Richard Madden delivers a stunning performance as police sergeant, David Budd, a war veteran suffering from PTSD who is now working for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service. If you've missed seeing Richard Madden on screen especially after his character Rob Stark lost his head — and crown — on Game Of Thrones, this political thriller is sure to quench your thirst. For those who can appreciate an action-packed and snappy series, its six episodes are more than enough to leave you on the edge of your seat.

You can catch The Bodyguard on Netflix.

3. Homeland

Some of you may recognise Damian Lewis from his portrayal of Major Richard Winters in HBO's critically-acclaimed miniseries Band Of Brothers, detailing the trials and tribulations of the Easy Company in World War 2. He's joined by Claire Danes, who stars as CIA analyst Carrie Mathison, struggling with mental health and family issues while leading the war against terrorism. Its first two seasons earned universal praise alongside a 2011 Golden Globe and 2012 Emmy for Best Drama. Even President Barack Obama is a known fan of the show.

You can catch Homeland on Netflix.

4. The Americans

For fans of HBO's Chernobyl, there's enough of Cold War action to go around for everybody in The Americans. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play undercover KGB spies posing as a married couple living in Falls Church, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. in 1980s America. We consider it a severely underrated show — only winning Emmys for writing and Rhys in its last season. The series explores the conflict between Washington's FBI office and the KGB Rezidentura by following the perspectives of agents on both sides. This is definitely a series you shouldn't be Putin off.

You can catch The Americans on Amazon Prime.

5. Veep

For something more light-hearted, try this political satire and comedy. Veep follows Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as the fictional Vice President of the United States. Meyer and her team attempt to make their mark and leave a legacy, but instead often gets mirred in day-to-day political shenanigans. Veep received critical acclaim and won several major awards, including seven consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

You can catch Veep on HBO Go.

6. The Manchurian Candidate

The remake of the 1962 classic is a sleek and supple thriller featuring powerhouse performances from Hollywood favourites Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep, who play Ben Marco and Eleanor Show respectively. Directed by Jonathan Demme — the director responsible for one of the greatest and most influential films of all time The Silence of the Lambs, this gripping neo-noir psychological political thriller film is sure to keep you guessing all the way to the nerve-wracking climax.

You can catch The Manchurian Candidate on Amazon Prime.


7. The Wire

Widely regarded as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, The Wire provides a glimpse into various Baltimore institutions and their relationship to law enforcement. A criminally underappreciated gem on our shores, this series is lauded for its literary themes, its accurate portrayal of society and politics, and its realistic exploration of urban life. The Walking Dead creator Rober Kirkman is also a huge fan - so much so that he has sought numerous "Wire" alums for his own show, including Seth Gilliam, Chad Coleman and Lawrence Gilliard Jr.

You can catch The Wire on HBO Go.

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