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U.S. President Obama, a big lover of TV series?

Posted July. 21, 2014 03:07,   


“Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.”

This message was sent by U.S. President Barack Obama’s twitter account on Feb 13. One day before on-the-web release of the second season of American TV series "House of Cards," the president warned that he would watch it on TV. Obama has named so far more than 10 TV dramas as his favorites. This is why people half-jokingly say the U.S. President seems to be a "drama otaku (a Japanese term for people with great interests in a specific topic)." Some analyze that Obama mentions the names of dramas on purpose to reveal his view and political messages over social issues.

○ ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Scandal’: Political shadow boxing?

Obama made appearances on the popular TV talk show "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in March this year. He said he watches "House of Cards" and "Scandal." These two TV dramas depict Washington as ruthless political arena full of plots and betrayals. The description sounds similar to the political conflict with Congress he went through last year, when the U.S. federal government entered an unprecedented "shutdown" after Congress delayed budget appropriation. "Scandal" is famous for realistic details, thanks to Judy Smith, former deputy press secretary for President George Bush, participating in production.

○ ‘Homeland’: Scar inflicted by Iraq war

First Lady Michelle Obama mentioned "Homeland" as Obama`s favorite TV series during an interview with People in 2012. Nick Brody, who was held as a prisoner of war in Iraq for 8 years, returned home but became suspected as a betrayer who follows directions from al-Qaeda, the Iraqi terrorist group. This drama vividly shows the pain and trauma that a war prisoner and the family have to suffer and depicts a dark side of American society arising after 911 terrorist attacks where even a prisoner of war is suspected and under surveillance by the government agency. "Homeland" probably holds significance to President Obama, who put an end to the Iraq war in 2011 by pulling out the entire American military forces.

○ ‘The Wire,’ ‘Breaking Bad’: Life of ordinary Americans

Obama complimented "The Wire" as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time. This crime TV series follows illegal drug dealers in Baltimore and police investigation teams. As written by a former police reporter and a murder case investigator, the series presents inner city drug issues and negative consequences of illegal drug trades to people of lower classes.

"Breaking Bad" is another favorite TV series of the president. After being diagnosed with incurable lung cancer, a high school chemistry teacher starts drug production to pay for astronomical medical expenses. It portrays how failing medical insurance system in the states turns an ordinary head of household to a criminal.

○ ‘Modern Family’: Image of new American families

The president chose "Modern Family" as a good sitcom for a family to watch together. The program is the story of an ordinary American middle class family, a divorced rich man and his young and beautiful second wife from Colombia, and a gay couple raising an adopted baby. It shows a wide spectrum of families in the states. "M.A.S.H." is another TV series that Obama picked as his lifetime favorite. The series describes a medical team stationed in Korea during the Korean War. It had been on TV over 10 years from 1972 to 1983, loved by all Americans from various walks of life.

○ Mentioning TV series is a political strategy?

American media analyzes that Obama’s love for TV series is a strategy to earn more popular and friendly image from the public. Besides, it is consideration for the entertainment industry that provides millions of dollars in campaign funds for him. New York Times said that President Obama mentioned HBO’s "Game of Throne" and also talked about Netflix’s "House of Cards" several months later. The news agency said he balances his preferences by saying he is a fan of both two competing TV networks’ representative shows.