Power !That’s what politics is all about,seizing it,holding it and enjoying it. Power is more addictive and intoxicating than any drug. At least that’s how we see it here at ubergeekout, if you’re reading this you probably do too.
Political TV shows are excellent when it comes to illustrating how power really works. That’s why we’ve written this article,because there a lot of TV series that are very political that you might not know about. Especially TV series that aren’t presented as political on the surface,but have plenty of hidden politics gems once you watch them. So after you read this,you’ll know which shows to watch to help feed your lust for power. So,let’s check it out.
Politics has changed rapidly over past ten years. Since the election of Barrack (No Drama)Obama as P.O.T.U.S. in 2008. To the shock election of the toupee wearing/Porn Star bare backing Donald Trump as his successor in 2016. Global Politics has changed irreversibly, the old political rule book seems to have gone out the window. Jeremy becoming the leader of the British Labour party and Emanuel Macron becoming the french President seemingly out of no where are further examples of political change. Even seasoned political journalists and analysts can’t even predict what will happen next. The rise of “political technology” in the form social media,email marketing and other digital platforms has been another big change. All of this has made politics even more interesting for you has it it? You’re a political nerd,that’s probably why you’re reading this. Political TV shows and shows about power are excellent because they give us insight into world of the powerful past and present. All the dirty tricks,manipulations and power plays in real life are explained really well in the best TV series. These shows allow us to see through those in power in an exciting and entertaining way. There’s nothing worse than losing your power and the best political TV series show us the rise and fall of the powerful. Anyway!That’s enough nerdy rambling from us,let’s get into the list before you get bored.
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The most under rated political and least known political TV show ever in our Opinion. It’s simply awesome! Staring THE Kelsey best know for playing Fraser in the hit 90’s TV sitcom of the same name. He plays the utterly ruthless and power hungry fictional Mayor of Chicago Tom Kane,you’d love him. Kane is loosely based on the real life long standing former Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley. Chicago is known as the most Politically corrupt city in America,”squeaky clean” no drama Obama came up into politics from there funnily enough… This political TV show really gives you an authentic portrayal of the Chicago political & social landscape. Boss will also show you the workings of many political tactics like media manipulation,espionage,intimidation,corruption and even murder. Kane’s wife Meredith is played by Connie Nielson another brilliant actor,best known for her roles in the Devil’s advocate and Gladiator. Sorry to burst your bubble ,but Boss was cancelled by Starz after only just two awesome seasons.A punk move! Another example of TV networks cancelling a really great show well before it’s time. On the flip-side though because it’s made by Starz so they don’t hold back,similar to the HBO no under 18 levels. Out of all the shows on this list we recommend you check it out first,it’s really that good!
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Although Homeland is billed as a spy thriller on the surface, it’s actually very political. Season one starts with the return of a war hero,freed from capture in the Iraq War, Nicholas Brody Played by Damien Lewis being used for Political gain by the vice President. Homeland shows you the Washington power structure,and how career politicians often put intelligence and military operatives through unnecessary at risk for purely political reasons. How these greedy, power hungry,self serving politicians throw their own people in field under bus when it’s politically convenient. The show gives you an excellent insight into the day to day relationship between the federal govt and the intelligence community. It’s like house cards with the focus more on the intelligence and national security aspects of American politics over the more political side. With Clare Danes and Damien Lewis playing the two lead characters,the acting in the show is top notch. The good news is Homeland has been renewed for a final 8th season,which gives you plenty to binge watch !
Surprisingly 24 is one of the most political TV shows ever! Even though it’s widely known as the longest running action TV series in history. It has plenty of political gems in it,since top secret missions are often need to be authorised at the highest levels. 24 is very much like west wing in that it plays almost all the US constitutional scenarios. It’s much darker and more sinister than the west wing of course. The series is just much a political TV show as it is an action/thriller . The show is also widely reported as being part of President Obama first victory ,because it conditioned the american public in to having black President with the principle political character David Palmer. Palmer is played by Dennis Haysbert who works with the lead character Jack Bauer played by the extraordinary Kiefer Sutherland! Jack is on the field while Palmer provides political cover. 24 has plenty of political intrigue and drama,it’s almost like a modern setting of game of thrones because characters get killed left right and centre. It is very long though as there are 24 episodes per season for at least 8 seasons. So if you’re a binge watcher,24 is perfect for you. The series is made by FOX who despite their insane right wing,Tea party and Trump loving news slant ,they do also make really good TV series with fringe and Gotham among them.
Made by HBO Boardwalk empire is a crime drama,it’s dark entertainment for adults basically. The series is a period drama set in the 1920s prohibition era in the U.S. Since alcohol was illegal ,booze was also effectively treated as a narcotic. Enoch Thompson A.K.A. “Nucky ” is the country treasurer for Atlantic city and the surrounding county. He is as much of politician as he is a gangster. Boardwalk also gives you a historic understanding of that time period, it wasn’t called the roaring 20s for no reason. From the formation of organised crime in america to the formation of the FBI ,many very interesting historical events took place back then. The show highlighted the shady dealings between politicians the criminal under world and law enforcement. Steve Buscemi who plays Nucky really makes the show. He was another legendary Hollywood actor playing a lead character in a big budget TVs series. James Gandolfini R.I.P. started this trend by playing Tony Soprano in the hit series The Sopranos. Boardwalk really goes in depth about how power is gained and price that is paid to keep it. Everyone wants what you have and they resent you for having it,and they’ll do what ever they can to hurt you. Nucky experiences this with the different characters in his world,”lonely at the top “describes him perfectly. If you like power games and gangster tactics check out boardwalk empire.
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The Wire was an early 2000s HBO crime drama set Baltimore City U.S.A. The wire gives you an authentic look into the world of Baltimore and Maryland politics, with some of the key political characters being loosely based on real Baltimore politicians. The series is really good at explaining how politicians meddle in law enforcement,all they seem to care about is good crime stats rather than actually reducing and preventing crime. Along with exposing how dirty drug money is secretly used to fund some crooked politician’s campaign. It also gives insight into the role media play within politics especially when it comes crime and the election season. Seasons 3 and 4 in particular focus on an election for the city’s Mayor. Blinded by the their lust for power ,both politicians and law enforcement in show are more concerned with maintaining their positions than serving the communities they are sworn protect. The Wire portrays the cops and politicians as just as bad as the criminals, which is a more realistic view of how society really works. A lot of political tactics are explored in this show which is ubergeekout recommends this as an excellent political TV show.
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This series is a period crime drama set in 1920s Birmingham centred around the fictional Shelby crime family the “peaky blinders”. Peaky blinders explores social and class issues,using the prelude to the Cold War after the end of WWI as the backdrop.The rise of Communism and Socialism in the early 1920s form a large part of the power struggles in the show. Sir Winston Churchill as Home Secretary playing a key role in the show. Tommy Shelby played by is Cillian Murphy a king pin and lead character in the show. His rise to power after fighting in the trenches of world war one powerfully portrayed by the BBC and Netflix. Tommy uses business,politics a and crime to grow and cement his power. He plays the cops,politicians and crime lords against each very skilfully as a character. The series also covers the early stages of the Irish troubles ,which was as a major political conflict and raged on until the Good Friday Agreement 1998. Peaky blinders captures social mobility and class war fair issues in it’s story lines really well. Trade unions,strikes,equality for women and war veterans suffering from P.T.S.D. are all portrayed brilliantly the show. Peaky blinders is an awesome political TV series in disguise ,check it out!
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This an excellent series for both historical and political reasons. The Borgias is based on the real life historical Pope Alexander VI A.K.A. Roderigo Borgia,who is known as one of the most scandalous and politically successful Popes in history. Showtime introduces the Borgias as the original crime family. It’s a political TV series in our opinion because the Pope is a king in all but name,the only difference is that he is chosen the college or cardinals instead by birthright. This Pope is always playing the cardinals,monarchs and nobility against each other for his own ends. The show is set in the renaissance era and also has Niccolò Machiavelli appearing as a recurring character. For those that don’t know Machiavelli wrote the book The Prince,which is full of ruthless but effective political tactics. Hence where the term “Machiavellian” comes from.A ruler who is Machiavellian pampers or crushes his or her is rivals,no in betweens and no half measures. In fact the book “The Prince” was actually written as gift to Cesare Borgia,the Pope’s son from Machiavelli himself. Both the Pope and Cesare’s characters will give you enough power plays and political tactics to last you a good while. The show is dark,well produced,well acted and very educational when it comes to European history at that time. Power and politics are timeless,and watching the Borgias makes you appreciate that the same power games are still used to this day. If you like sworded debauchery mixed with political intrigue and deception checkout the Borgias.
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Vikings is another surprisingly political TV show. Yes it’s about the very bloody Viking era,focusing on the danish folklore/real legendary hero Ragnor Lothbrok . The series tells the story of Ragnor’s rise to power from a simple farmer to much much more. It shows you how viking politics was based on strength and not just hereditary bloodline. You had to kill the ruler in order to become the ruler. Vikings is made by the history channel,who’ve decided very wisely to branch of into making compelling TV dramas because that’s where the money is. The show entertains you politically by showing how the characters maneuver for power. Whether it’s securing it for themselves or manipulating the power belonging to others . It shows you how brother turning against brother just to achieve power was very common in viking politics. The series also gives you political gems with it’s non viking political players,like the Kings of England and France at that time. Watching historical period dramas like vikings is very entertaining and educational for politics nerds. So checkout Vikings!
House of Cards (2013)
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Despite the disturbing sexual harassment allegations against Kevin Spacey,the House of Cards remake is as power hungry as it gets.Frank Underwood based on Francis Urquhart from the original House of Cards 1990 by BBC. The show is just as much about Claire Underwood as her husband and partner in crime Frank. Their rise to power is fictional political drama at it’s best. It captures the very shady world of Washington politics in a very dark and authentic way. Including lobbyists, campaign financiers,corrupt law enforcement and much more. Political marriages are pretty much viewed as marriages of convenience,they are “arrangements” and house of cards portrays this in interesting ways. You also get a good understanding of how the U.S. constitution works,with most of the different constitutional scenarios being played out. As well as how media and politicians often work together to bring someone down for their mutual benefit. House of Cards is a Netflix Original series and R rated like Boss and Game of Thrones,just how we like it! This isn’t the West Wing,which has this romanticised,”the great and good” narrative about the U.S. and it’s constitution. No House of Cards is far more authentic and gritty,which is why it’s on our list.
Game of Thrones(2011)
Next up we have THE Game of Thrones! Which as the name suggests is all about power . Based on the 1990s “a song of ice and fire” novel series authorised by George RR Martin. The tag line is “You win or you die”. This has certainly been true throughout all the seasons,no one is safe not even the most powerful. The show illustrates all the levels of government in beautiful well written medieval fantasy setting. It’s loosely based on the real life historical War of the Roses in medieval England,which was a war between the royal houses of York and Lancaster. The constant plots,political intrigue,betrayals,deception and power plays,are enough to keep any politics lover addicted. The Iron throne is the centre of power for the show’s seven kingdoms,the show starts with King Robert Barartheon”the usurper” as the ruler. The members of his court and small council are untrustworthy,and the king calls the Warden of the North Lord Stark to be his “Hand of King”(prime minister). Lord Stark soon realises that the capitol is a viper’s nest,and that he must do all he can to protect the King and his Kingdom. You find yourself learning a lot a about how power and politics really works while watching this fictional medieval drama. The show has a very politically cynical air to it,like House of Cards. With plenty of shocking betrayals along the way. We could go on and on about how about awesome the show is,but it speaks for itself. Check it out!
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This is not very well known as it was cancelled after just 3 season by Showtime. Brotherhood is about two brothers,Tommy and Micheal Caffe who are from the Irish community in Rhode Island U.S.A. . Tommy is a career politician who is a member of the Rhode Island State Senate,while his brother is a career criminal who has returned home after many years. While the two don’t really get along that much they do help it each other. Tommy on the political side and Michael on the streets. Tommy uses his political clout to protect his brother ,often putting himself at odds with the oath he took when he was elected as a State Senator. Like of House Cards and Boss Brotherhood also shows you the messed up world of political marriages of convenience. While at the same being a really good crime drama like the Sopranos in many ways. Tommy has political ambitions and forces himself to put up with along kinds B.S. ,just to gain more power with in the Rhode Island State Senate . This series brings together the worlds of local politics,organised crime and law enforcement in a compelling way. Which is why it’s on our list and we recommend that you check it out.
The Chicago Code(2011)
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Although The Chicago Code is technically a cop and crime drama,it’s surprise surprise quite political. It centres around the newly appointed HOT and m.i.l.f.y. Chicago Police Chief(superintendent) Teresa Colvin played by Jennifer Beals. She’s forced to work with a corrupt senior local elected official(Alderman)Ronin Gibbs portrayed by Delroy Lindo ,who played a key role in getting her the job. Gibbs is local political corruption personified,he’s also a really good villain. The Chicago code shows you even more about the relationship between local politicians,law enforcement and organised crime. It demonstrates how being the Police Chief of a major American city is a political position as much as it is a law enforcement role. The shady back room deals both the cops and politicians do to get the job done are explored. You can’t be a senior public official without getting your hands dirty no matter how principled you are. That’s the moral of the story for this show from our perspective. The Chicago code was cancelled after just one season by FOX. Bastards! Another great show flushed down the toilet! Since it’s made by FOX they can’t go/gritty no under 18 like Showtime and HBO,but FOX still make epic shows without that. Check it out!
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Yes this is a bit of a shock,but it’s actually an extremely political TV show. B.S.G. is remake of the original old school 1970s show. This is on the face of it dark sci-fi ,but it actually explores almost every political and social issue you can think of. Including democracy vs survival, military rule vs civilian authority,trade union representation, social mobility,abortion,esoteric issues and much more. It’s almost like Game of Thrones and House of Cards but set in space without the excess nudity and foul language. Unlike Star Trek it has a much more realistic portrayal of how the military really works. Laura Roslin played by Mary McDonnell is the political strong woman who becomes the President of twelve colonies by default. While Commander Adama played by Edward James Olmos is the military strong man. The power struggles between the two make you wonder who the boss really is,the President or the Commander? If you like dark entertainment,power,Sci-fi and intelligent drama,B.S.G. is the the show for you.
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Finally on our list we have Designated survivor. Now this one is political on the surface,it’s set around a President who gets the job by default similar to Laura Roslin in B.S.G. Tom Kirkman played by Kiefer Sutherland is the designated survivor after the President and pretty much the entire U.S. Federal government are killed in a bombing. He’s left to steer the country of out political crisis and to restore governance to a nation on the brink of anarchy. It has a lighthearted feel to it in the beginning but it actually gets pretty dark . You get to see more of how the White House works with the other branches of government,while also you showing what it takes to be a leader. The U.S. constitution is again broken down in the show,it gives you plenty of what if scenarios. Including the various powers of government officials and civil servants ,at both the Federal and State levels. If you like politics it’s a good watch.
We hope watching the shows on this list satisfies your obsession with power and politics. We’re always on the look out for more and we’ll keep you posted. A good number of these shows are on amazon prime video,so to try prime for free now click here! That’s it from us for now.
May the force be with you.