USA’s “Political Animals” and Female Role Models

I have, since the time I was eight, wanted to be President of the United States. Not First Lady, I wanted to be behind the big oak desk. I love policy, politics, and legislation. I love pantsuits and motorcades and the idea of meeting heads of state and having nicknames for them. Studying FDR and the New Deal in school sealed the deal for me. I was eleven the first time I went to Washington D.C. and I did not want to leave. I have been back many, many times since and even lived there for a year. The Original Pigtail Pal was actually born just outside of D.C., and since the time she was a few hours old, I wanted her to be President of the United States. She is now six and her goal this summer is to contract rabies, so we’ve got a ways to go on that one.

I grew up in the 1980’s, with figures like Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, Indira Gandhi, Nancy Reagan, Mother Theresa, Christa McAuliffe influencing how I saw women in the world. Add in a little Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew, and I was good to go like a rocket fueled with girl power. I blazed through high school, college, and my career in my early 20’s as the “first girl to_______”: play on the boy’s soccer team, hold the investigative internship, be given a cold case homicide at the PI firm. I felt pretty bad ass, tell you the truth.

Then I had a daughter, and my world spun in the opposite direction. The world wasn’t the same, or anything similar, to how I grew up. Born in 2006, my daughter was growing up in a culture of Snookis and Bratz with more people being able to name three Kardashians before they can name three female Congress members. My husband and I were concerned for her well being growing up in the equivalent of a cultural trash heap. Then we had a son, and I realized this is what he will see of women, too.

It makes my head explode. It also makes me want to dance every time the television networks are gutsy enough to cast smart and feisty women in the lead of smart and feisty shows. I think “Political Animals” is going to be such a series, and I cannot wait to watch on USA this Sunday July 15 10/9c.

In a tv land full of plastic Housewives and Jersey Shore bimbos, I think “Political Animals” will feel like eating a steak after years of nothing but salad. Let’s fill up on the good stuff, Ladies. And offer a bite to your daughters.

Here is what USA says about the show:

POLITICAL ANIMALS is USA Network’s highly anticipated Limited Series Event that pulls back the curtain on the polished facade of a former first-family as they navigate the complex world of political and personal ambition.

Sigourney Weaver stars as former first lady and current Secretary of State Elaine Barrish Hammond who is attempting to keep her family together while simultaneously dealing with crises of the State Department and fending off the hungry DC journalist (Carla Gugino) who is bent on destroying her career.

Exploring themes that resonate in the current political landscape and taking viewers beyond the glossy ads and well-written public speeches, POLITICAL ANIMALS will reveal a vulnerable family on the verge of falling apart.

Hungry yet? The show stars Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Burstyn, Carla Gugino, Ciaran Hinds, Dylan Baker, and James Wolk.

USA's 'Political Animals' debuts Sunday July 15th.


  1. Don’t diss salads! (But I can’t wait for the show.)

    • oooh, thx for heads up, setting DVR! Lurves Sigourney Weaver in most anything…maybe she can get Ashley Judd to guest star and Geena Davis to cameo in a Commander in Chief reprise 😉

      That said, the blurb “fending off the hungry DC journalist (Carla Gugino) who is bent on destroying her career” feels like same ol’ ‘mean girl’ trope w/a side of ambition+women=catfight which has my medialit brain in ‘hmmmnnn’ mode, as so much depends on the writing. Will stay tuned. Thx.

      • Hi Amy –
        From the extended previews I saw it seemed to me that Weaver and Gugino’s characters respected each other, and saw their relationship more as a chess match than a cat fight. I didn’t get the “mean girl” trope from that. I don’t know, it will be interesting to see how that is introduced and plays out during the episodes.

  2. I hadn’t heard of this before…I’ll definitely be checking it out!

  3. Katie Dredger says:

    “She is now six and her goal this summer is to contract rabies, so we’ve got a ways to go on that one.” Ha Ha! What a great description of so many 6 year old that I know!

  4. watching this show was amazing. For the entire episode to be from the female perspective and to have women discussing something other than their relationships to men was spectacular. I told my family to pick it up on Hulu! Thanks for the heads up.


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