From Chris Ferrin:
Although election season is over and everyone has had their fill, I’m sure, of political talk, my recent experience interning on a campaign had me thinking about politics in everyday life. This became relevant to media marathoning when I read a Maclean’s article about the recent trend of political shows that are appearing on TV these days. What is particularly interesting about these shows is that they touch upon a subject that is often an area of dispute and controversy. (Political beliefs can certainly create heated discussions.) The reason, according to the article, that this subject is appealing for television producers is that often politics has “built-in dramatic tension.” This stems from the fact that any political candidate has a lot of pressure on them, as he or she is the focus of intense scrutiny, so anything wrong that candidate does has the potential to be amplified immensely. This same reason can also make for a good comedy, such as a political character trying to keep embarrassing secrets hidden for example.
While there certainly seem to be good reasons to produce a political show, the question becomes what does portraying this subject do for the audience? If a person is marathoning a political show, such as Newsroom or even Parks and Recreation, and he or she is consistently exposed to a certain message or view, could this affect how that individual thinks about real life politics? The article mentions that there could be positives, such as removing party lines or portraying political figures as “human,” or negatives, such as causing people to become cynical. In terms of media marathoning it makes one think about the consequences of being exposed to a continuous message in a show we consistently watch, political or otherwise, and how that might affect us in our everyday lives.