Watergate inspired movies. The Trump era history will likely be told on TV
The end of the Trump years, by contrast, has had to compete in our imaginations with over-the-top portrayals of Washington, from “House of Cards” to “Veep” to the presidential corruption featured in “24” and “Homeland.”
The HBO series was hardly alone in its cynical view of politics. The movie business, meanwhile, has significantly changed in terms of the kind of films that reliably attract audiences and has been damaged to a still-unknown degree by the fallout from the coronavirus.
The 1970s movies mentioned above, along with similar titles like “Marathon Man” and “Capricorn One,” were hits in their day but would be hard-pressed to compete with the blockbuster-driven world of superhero sequels, “Star Wars” and the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
Inevitably, the Trump years will still be dissected and dramatized. The first exposure for most of those projects, though, will most likely be in living rooms, catering to smaller audiences.
In “American Carnage,” the narration describes the Trump presidency and its violent end as “a crisis in plain sight for his party, his country, democracy.” Those elements certainly provide the stuff of great drama, with various books currently painting vivid portraits of what transpired behind the scenes.
That approach might deprive future generations of the memorable theatrical movies that Watergate helped inspire. But in terms of how and where we get our home entertainment now, it’s quite an indication of the times.
“Frontline: Trump’s American Carnage” premieres January 26 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.