(StatePoint) It’s an election year and politics is taking over American television sets, mystery novels and movie screens.
Whether it’s a thriller about the kidnapping of the president-elect’s daughter on the eve of the inauguration or a comedy starring Kevin Costner as the deciding vote in a presidential election, this season’s entertainment has a decidedly political bent.
«Interest peaks around election time and people in Hollywood ride this wave. It’s been said that Hollywood and Washington are two sides of the same coin, as there’s a bit of acting that goes along with being a lawmaker,» said Brooks Boliek, former Washington Bureau Chief for the Hollywood Reporter. «Sometimes fiction tells you the truth in a way that non-fiction can’t.»
Here is some of this season’s most anticipated politically-themed entertainment:
* «First Daughter» – The author of the three most recent Jason Bourne novels, Eric Van Lustbader, delves into our chaotic political climate with a new thriller weaving together current events and nonstop action. Federal agent Jack McClure, a dyslexic federal agent with a unique ability to solve puzzles, is thrust into a cat-and-mouse adventure. The daughter of his friend, the president-elect of the United States, is mysteriously kidnapped just weeks away from his inauguration and Jack must track down her cunning abductor.
«First Daughter» (Forge Books) is particularly timely, as it explores such potentially incendiary topics as the struggle for power as an old administration winds down and a new one gains control. For his part, author Lustbader (www.ericvanlustbader.com) works hard to toy with readers through the fear of a politically unstable America.
* «Swing Vote» – This new film is a family comedy that takes shots at both Republicans and Democrats, as it focuses on a premise that seems less unlikely with each passing election. A single father, played by Kevin Costner, holds the key to a presidential election when a voting booth malfunction fails to register his vote and it becomes the deciding one in the race. Both the Republican incumbent (Kelsey Grammer) and the Democratic challenger (Dennis Hopper) campaign madly for his vote and the media descend on Costner’s home.
The film’s supporting cast includes such Hollywood veterans as Nathan Lane, George Lopez and Stanley Tucci. Real-life political talkers also appear in this PG-13 flick from Walt Disney Co.’s Touchstone Pictures, including Larry King, Bill Maher and Chris Matthews.
* «Eleventh Hour» and «Kings» – TV screens get their share of drama this season, as two broadcast networks are slated to offer different spins on issues relating to government.
In the «Eleventh Hour,» a new hour-long show based on a British series, a brilliant biophysicist and special science advisor to the government investigates scientific crises and oddities. He pursues those who would abuse scientific discoveries for their own gain. The show is set for Thursdays on CBS.
For its part, «Kings» doesn’t focus on presidential turmoil, but on that of an alternate world where a modern metropolis is ruled by a king and his court. This show from the producer of the hit «Heroes» also will air on NBC. It’s a new twist on dramas set against political administrations in wartime. Not unlike many governments, the line between allies and enemies blurs as the kingdom’s power players go to lengths to see the show’s hero fall.
«All around us we see governments and countries grappling with issues that touch on politics, religious ideologies and scientific ethics. It’s no wonder we’re seeing so many books, movies and television shows that us