Is ‘Graves’ Hollywood’s Nastiest GOP Attack Yet?

October 8th, 2016 12:02 PM

Modern Hollywood hates the GOP.

HBO repeatedly torches its national figures. Remember how Game Change and Confirmation tarnished Sarah Palin and Clarence Thomas, respectively?

A-listers gather every four years to smite GOP candidates and swoon over Democrats. The recent DNC convention summoned a gaggle of celebrities to tout Hillary Clinton and savage GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Celebrities open up their homes for lavish fundraisers to boost the Democrat’s collective coffers.

Comedy shows routinely depict GOP voters as racist.

The 2015 flop Truth tried to argue Dan Rather’s false report on George W. Bush’s National Guard service was correct, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Yet the new EPIX series Graves may trump them all.

The show, debuting Oct. 16, casts Nick Nolte as a former GOP president. He’s retired now, with no new legislative agenda to put forth. He could collect cash from the occasional speech and bask in his legacy. Only he regrets his actions as president. And he wants to help undo the damage his Republican legislation did in his remaining years.

Variety’s review makes it all too clear the show’s true purpose. It mocks conservative policies, forcing the show’s main character to essentially admit he, and his party, were flat-out wrong.

To wit:

Graves regrets his decision-making on immigration policy, so when Immigration and Customs Enforcement start handing out deportation orders based on his laws, he opens up his ranch to be a haven for anyone afraid they’ll be forced to leave the country.

And this:

Graves stands in front of a memorial for soldiers who died in a war he began, and observes with real sadness: “These were just kids. And I sent them to be slaughtered — just, slaughtered. And I don’t even remember why.

And this is meant to be the show’s suddenly heroic lead, a Republican leader who can’t even remember why he sent soldiers to war?

The new series debuts less than a month before the presidential election. Of course.

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Variety adores the new show, marveling at its humanity and humor. Heck, the reviewer refuses to admit it’s an all-out assault on conservative principles.

But the show steers away from any obvious presidential satire; the Bushes and Clintons are both name-dropped, ensuring that “Graves” is not seen as trying to tell the story of any one politician. And if anything, Graves’ attempts to makeover the worst parts of his administration point to an idea of revamping the Republican party, which “Graves” never disavows or even openly criticizes….“Graves” openly states, in the words of one of its idealistic characters, that it’s never too late to do the right thing.

By “the right thing,” the show means open borders policy, no doubt.

At least the Washington Post calls out the show’s overt biases, dubbing it a “lefty dream come true.”

Hollywood remains the Democrat’s most potent SuperPAC, trying to bend history to its progressive whim. We saw that most recently in group attempts by the stars of The Avengers and Star Trek to sway the presidential election. Or the Will & Grace “reunion” which doubled as a 10-minute campaign ad for Hillary Clinton.

And, when it can’t change history, the industry attempts to rewrite it. That’s what we saw with Truth and  Confirmation.

The team behind Graves won’t label the show as a GOP attack vehicle.

Despite the parallels, “Graves” is not meant to poke fun at Clinton or Trump but at the state of the political process in general. “This show takes on serious issues yet in a very funny and engaging way,” [EPIX President Mark] Greenberg said.

It could have just as easily featured a Democratic ex-president regretting how his health care overhaul proved disastrous, right? Perhaps a future episode will show how the Graves administration’s Russian reset only empowered our enemies.

The show’s press notes double down on the “non-partisan” nature of the show. Here’s what Greg Shapiro, the show’s executive producer, had to say:

“It was very important to [writer/director/executive producer Joshua Michael Stern] and I that it not be in any way an apology or condemnation of conservative Republican ideology, because it could have been the opposite. It could have easily been a Democrat questioning all of the choices that he made.

But it’s not, of course.

[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]