(NPR) There are times when TV dramas about national politics and politicians deserve criticism, even ridicule, for their fast-and-loose narratives and characterizations. Recent miniseries about the Reagans and the Kennedys, loaded with unsubstantiated dialogue and action, are only two very fresh examples.
But Game Change —
HBO's new take on the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign — is entertaining and commendable precisely because it stays so close to the facts, not because it strays from them.
The TV movie is directed by Jay Roach and adapted by Danny Strong from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin's book. Roach and Strong are the pair that presented Recount, an earlier HBO movie about a stranger-than-fact presidential race: the 2000 George W. Bush-Al Gore hanging-chad contest.
In that 2008 movie, Laura Dern played Katherine Harris, the Florida secretary of state who found herself suddenly in the limelight and at the center of a huge national political controversy. Dern played her beautifully, but also comically — and I can sympathize with those who have yet to see Game Change and are wary that Sarah Palin, played by Julianne Moore, may be treated as even more of an object of ridicule here.
But she isn't... (more here at NPR)