CBS’s ‘BrainDead’ is the Show We Need This Election Year


It’s not even November, but if you’re like me, you’re sick of the election already. Luckily, there’s a political show out this summer that’s the perfect antidote to the “I Hate Politics” blues: CBS’s BrainDead, a dark sci-fi comedy set in Washington D.C. starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who was fantastic earlier this year in 10 Cloverfield Lane), Danny Pino, and Tony Shalhoub. The show comes from The Good Wife creators Michelle King and Robert King, who are mixing politics with a bit of otherworldly intrigue. Plus, sci-fi master Ridley Scott serves as executive producer on three episodes.

What’s great about this show is that it sums up what the bozos are doing in our nation’s capital with one explanation: alien ants have infiltrated their brains and caused everything to go haywire (so THAT’s why Trump says the things he says—extraterrestrials!). The show is dripping with satire and irony, which is just what America needs right now – to be able to laugh when there’s so much not to laugh at. And while the show takes place in a fictional world, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are imminent “threats” within the show, with both sides worried about either takeover (when really, they should be worried about an alien one!).

“Why are those two men sharing a candy bar?” asks Gustav Triplett (Johnny Ray Miller) in the June 27 episode “Goring Oxes: How You Can Survive the War on Government Through Five Easy Steps,” commenting on two men sitting on a bench who are clearly infected by the new alien race. If only both parties could share control of the country as easily as a Twix bar.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is one to watch on this show, reminiscent of a younger Sigourney Weaver (dream mother-daughter movie collaboration). She plays a documentary filmmaker-turned-constituent-bitch who works for her power-player brother Luke (Pino). In the pilot, she only plans on taking this job for a 6 months, so she can get funding for her next project on Melanesian choirs. However, once she takes the job, she realizes she may actually be good for D.C. politics, as she unravels a bigger, better story on Capitol Hill. Oh, and she also shares some serious sparks with Republican Chief of Staff Gareth Ritter (Good Wife alum Aaron Tveit).

This show couldn’t come at a more appropriate time in the summer before a huge election. Like many political headlines you read online, it’s thoughtful, hilarious, and tragic. And like what a lot of politicians say, there isn’t an ounce of truth to it.

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