5.5/10 Before watching “Bombshell”, I thought I would take a look at Showtime’s limited series about the rise and fall of Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News. Over the course of seven episodes, we end up with quite the mixed bag. The best parts of this show tend to be in the first half of the season, particularly the episode centered around 9/11 entitled, “2001”. What makes the beginning of the season stronger than the end is that the show really begins to rear its ugly biases and muddle its intentions, as well as try to connect parallels to Donald Trump that are not there, in the last couple of episodes. Prior to that, the show does a solid job of focusing on Ailes and his inner workings, even if they don’t dig deep enough into what made him that man he was. The acting is phenomenal across the board with Russell Crowe totally transforming in Ailes and the underrated Sienna Miller also becoming unrecognizable as his loyal wife. Naomi Watts also stands out as Gretchen Carlson. The hair and make-up team put in Emmy worthy work here too. The supporting cast is just as strong and the production and costume design are pitch perfect. Another problem with the show is that even though it shows how bad of a man that Ailes was, it often fills in the blanks with its own fiction, taking away from the true life aspect of it all. While this is inevitable in many ways, the blanks get filled with some over the top moments. There was a solid amount of research done on this show, however, which is to be applauded. If you look into a lot of the accusations, they are very well represented in this show. One other problem is that the show often downplays real life moments on the show that don’t fit its narrative. For example, Obama’s ACORN scandal was a legitimate, large scandal (although much smaller than many of his bigger scandals like “Fast and Furious” or the IRS scandals, just to name a couple) that this show completely downplays as manufactured and no big deal, which is ludacris. The show also strangely has actors playing some Fox News personalities but then the real people shown for other ones. So we get to see the real Bill O’Reilly but an actor playing Sean Hannity. For some strange reason, we never even see Megyn Kelly outside of some old TV footage, but never as a character in the show, despite her importance. This inconsistency ended up being a distraction. Despite a lot of these problems, the show’s editing is sharp and keeps you invested. The last big problem come in the sub plots. There aren’t really any subplots outside of what happens with Beth (Roger’s wife) that runs through the season. Subplots last a couple episodes and then are discarded and forgotten about. The worst example of this is the subplot with Joe Lindsley, who almost acts like a son figure to Ailes. His subplot is short and underdeveloped and then ends as quickly as it came. All of the supporting characters who get their own subplots are underdeveloped and not on the show long enough to make an emotional difference from Annabelle Wallis to Seth MacFarlane. The episodes never run too long and with only seven episodes, this is an easy, entertaining watch. It is almost strange to call this a fun show to watch due to its disturbing, real life subject matter but as someone who enjoys politics, I did enjoy myself watching a lot of the non-sexual assault moments unfold. This is one of those shows that you definitely get something out of if you know that liberties were taken and there are some glaring issues with it but you will get to see some amazing performances and see the downfall of a perverted man who got away with what he did for far too long. They say the loudest voice in the room is generally not the strongest one and that rings true for this show as well.
#PaleAiles / #HouseOfLards / #WantsToGetHisFoxOff / #BadLuckBrian / #SexLiesAndVideoCassettes / #NoHemo