TV First Look: Political Animals
There's a new first family heading to your TV screens. Meet Elaine Barrish, former first lady turned U.S. Secretary of State, who's balancing a political crises in the State Department with familial chaos which includes a philandering ex-huband/former president Bud Hammond (played perfectly by Ciarán Hinds), a son battling addiction and another son with his own political aspirations and agenda. Political Animals, starring Sigourney Weaver as Barrish, premieres July 15 on Bravo and its complex web of drama is sure to snare you well before the first of its six episodes closes.
Proving that ensemble casts are the new breakout star, Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn plays Elaine's mother Margaret (a one-time Vegas showgirl with incredible wit); Sebastian Stan (Gossip Girl, Once Upon a Time) shines as first son and damaged lost soul T.J., while James Wolk (Happy Endings, Lonestar) gives him a run for his money as his twin brother - and Barrish's chief of staff - Douglas; and Carla Gugino has them all on their toes as never-tiring D.C. journalist Susan Berg.
The series paints a bleak (and therefore believable?) picture of life behind-the-curtain for a family facing constant public scrutiny. Weaver shines in her first television series regular role portraying a very real and vulnerable woman who is also a political powerhouse unwilling to break regardless of external strains and pressures.
Be sure to tune in to Bravo on Sunday, July 15 at 9 p.m. for the 90-minute premiere and see if this family will fall apart or bind together to survive the turmoil.
(Photos: USA Network/David Giesbrecht)