Can the couple bring it off once again? If they can't, it won't be the first time a show failed when main characters tried to spin off into separate series, losing much of the magic that made the act compelling. From the start, the thing that made The Clintons work was the unlikely union of opposites, held together in an attraction-revulsion dynamic, with the whole adding up to more than the sum of its parts. As a sum, they are, and remain, an incredible story. As parts, however, they are merely stock players: an aging roué, who is almost too facile, and a grimly ambitious feminist lawyer, with a tough but conventional mind. In 1992, they seemed fresh and exciting; now they are part of the system and the problem; they were young; now they're not far from the age that the elder George Bush was when they ran against him. And if her job was tough, Bill's is still tougher: It is easier to discipline a huge and unruly political talent than to try to breathe talent into a humorless disciplinarian....Ending 1 is way too boring. Ending 2 makes the best TV show -- for my taste, at least. But I'm not watching it on TV, I'm watching it in the news and trying to blog, and from that perspective, I've got to say that Ending 3 looks juicier than Emery makes it sound. Nevertheless, I'm not hoping for the news that makes the best raw material for blogging. That would be evil.
Whether this pol will achieve her lifelong ambition is a whole other story, and one that is yet to be seen. Writers are working on three different endings: In the first, she loses and goes back to the Senate, where she makes peace with her limits and destiny; in the second, she loses, makes Bill's life hell, and rages on at him and the world for the rest of eternity; in the third, she wins, Bill pulls her over the finish line, and they go back to the White House for four or eight years of the same old dynamic, but this time with her owing him. However it ends, it will be quite a story. It will be must-see TV.
May 28, 2007
"An aging roué, who is almost too facile, and a grimly ambitious feminist lawyer, with a tough but conventional mind."
Noemie Emery -- in The Weekly Standard -- tells the story of Bill and Hillary as a long-running TV soap opera. What do the script writers have in store for us next season?