Sunday, March 11, 2012

More Palin for Sunday on Reelz Channel Tonight with "The Undefeated"


The Flaming Nose can heartily recommend HBO's newest original movie Game Change which premiered last night.  As you learned in our previous post -- and no doubt were inundated with the same info from all media outlets the past weeks or so -- Game Change focused on the relatively short period of time in 2008 when Sarah Palin was picked to serve as John McCain's running mate up until the team's defeat at the polls.
Julianne Moore gave a compassionate performance, delineating Palin's clearly genuine warmth and love of family as well as the boundless ambition which surfaced as she was thrust into the public spotlight. Palin knew what she wanted -- at least after she realized the vistas now open to her -- and her personal chase was on.

The most memorable theme running through the movie was the notion that celebrity and charisma are what get people elected these days.  Obama certainly had star power, brains and pure political oomph; he went to the White House with them intact but has (sadly) somewhat let the hope he inspired in voters dissipate -- like air out of a balloon -- during the ensuing years.  Palin was a true diamond in the rough, her self-confidence akin to that of Debbie Reynolds as the Unsinkable Molly Brown.  In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here's Debbie singing "I Ain't Down Yet" (which could be Palin's manifesto, too).  Substitute Alaska for Colorado and I think you've pretty well figured Palin out.




Four years after the McCain/Palin ticket's loss, Palin certainly isn't down.  I think she got what she wanted -- fame and riches -- although objectively she's still relying on her fanatic base to put her over the top in whatever she does.  Her 2010 Sarah Palin's Alaska reality series on TLC started big but didn't hold onto the gigantic opening ratings, and though she's been shopping around a sequel starring her husband and his snowmobile, no takers so far.  That Palin has not sought the Republican nomination to run for President this year rather characterizes her reach and grasp; a million bucks from Fox News for her services, personal appearance fees and book revenues are more in keeping with the current American dream.  Politics is, as they say, show business for ugly people.  (Read about the origin of that phrase here.)  Actual show business for a pretty woman has a better payout, for sure.

One of the off-shoots of the Palin political pizazz was last year's documentary The Undefeated, directed by Stephen K. Bannon, about Palin's life and career.  The movie disappointingly played to less-than-full theaters when it was released (and honestly what did they expect? Kids go to movies, Tea Partiers seldom do), but Reelz Channel has smartly picked it up and will be premiering it tonight at 8pm.  The Undefeated doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is -- a cinematic love letter celebrating the Palin mystique -- but airing it now on the heels of Game Change is a terrific scheduling coup for Reelz.  (You will also see a lot of conservative political correspondent Andrew Breibart who passsed away a couple of weeks ago.)

The Undefeated | Movie Trailer | Review

The Undefeated airs on Reelz tonight at 8pm and at 11pm, Eastern time, and again tomorrow Monday at 10pm and Sunday, March 25th at 5:30pm.  They've got links to a slew of coverage about the film on their website, so be sure to check them out if you crave more on The Undefeated. 

Palin and her politics couldn't be further from my own worldview, but her stardom is an interesting phenomenon.  These days especially the bar seems to be set appallingly low, with the pop culture hit parade feeling more like an old timey sideshow line-up, full of strange people behaving badly.  (Which unfairly characterizes sideshows, I realize.)  I'm not a Palin fan, but if I were a person in today's America, horrified at what I thought was a degradation of the country I grew up in, I'd probably have lined-up behind Palin, too.  She offered herself up in relatable images, like a June Cleaver packing a high-powered hunting rifle, or maybe Harriet Nelson speaking tongues in an evangelical church service, or Donna Reed standing up and saying the kinds of things that make some voters believe that the country can be shoved into a time machine and taken back to the 1940s. 

Can't happen, of course, but it's a powerful dream for some and The Undefeated might show us why.

6 comments:

Judith said...

Lisa, good and fair post and as you know that is a compliment coming from me on this issue. Well crafted, although they the gift of tongues is not used in Evangelical churches. The gift is used in Pentecostal churches.

Lisa said...

Hi Judith! She is an amazing personality, that's for sure, and I wouldn't deny that, ever. I don't know if she's become corrupted, but certainly because she is so powerfully appealing her influence goes far beyond mere objective measure. Sorry about mis-attributing the speaking of tongues to the wrong branch; it's a fascinating concept, strange to non-believers but a gift, for sure. Thanks for your kind assessment.

Gary said...

"Game Change" is nothing more than a poorly done Obama campaign contribution.

Other than the fact Sarah Palin did indeed run for Vice President, there is not a single fact in the movie.

Though there could have easily been a Top 100, here's the Top 10 lies in "Game Change"

http://bit.ly/wo4rVg

As for Julianne Moore's portrayal, like most of her acting, it's wooden and uninspiring.

I know you say you don't agree with Palin's politics, though from reading your article, I bet you don't truly know what they are, nor do you know about her career.

I've followed Palin since early 2007 and I can tell you, she is the real deal.

Alaska is fiercely independent and Alaskans are easily impressed, and yet, Palin's approval ratings stood between a high of 93% and a low of 88% through most of her term. She was in fact, the highest rated Governor in the nation, and possibly the highest rated elected official period.

Her ratings were there for years, until the Obama regime's concerted effort to take her down started.

Palin took on the corrupt Republican Party.

As you may or may not know, after being term limited as Mayor, Sarah ran for Lt Governor and lost. Many thought she would be chosen to fill the new Governor's [Frank Murkowski] U S Senate seat. Her political star was very high. Instead the seat went to Daddy's girl, Lisa.

Murkowski appointed Palin Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Convention, one of the state's most powerful positions. It was there she uncovered massive corruption.

She took this all to her boss, the Governor, and was basically told to sit down and shut up. She threatened to go public and Alaska's Attorney General Gregg Renkes threatened her with jail time if she did.

You think Palin is all about "fame and fortune" but that's BS.

She was making well over $100,000 a year as AOGCC chair, and frankly, was about to commit political and career suicide, but did it anyway.

Palin resigned her high paying job and went after the Attorney General, the head of the Alaska Republican Party [who was a fellow AOGCC commissioner] as well as the Governor himself.

When I first learned of Palin, the FBI was still frog marching corrupt Republican lawmakers off to prison.

One other money thing. Palin slashed Alaska's budget to the bone. She sold off the useless jet Murkowski bought, laid off much of the Mansion staff, including the cooks, and even refused an official car. She drove herself to work, in her own car.

Oh, and when the Alaska legislature offered her and her Lt Governor [now Governor] a $25,000 a year raise [from $125,000 to $150,000] both turned it down.

Some money hungry diva, huh.

Gary said...

Palin did more in 3 legislative terms [nearly 3 years] than many politicians do in a lifetime, including some presidents. She not only reformed Alaska politics, she went after Big Oil and reformed the relationship between the oil companies and the state. This ended up being mutually beneficial, though Big Oil didn't get it at the time.

In fact, she took on the biggest corporation on earth and whipped those guys like rented mules!

You seem to be a fair person, besides watching an accurate portrayal of Sarah Palin in The Undefeated, I suggest reading Kay Cashman's book "Sarah Takes on Big Oil"

It's a fair and balanced look at how Palin went after corruption and won. Cashman is the publisher of Petroleum News, the industry weekly, and an energy expert. You can get the book at Amazon.

Check it out.

Millions support Sarah Palin because of the type of person she is and her reputation of getting things done. She puts principle over party.

With the current field of Republican presidential hopefuls offering little more than being "Anybody but Obama" [not a bad selling point] there is a significant number looking toward Tampa, an open convention, and the real chance of a Palin/West ticket emerging. If you learn more about the real Sarah Palin, you'll get why that would be the best for our nation.

Thanks for your time

Lisa said...

I'm happy that Sarah Palin fans have found The Flaming Nose TV Blog, too!

While I disagree vehemently with Palin's right-wing philosophy and religious bent, I do appreciate her undeniable charisma. Were she more to the center, I could imagine a personality like hers going almost anywhere in terms of sheer power, gathering fans from the right and from the left.

History is subjective to a great degree; we lionize our idols and tear down our opponents. Sarah has a huge following and to her she can do little wrong. Her characteristics and her backstory are the stuff of a PR person's dream, and I don't think that the movie dissed that part of her, only her behavior on the campaign trail.

I do stick to the notion that the allure of money that has characterized her career after her VP run. There's money and then there's BIG MONEY. The kind of money she's making these days is a far cry from the relatively piddly (in terms of celebrity paydays) amounts she made in Alaska. She didn't marry money or inherit it like so many politicians, and in today's world it's not surprising that she'd want to make plenty of it now when given the chance.

She is a fascinating woman -- I wish the left had as charismatic a female leader!

Thank you, Gary, for writing.

(I also think that she may be gearing up for some kind of run this fall, btw. Unless the living it too good on the outside!)

Toby O'B said...

As I scrolled down, I saw the first line of the headline and thought it signaled the return of Michael Palin. My soul is not lost....