In addition to being a hardcore TV addict, I am a political junkie with an admitted liberal/borderline socialist bias. (My nightly routine, for example, is The Daily Show at 11, followed by what I refer to as “date night with Rachel Maddow”, where I watch the stream of her show online. This routine is absolutely sacred and non-negotiable.) I am also sadly a TV addict without access to HBO, so it took me about a week to both track down a copy of Game Changeand find time to actually watch it.
Between Meredith’s review and all the back-and-forth I’d heard about this movie, I’d fully expected to be a self-indulgent liberal wallow in Sarah Palin’s crazy with a healthy dose of “thank God we avoided that disaster, Obama 2012!” And I have to say, I watched it, and I vehemently disagree with anyone who has characterized it as such. I don’t know, maybe I watched a different version than everyone else did. Maybe going into it with the preconceived expectation I had made it so anything that didn’t fill that narrative seemed more shocking. Maybe I’m just weird. But I think the fact that people are even going into this movie going, “is it fair to Palin?” or “is it political?” are inherently going about watching this the wrong way. This movie isn’t about politics. In fact, for a political movie, it’s almost aggressively apolitical. The script never attaches value judgment to any political stances beyond discussing their relative popularity with the electorate. The only time any moralizing stance is ever taken is on the issue of race and even veiled race-baiting, which it comes down solidly against. (And if that’s a partisan or contentious issue that’s still up for debate in America, I’m quitting and moving to Antarctica to live with penguins.)