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Showtime is currently making the world of marriage a battlefield with the clever infidelity drama The Affair, and they might soon expand that war zone to include the entire United States. The network has teamed up with a former political insider for the drama Anthem, which presents a situation that could bring this country to a second Civil War. And it’s got nothing to do with a bacon shortage.
Anthem sounds basically like a contained downward spiral, a bipartisan barber shop pole if you will. One election day becomes the catalyst for the all-encompassing degradation of the U.S. political system, and the democratic exercise ends in America nudging its way towards a fight against itself, “under the weight of mistrust and partisan division,” according to Deadline. I’m guessing it isn’t a coincidence that this news came out during the midterm Election Day, on which (hopefully) the majority of our citizens spent a few minutes in voting booths. Thankfully nothing on the ballots this year seemed heinous enough to warrant instant militant action.
It isn’t clear just how invested in Anthem Showtime is, only that the network pulled out ahead of others in competitive bidding. The project was written by former Barak Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, who also wrote speeches for Hilary Clinton during her Senate time. It’s his second trip into the world of television, as he also co-created the short-lived D.C. comedy 1600 Penn. Here’s hoping this project’s drama is stronger than that show’s comedy, and features 100% less Josh Gad.
Serving as executive producers for Anthem are Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who are also writing and executive producing Showtime’s Wall Street drama pilot Billons. Together they wrote Rounders and Ocean’s Thirteen, as well as Knockaround Guys and Solitary Man, which they also directed.
It’s almost completely ludicrous to think about Civil War II being incited by a national election, but spending any amount of time on social media during the election season tends to shine a light on how ugly things can get when words like “liberal” and “conservative” are thrown around. I can barely remember an election that didn’t have a mountain of controversy attached to it, since both term elections for Barack Obama and George W. Bush were met with various problems. Those situations got quite heated, and no wars became of them (at least in this country), so what in the hell can happen on Anthem that draws sides so distinctly?
Showtime has a solid slate of series in development to complement the veteran shows on its schedule. There’s the meaning-of-joy drama Happyish with Steve Coogan and the remake of In the Heat of the Night, but the most exciting of all is the return of Twin Peaks in 2016. Maybe Anthem’s war is all about the latter series’ Season 2 shift in narrative.