Film and TV

Tea Party and Conspiracy Theory 'Sploitation TV Coming Soon

This past week, two new television series were announced with plot lines and characters dealing with right-wing and conspiracy-centric characters, proving that even though the mainstream may shun their ideas and political motivations, TV execs know that they can translate into great ratings. And maybe even the real-life people the shows are supposed to be about -- your survivalist uncle in Montana or your co-worker who spends his day at his desk glued to Alex Jones podcasts -- may tune in, too.

A breakdown two years ago of viewing habits sorted by political party offers some insight. Republicans love Modern Family -- even with the same-sex couple -- and Dems really dig on the randy, vodka-swilling Mad Men. To be fair, there is a boat-load of stupid on each list.

What about us in the middle of the road who just want to take off our pants after work and watch 12 hours of Pawn Stars?


Producers Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott have already got ABC's Zero Hour with ER's Anthony Edwards and former Real World-er turned actress Jacinda Barrett in leading roles, set for a mid-season start.

Well, a drama that looks like a Da Vinci Code-type suspense thriller: just screams National Treasure: The Series to me. Of course, terrorists are after the editor of a conspiracy theory magazine, and of course I will watch it.

Last week they sold the pitch for Founding Fathers, about a "a small Texas town under the control of a militia group," which sounds like Sons of Anarchy but with stockpiled food and copious trips to the gun show. The main character is an Afghanistan vet who is seduced into the militia by his older brother. I have big money on there being tons of Texas stereotypes ("y'all better git") and a modern Billy Jack slant.

Colony Bay Productions, a production house financed in part by Tea Party money, is already gearing up work on a number of series. Last year they brought forth Courage, New Hampshire about Revolution-era colonists.

A few weeks back The Blaze, Glenn Beck's own news site, reported on a fledgling reality show pitting Occupy kooks and and Tea Party cranks -- two of the most made-for-each groups -- against each in some sort of Big Brother/Survivor brain orgy.

Donate to the O Vs. TP Kickstarter, won't you? Join the 180 backers who have already chipped in $12,077 to see two misguided groups try to find flags inside giant vats of Jell-O (maybe) and answer rhetorical questions (for sure).

Shades of this old Mr. Show sketch come to mind, when the Civil War guys and the space chums have it out. Both are essentially based on distorted views of reality.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty