We're Getting Cancelled
Sometimes, when a television show is getting cancelled, the writers give up and do whatever they want to the characters and the story because they figure it doesn't matter anymore. This usually happens when the writers don't really love the show, or when changes brought about by the studio have caused them to lose any passion they may have once had for their work. As a result, bizarre plots and self destructing characters make their way on screen, and the audience just watches in horror, unable to look away from the train wreck. It's even worse when the show was great starting out, but you just can't like the final season, no matter how much you want to.
The United States of America, for lack of a better metaphor, is getting cancelled in the fall, so the writers are going a little crazy. In previous election years, or previous seasons, if you will, there were only strange moments. In our final season, however, there are no limits to what surprises may show up in each episode. One of the biggest surprises was the decision to make the comic relief the main character. At first, it seemed likely that it was just a diversion, and part way through the season Donald Trump would declare, "Gotchya!" As an audience, I think quite a few of us didn't seriously think the comic relief had a shot at actually being the main character. Yet, somehow, as we got into the height of the season with the beginning of the primaries, that's exactly what happened.
There's some interesting character development happening on the other side, with the Democratic party, that's becoming increasingly more frightening as time goes on. Hilary Clinton, the strong female character, has gone the way of many problematic female characters over time and based a huge chunk of her campaign on her gender. Writers, your strong female characters can't be so one-dimensional. The subplot of Clinton's crimes, for which she should be prosecuted, would be a lot more interesting if the writers intended to introduce any actual consequences for her actions. As it stands, she's been winning the Democratic primaries. The Democratic party's part of this show has been kind of boring this year though, and watching Clinton barely beat an old socialist doesn't have the appeal the writers must have thought it would. Bernie Sanders has been popular with young adult audiences, but his character hasn't received the spotlight.
So far this season, almost every episode has been about some drama in the Republican party. The ups and downs this year have been hard to keep up with. Some cheered during the episode in which Carly Fiorina flexed her debate muscles and showed the audience what a real strong female character looks like. Unfortunately, she was written off the show. Quite a few had a hard time watching the episode where Jeb Bush had to beg an audience to clap for him. He too has been written off the show. Many loved the quiet strength of Dr. Ben Carson, and he really did make a great character, but he's been completely overshadowed by the comic relief and the main secondary characters. Dr. Carson was my favourite character, but I'm afraid he's not long for this show anymore either.
The Republican party has some good potential characters they could focus on, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, but they suffer from a fatal flaw. They aren't as loud, as funny, as brash, or as indisputably popular as Donald Trump, the comic relief. Audiences like manufactured drama, something Donald Trump excels at. They also like to feel safe, and the writers have given Donald Trump an awful lot of dialogue about National Security. The problem is that the audience seems to have forgotten that Donald Trump was the comic relief. The writers clearly have, or something major would have shifted in the playing field already. It's when decisions like this happen in a show that you realize it's getting cancelled. The United States of America had some great seasons, and some really great episodes, but we're getting cancelled.