From the Grandstands: Thoughts on “The Circus” Episode 1: Outsiders

The Circus Episode 1

Our EC, Sumantra Lahiri, gives us his stray thoughts on The Circus’ first episode, “Outsiders”



On Sunday night instead of watching a random NBA game on League Pass or getting as much Super Mario Maker in before the work week, I sat down and watched the political documentary TV series, ‘The Circus: Presidential Campaigns from the Inside.’ Full disclosure here, I’m usually not up for political documentaries, since they either (a) get so personally invested in their subjects that they gloss over all indiscretions by them in the past or (b) completely decimate them on film, painting them as incompetent and/or the root of a certain policy problem. Regardless I figured to do my due diligence and check it out.


And… it was surprisingly good!


Originally some of the writers at The Post Turtle were thinking of just doing one giant review at the end of the season, but considering the episodes themselves deal with pretty recent events and their relatively all-access pass to the candidates make each episode amusing. So I figured to give an episode-by-episode rundown. We’ll see how long this lasts, because things can get chaotic here very quickly. But for right now, expect one of these per week.  


Anyway, here are some thoughts on Episode 1: Outsiders.



  • “Evangelicals Can Always Spot Their Own”: Episode 1 begins with Ted Cruz campaigning at a Christian bookstore. To be honest, Cruz’s campaign stop was impressive! As Cruz talked about his favorite Bible lines and how this election matters because “America’s values are at stake”, you started to see everyone in that bookstore hanging off of Cruz’s every word. I truly believe in these GOP primaries, the Evangelical vote will play a huge role in deciding who the nominee will eventually be. It will be interesting to see if Donald Trump, the current GOP frontrunner, can keep a large chunk of that group because I don’t think Trump would have been able to captivate that conservative bookstore crowd as well as Cruz had. Which as the before mentioned quotes states, Evangelicals can always spot their own.



  • I’m Just Going to Say It: Ted Cruz is a little too excited about a kaleidoscope with corn in it!




  • The Cult of Trump: Over the past few months, I’ve watched my share of Donald Trump speeches in packed arenas. While the crowds have been impressive, you never really got the sense of spectacle that these events actually created. Props to The Circus for actually capturing the “cult of personality” atmosphere from a hype-man building up the crowd to the, I shit you not, Trump dance troupe preforming before speeches! Trump rallies are spectacles, which makes you wonder if that’s something he can keep up for the remainder of these primaries. Or better yet, if his shtick would work in the general elections if he were to win the Republican nomination.



  • Messages of the Outsiders: Let’s be clear here, nobody thought Bernie Sanders would be a threat to the Clinton campaign in the Democratic primaries. NOBODY! But now as we are only a few days from Iowa and they are neck-and-neck. The same goes in the GOP primaries where two of the top candidates – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz – are as far as you can get from GOP Establishment picks. We’ve talked about this before on the site that the message of “Outsider Candidates” resonates to many because the underpinnings of their argument are very universal; the system is “rigged” and it’s holding the country back. Yet where they diverge is in the solution to that problem, where Cruz and Trump believe in less government intrusion, Sanders insists the government is the only entity that can fix the problems that we see today. The real question becomes, will the voters see it that way as well.



  • I Don’t Care How You Feel about Bernie Sanders, There’s No Way This Isn’t Adorable to You!!!


Sanders Grandchild



(Photo Credit: Showtime)


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