Monday, July 16, 2012

Political Animals: Finally! Meet T.J. Hammond

The suicidal, drug addicted, gay, piano playing black sheep twin in the most powerful political family in the country. Huzzah!

Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals  
So we've finally officially met T.J. Hammond. Although he seems to be called Thomas and/or Tommy just as often as he's referred to as T.J. Before I talk about T.J. - I have to say - I give full props to USA for being entirely un-USAish. That was definitely the first and only thing I've ever seen on USA that I wouldn't feel comfortable watching with my grandmother.

Ellen Burstyn as Margaret Barrish and Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals 
On the whole, I really enjoyed the pilot. My one qualm is the casting of the former president, Bud Hammond. Why did the cast Ciaran Hinds? They talked about his charming seductive ways (a la a certain former cheating president whose wife went on to run for president and subsequently become secretary of state...) but this guy does not have that same charisma. He looks too greasy and gross. The greasy gross thing should be more secret and subtle. And Sigourney Weaver is much farther up the hot scale than he is. But whatever. I wasn't watching Political Animals for Bud Hammond.

Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish and Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals 
We got a few good T.J. scenes, but they were essentially the same scenes we'd come across in the previews. He has a random hookup with a dude who always wanted to sleep with him. He does some secret coke in a secret bathroom. He gives his mother fashion advice.

Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals 
Really - the best angsty moments were the moments T.J. wasn't a part of. Listening to his brother defend him after his plans for nightclub ownership were dashed was angsty. Hearing his mother point out that he's too weak for the scrutiny that comes with this family was angsty. Hearing that he was forced out of the closet and that he suffered great evil and vitriol was angsty. And his brother's absolute certainty that T.J. was lying about being with his sponser - angst angst angst.

Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals
I suppose the most overtly angsty moment was the flashback to T.J's suicide attempt. Suicide is angsty. He needs a hug! Or... a new identity in a quiet foreign country.

Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals Sebastian Stan as TJ T.J. Thomas Hammond on USA Political Animals
I've made quite a few comparisons between T.J. and the character Sebastian Stan played on NBC's show, Kings. But while Prince Jack was many things, weak wasn't one of them. He wanted the power more than he wanted his personal life. T.J. might be the foil to all the political animals on this show; the one who only plays because he has no other choice. I hope he gets more screen time in future episodes. But even if he doesn't, Sigourney Weaver is pretty damn awesome. So I'll be watching.

2 comments:

  1. Good call on the president, Bud. There are so many good actors that fit that role. Say, Ted Danson, Peter Gallager, I'm trying to think of more butb I think they missed big time with the yahoo they got in there now.

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  2. I like Hinds as Bud. He's paunchy, charming, rude, racist, a boozer, smoker, womanizer, warm, supportive, and a hell of a lot smarter than I thought. I can see why Elaine would have fallen for him, and still loves him. ;-P

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