Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Situation Out of Control

Blissfully unawares, and I am not the only one ("I don’t know why The Brink hasn’t been more popular—or why none of my friends have watched it, or seem to know it exists"), I stumbled on to an article on a television series, "The Brink", a new half-hour dark comedy series that 

focuses on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: Walter Larson (played by Tim Robbins), the US Secretary of State; Alex Talbot (Jack Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Tilson (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. These three compromised souls must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War Three. 

and found this:

The action shifts to Washington, D.C., where the secretary of state, Walter Larson (Tim Robbins), is summoned from the bed he is sharing with an Asian call girl and driven to the president’s Situation Room, where the Cabinet is informed that there has been a military coup in Pakistan. The legally elected Pakistani prime minister has been ousted and replaced by General Zaman, “our hand-picked guy until he turned radical.” In his first televised speech, Zaman seems more than a little mad; his rhetoric is alarming, even for a demagogue. He calls the US drone war a Zionist conspiracy that has saturated Pakistan with electromagnetic waves, ”a secret diabolical program to alter the reproductive biology of our girls and to emasculate our boys.” He vows to use long-range missiles to “remove the Zionist state,” a promise that elicits a phone call to the US president from the Israeli prime minister, who threatens to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Pakistan unless the United States does so first.

Another Israel link:

In yet another sequence Larson jets to Israel, where he throws around a few Yiddish words (trying to get past the guard barring him from entering the government offices, he raises the specter of a “meshugana international incident”) and tells the Israeli foreign minister that he is “mishpocha with every Jewish senator, Boxer, Schumer, Feinstein.” To which she replies, “It’s not the Jews who protect us. It’s Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi. It’s your right-wing neo-con super-Christians. And they don’t even like Jews. They just need us here to keep the lights on for their f*cking Messiah.”...Walter’s crucial conference with the Israeli prime minister takes place poolside and involves a bet on which of the minister’s grandsons will win a swimming race. The future of the world appears to depend on which kid comes in first, and Robbins flings his entire body and soul into cheering on the chubby grandson who always loses.

If that sounds a bit familiar, this did, too, from personal knowledge:

Alex Talbot (played by Jack Black) leaves the American embassy in Islamabad...and persuades an embassy driver, Rafiq Massoud (Aasif Mandvi), to take him to the bazaar, where he plans to buy some pot. (One of the things the show gets right is the extent to which our embassies and consulates abroad depend on the knowledge and forbearance of local employees.) 

It also applies to top media correspondents.  And this is in the same vein:

 “Look how insane these guys are! Can you believe they’re in positions of influence and power?”

If interested, plot summaries start here


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