Review of: The Senator 

reviewed by jakenp on 12/28/2011
Credited Review
jakenp
Light on the satire Credited Review
The Senator follows Senator Raymond, a right-wing, publicly-in-the-closet gay Senator who is on the fast track to national notoriety. He has Reverend Johnson, a renowned TV preacher, on his side, and even meets with the weirdo president before delivering a speech at the Republican national convention. When the Senator's lies begin to unravel, big money people are affected, and kidnap him, threatening him and his family.

This was a pretty quick read, and you do a nice job with the biggest satirical elements of style. P.A.N.D.E.R. was pretty funny and the gospel-dome made me laugh out loud. Titan industries, etc...these details are here for sure.

But the meat of the story missed the mark for satire, for me. Satirical comedies have to have almost every element exaggerated. The one that comes to mind is Dr. Strangelove, where everyone is crazy. In The Senator, Reverend Johnson is evil and the president is a rambling weirdo, that's about it. Raymond's family is pretty vanilla and real, David is a nice guy, even the kidnappers toward the end really blended into the woodwork.

I never knew exactly what Raymond really wanted. I saw that he liked David, but he's kind of a jerk to him. He's not completely bought into the family stuff, but he rides that line for the majority of the story. I think it would help an audience if you can early on have it become apparent what Raymond wants, then make him struggle for it against all of the strange forces in the story world.

And that sort of flows into my next note, which is that the kidnapping didn't make a lot of sense to me. I think that if you had built a truly satire world throughout, then I could have gone along with what seemed to me to be a random decision on the Reverend's part to have Raymond kidnapped. (And also, I thought it was a bit of a cop out to just call the police. I feel like in real life, that 911 call would be met with a scoff, a laugh, and a hang-up.)

Finally, I would have liked to have seen more pages devoted to the latch-gate fallout. For me, this is the most dramatic part of the story, but it gets skimmed over with a montage. I want to see everyone reacting...what does David do, what does Raymond say to his family. What does the Reverend say to his congregation, his higher-ups.

The story read smoothly and did keep me engaged, I just had a hard time imagining this getting produced with such straight characters. But thanks for a good read.

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