I object to such programs [as Scandal, Veep, and House of Cards] not because I think we should show more respect for Washington, but because cynicism is precious and powerful stuff, not something to be squandered indiscriminately by any ignoramus with an algorithm. Cynicism can be the wellspring of reality and reform. But done like this, it merely feeds the cycle of federal disaster.

On the other hand, there is a city in which all these fantasias of corruption ring perfectly true, a place where bosses are amoral despots who flaunt their power and abuse their underlings, and where people really do think, in their moments of peak idealism, that celebrity culture will save the world. It’s just a shame that Hollywood can talk about its problems only by projecting them onto others.

Thomas Frank, “Power Rangers”