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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hulu’s ‘Battleground’ invigorates TV online

    There’s something delightful happening in the television world and you can’t get it through your cable company. Like its characters, Hulu’s original show “Battleground” is an underdog — but it’s one worth rooting for.

    “Battleground,” with a team that includes creator JD Walsh and executive producer Marc Webb of “(500) Days of Summer” fame, revolves around young people working on a fictional Wisconsin Senate campaign.

    It’s shot in the increasingly popular mockumentary style, but manages to use it a way that feels fresh and at times, dramatic. The documentary crew occasionally contributes to plot points and all of the interviews take place after the campaign, which allows the show to create suspense by giving hints at what’s to come. These hints make viewers wonder things such as, “Why is the speech writer being interviewed in the prison?” and “Wait, did they just use the past tense? Does that mean something?”

    The action doesn’t revolve around an awe-inspiring politician but rather the team she has working to make her election happen. At the show’s center is campaign manager Tak (Jay Hayden). Tak not only has to lead his dedicated but occasionally naive team but must also fend off low blows from the competition, make sure his candidate’s spouse doesn’t do something shady, spin everything to look positive and, if there’s time left over, try not suck so much at his home life.

    Office pranks and a loveable campaign staff also make this show a must-see. It’s a fun cast, from the endearing intern who accidentally has great ideas and kind of looks like Harry Potter to the nepotism-hire who thinks he knows about social media with “great” promo ideas involving showing the candidate’s face next to the words “abortion, immigration, education,” to the aggressive media relations person who could go to a better job but chooses to stay because she believes in what they’re all doing.

    In the end, what makes “Battleground” so compelling is it’s a bunch of people doing something they believe in in a way that isn’t forced or cloying. These are people who screw up, sometimes a lot. Each episode clocks in at about 20 minutes and within that time, it runs the gamut from wryly sidesplitting to devastatingly heartbreaking — but hey, that’s politics.

    So do yourself a favor and throw yourself a mini-marathon to catch up on all nine episodes on Hulu tonight, so you’ll be ready for the latest episode on Tuesday. Because if you aren’t watching “Battleground,” you’re missing out.

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