Praying For Good Reviews

Posted October 1, 2003 at 3:51pm

Earlier this week, Roll Call asked you, our readers, to send in your opinions of HBO’s docudrama “K Street.” We have culled your responses and selected some of the more interesting ones, keeping the pro and con messages proportional to what we received. Based on this sampling, it would seem Congressional staffers enjoy the show much more than other viewers.


Thumbs Up

I am definitely gonna watch the entire season. And although Francisco Dupre is a bit freaky, I know that there is something not kosher about him, and I wanna know what that is.
Anil Babbar
Office of Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.)

So far I love “K Street.” I would not know if it really represents the Capitol, since I am a district office staffer, but so far I am entertained. Interesting way of incorporating current events. I’ll continue watching.
Francisca G. Ferrer
Office of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)

Mixed Reviews

I think “K Street” does a good job in portraying the informal and often cut-throat nature of the lobbying industry. The show lets the viewer experience the sometimes chaotic and stressful environment that exists in such a job. However, the average HBO viewer, who may not be very familiar with the Washington political scene, may not be making the connection to the significance of whom the show’s actors are interacting with. For example, a viewer may not know the political significance of the appearances of Senator Rick Santorum or Senator Orrin Hatch or have any idea of the real-life roles of James Carville and Mary Matalin. Other than the show’s Web site, viewers have little background to go on.
Matthew Keller
Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein

Well, they wanted to shoot a non-Hollywood-esque show to give that reality effect taking over television today, and this, they have accomplished. As a person inside the Beltway, I can appreciate the current issues they address, the acronyms and the political figures appearing on the show. However, how many people in mid-America really know what the heck James Carville is talking about when he uses RNC, DNC, RIAA, etc. in one sentence, much less who Mr. Carville even is? Many Americans don’t even know the name of their Congressperson, and certainly, have no idea that James and Mary are married and on different sides of the political spectrum. The show has captured some of the reality that exists inside the Beltway, but they should remember that when they have a character take a phone call from Mitch Bainwol with absolutely no intro as to who he is, they may lose the interest of most HBO viewers!!
Jenny Sheffield
Office of Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
PS — They need to tone down the actual actors. For lack of a better word, they are so cheesy.

Thumbs Down

As a former Member and now working as a lobbyist, in the words of a longer generation, the show sucks.
Ex-Rep. Jim Lightfoot (R-Iowa)

I am a lobbyist … and I have been in D.C. 13 years. I find the show bizarre and stilted; there are a lot of inaccuracies and incongruencies. For example, Mary Matalin would never send a lackey to talk to Santorum (a stakeout? please). She could, and would, pick up the phone, principal to principal, and make the call herself. I admire Mary Matalin and I may be one of the few Republicans in town who can actually appreciate Carville, but their performances (shall I call them performances, or is it really them?) are just bizarre. Granted, a lot of really off-the-wall things happen and are said in this town, especially behind closed doors, but “K Street’s” take on what goes on is beyond the pale.
Shannon Campagna
National Beer Wholesalers Association

It’s been said politics is like making sausage; you don’t want to watch. I’m afraid that’s even more true of lobbying, so I can’t watch this program without my cynic meter blowing its top.
Ken Albrecht
Louisville (Ky.) Orchestra

What’s with the whispering guy, Francisco?? I don’t know anyone on the Hill who talks like that and expects to be taken seriously. I want to take Maggie to my stylist so she can overcome her fear of COLOR!
Christine Wolf
The Fund for Animals

I tried to like it, I really did, but it’s just unwatchable. If I wanted to hear Carville blither away, I’d just tune into CNN.
Jesse Benton
National Club Association

I would rather watch paint dry.
Bud DeFlaviis
Office of Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.)