Not since he co-wrote the screenplay for "Wag the Dog" has David Mamet tackled (attacked?) the scene of presidential political yet in January, 2008, he returns with what promises to be another biting (yep, bad pun) look in a play called November.
Writes Campbell Robertson of the New York Times, "It is a contemporary comedy about a president named Charles Smith and is set a few days before the election, in which he is running as an incumbent. The action unfolds over one day and involves, according to a synopsis provided by the producers, 'civil marriage, gambling casinos, lesbians, American Indians, presidential libraries, questionable pardons and campaign contributions.'"
While Mamet is often better at creating multi-faceted male characters his current TV show, "The Unit" co-created with The Shield show's Sean Ryan has extraordinarily varied female characters. They, too, have many sides, showing bravery and fraility, well acted and often moving me to tears. Although it is a show about a Delta Force-styled "unit" the stories of the wives on the homefront are as prominent and realistic as those of men on secret missions. The life of secrecy affects them all.
Robertson reports that, "Wags have dubbed the series 'Desperate Housewives Meet G.I Joe.' The quip draws a measured response from Mamet.
'Maybe. It gets pretty desperate on both sides,'" he said.
The "housewives" on The Unit are admirable women of character and nuance that I've not seen on Desperate Housewives. Even in their most frightening moments I doubt that the women characters on The Unit would make the "desperate" choices made on the other show. Mamet's ear for dialogue - and his ability to attract remarkable talent makes this show indicative of how an ongoing story on TV can often have shining moments not possible in a movie. Just like Friday Night Lights.