I made one final visit to The A.V. Club to do one of their Random Roles features, in which they ask an actor with a lengthy resume to talk about several of their roles over the years. It was thrilling to do this with John Goodman, who often seems to appear in every film and TV show (including his latest film, The Monuments Men).
Why does Goodman say yes to so many roles? “They were just too good to pass up,” he tells The A.V. Club. “Or, they seemed that way at the time!”
This was a fun trip down memory lane, helping Goodman — who is often a man of few words, at least when it comes to doing interviews — recount a fraction of his memorable TV and film performances. I’ve loved reading these Random Roles stories for years, so it was nice to close out my A.V. Club writing by putting together one of them myself.
I returned to The A.V. Club for a story about how much the depiction of political leaders have changed on TV from the days of The West Wing’s Josiah Bartlet. As I wrote,
Seven years after The West Wing ended its run, audiences now gravitate toward political shows like House Of Cards, Scandal, Veep, and the new Alpha House, which are all marvelous (okay, maybe not Alpha House, though John Goodman provides the hope that it might find its way), but revolve around presidents and other leaders who are either despicable, incompetent, or both. In other words, they’re just as selfish, sleazy, and/or stupid as we perceive many contemporary leaders to be.