November 5th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
With the race between Mitt Romney and President Obama being neck-and-neck, even fictional characters have weighed in on the "who are you voting for?" conversation.
While we're used to seeing political humor on shows like "Saturday Night Live" in an election year, the coverage of the road to November 6 has spilled over into lighthearted but timely plotlines on a number of TV sitcoms.
"30 Rock" has spent the past few episodes zeroing in on the election, showing the divide between Tina Fey's Liz Lemon and Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy.
In the October 25 episode, the politically polar opposite pair each tried different tactics to support their candidate of choice: Republican Jack Donaghy paid Don Cheadle and Jazz from "Transformers" to get them to do a pro-Romney ad, while the liberal Liz Lemon attempted to get a celebrity endorsement from "Twilight" star Kellan Lutz ... which didn't quite work the way she planned. In the end, they realized they'd need to sway the undecided vote, through Jenna Maroney, no less.
NBC's "The New Normal," which centers on a single mother (Georgia King) and a gay couple (Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells) who select her to be their surrogate, also tackled the election in its September 25 episode, "Obama Mama." Ellen Barkin portrays King's conservative mother, and she gets into a lengthy, terse discussion with Bartha and Rannells' characters over her support of Mitt Romney.
"You have two clearly gay liberal guys at the heart of the show, but we thought it would be great to do an episode where you presented the conservative point of view in a way that hopefully was as eloquent and certainly was given equal time," co-creator Ryan Murphy explained to TVGuide.
ABC's "Last Man Standing" took the same approach with its premiere on Friday, having Tim Allen's character, Mike Baxter, try to sway his daughter to cast her first vote for Romney, while her older sister tries to get her to vote for Obama. Allen's Baxter, of course, has shown his conservative side throughout the series:
Actress Alexandra Krosney, whose character squared off against Allen's as the Obama supporter in the house, told "Entertainment Tonight" that she thinks a political storyline helps rather than hurts.
"I'm really proud of us for doing this," she said. "I think it's the easy way out to just kind of like, keep things ambiguous. I think the fact that we're just speaking up and having a voice about it, and we're trying to do it in a way that's unbiased and raising a dialogue ... I hope it gets people to go out there and vote."
Animated characters are no exception, as even Mr. Burns and Homer Simpson have revealed which candidate wins their vote. It turns out, they're both Romney supporters (although they definitely have varying reasons):
The surprise with many of these examples isn't which candidate the character supported, but rather how it impacted their relationships - played, of course, for our amusement.
Do you think it's effective for a sitcom or comedy to write-in a political arc during election year, or do you prefer they leave politics out of it?
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