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The Binge Watch List: Amazon original Alpha House season 2 is live

Monty Ashley | Oct. 28, 2014
As of today (October 24), the second season of Alpha House is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video for watching in big, several-episode gulps. Created by Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, Alpha House follows four senators who are roommates in Washington, DC. You might think that senators make enough money that they don't have to quadruple up on housing, but you sometimes have to make some allowances for a show's premise. You weren't complaining when that nice monster family moved in at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, were you?

Speaking of guest stars, Alpha House has plenty: Senator Molloy's wife is played by Amy Sedaris. Haley Joel Osment has a recurring role as a television reporter. Wanda Sykes is a Democratic senator who has little time for the shenanigans of any of these goofs. People also appear as themselves, so you know this is a world where Stephen Colbert exists. Although it probably wasn't that hard for Garry Trudeau to convince Jane Pauley to show up, since they're married.

What makes it not so great?

It has a point of view that might not be to your taste. The four main characters are all Republicans, and most of the people they interact with are also Republicans. And because this is a comedy, pretty much every character is some combination of self-serving, venial, or corrupt. Sure, the occasional Democrat sneaks in there, but it's always possible that maybe a show created by Garry Trudeau just won't be up your alley. After doing Doonesbury for 44 years, he's pretty much decided what team he's on.

You basically just have to decide if you're offended or entertained when someone says something like "Mr. President, when I was in school, they didn't teach climate change. We didn't need it then and we don't need it now." Although to be fair, the character who says that is considered as old and out-of-touch even by the main Republican characters.

What's the math?

The West Wing times Animal House minus the food fights and toga parties.

So, how is it?

It's a funny show. You can do a lot worse than to have John Goodman as a central character on a half-hour situation comedy.

How may hours should I watch at a time?

Five. You heard me! This show goes down very smoothly, and you can knock out a season in one marathon viewing without it feeling like a chore. Then watch the second season the next day.


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