Laura Petrie TV Review

Modern and Classic Television

Category: Amazon

Alpha House

I recently splurged on a new television – a so-called 4K resolution television, to be exact. Without getting into all the specifics about what that means, why it’s not really…

I recently splurged on a new television – a so-called 4K resolution television, to be exact. Without getting into all the specifics about what that means, why it’s not really 4K, and so on…I’ll just launch into the review.

It’s relevant because I am not accustomed to seeing the fine details of an actor’s face and wardrobe. More now than ever, I appreciate the detail that is invested into the scenery, props, costumes, makeup, and all the extremely important members of the TV-making family.

Seeing deeply into the face grooves of John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, and Mark Consuelos in the highest of high definition was a treat because these are some excellent actors. These four gentlemen are the central characters in Alpha House, an Amazon original.

Oh and did I mention I can use an application on my Wifi-enabled TV to watch this and other Amazon shows?! Sorry…I really can’t get over how much the technology has improved. And these fake senators encounter the realities of modern life, too.

John Goodman plays Gil John Biggs from North Carolina. His past as a basketball coach pokes fun at certain aspects of the semi-celebrity senator and even alludes to a notoriously-angry basketball coach from another Republican state. Can you guess? What if I simply say, “chair?”


My favorite character is Louis Laffer, played expertly by Matt Malloy. He’s the Mormon senator from Nevada who owns the house where each of the characters live for their work in the capital city. He and his wife Louise (Amy Sedaris) are furthest right on the political spectrum and their antics as a couple are increasingly hilarious.


Technology and communications play a role in this show as well. It’s clear how television influences and directs the characters in their advertising efforts, latest news about their other politician friends, and even a couple of hovering drones.

The show is smart – very smart, actually. But that’s what you might expect after discovering that the creator and writing lead is Garry Trudeau of the Doonesbury comic strip.

If you don’t want to watch for smarty pants reasons, then maybe you’ll tune in just to see Mark Consuelos as Andy Guzman representing the fine state of Florida. He’s the charmer of the bunch and is definitely meant to remind us of 2016 candidate, Marco Rubio. The jokes write themselves…but look at that smile!


Clark Johnson (you may know him from The Wire) is Robert Bettencourt from Pennsylvania. He seems to hold the group together, but faces the toughest re-election campaign. I was hooked on his character after the fire. See now you have to watch just to find out what I’m talking about.


There is an undercurrent of hypocrisy and clear jabs at the ridiculousness of politics, but you end up bonding with the characters and enjoying the many cameos. As of this writing, it’s unclear whether the show will go into a third season, but it’s definitely time for political humor as we get into the 2016 Presidential election.

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Four Stars

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