I could hate HBO for making me feel any sympathy for a vicious campaign weasel like Steve Schmidt. Still, I can hardly blame the network for giving me exactly the sort of program I pay them for. It hits two of the themes HBO programmers love to death: social torture porn (Larry David, Eastbound and Down, Life’s too short) and true stories of capable people fighting to manage a situation that keeps mounting over their head (Too Big to Fail).
Around the half hour mark Julianne Moore gets her mojo back and it turns into a much more entertaining Frankenstein story. In one scene that defines this half of the movie Woody Harrelson as Schmidt sits down with Ed Harris and begs the campaign’s front man to get her in line. No can do, Ed says. “She might turn on me”.
A Hollywood studio will film the Obama portion of Game Change in five or six years. On the other hand Sarah Palin’s book has shut and this one-hour TV movie is all the coda she deserves.