TV critics attending TCA appear to be suffering from Donald Trump exhaustion, and could not screw up the energy to ask outspoken Nick Nolte any questions about our current POTUS when he came to the confab to discuss his POTUS comedy Graves.
Instead, he got asked the much-worn junket question: “How much of your own personality do we see” in former two-term POTUS Richard Graves, as he tries to right the wrongs of his administration while, this season, getting out of the way of his wife’s Senate run.
“I don’t think there is much that isn’t me in the character,” Nolte answered, blowing the dust off the question. “You go to bed with yourself and get up with yourself. So why wouldn’t you take yourself to work?”
“It’s kind of a process of elimination – eliminating the parts of Nick Nolte that don’t fit in this ex-presidential being,” He added. “My problem is how to how to lighten the heart before I die. I want to go to my death with a light heart” which includes having “made a top-secret bomb that I know has to be dismantled.”
Nolte wanted to talk, at length, about his recent cataract surgery, which he described as “rather fun and scary at the same time” and “a modern medical miracle which I think, in New Mexico, is covered by the Health Care Act – Obama’s. It won’t be covered by Trump’s.” That’s about the closest Nolte got to politics during the Q&A.
Season 2 finds Graves turning inward in search of the man he used to be before he was POTUS, coinciding with wife Margaret’s (Sela Ward) campaign, and his assistant Isaiah Miller’s (Skylar Astin) search for new direction after taking a bullet for the president, literally in the Season 1 finale.
Last summer at TCA, Graves’ Q&A was thick with political questions. Creator Joshua Stern insisted the series was not, as TV critics were suggesting at the time, a skewering of Ronald Reagan. One TV critic, of the “it’s about Reagan” school, said the Reagan motif does not work, in that the series’ central character is not just a bad president, but is recognizing as having been one of the worse ever. Nolte had a zippy response; a good time was had by all.
One year later, no one’s talking about Reagan.