Graves – Season One (2016)

A fine TV series about an ex-president who is having second thoughts about his time in The White House.

Graves – Season One (2016)

Actors: Nick Nolte, Sela Ward, Skylar Astin, Helen Yorke, Chris Loewll
Directors: Joshua M. Stern, Bob Balaban, Robert Weide, Iain B. MacDonald, Frank Coraci
Studio: Kingsgate/ Lionsgate (2/7/17) [3 discs]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 screens, color
Audio: English 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDHExtras: : ”What Fresh Hell Is This?!”: Making Graves Season One, Family Dynamics: The Acting Ensemble, Gag Reel
Length: Approx. five hours
Rating: ****1/2

Nick Nolte does a terrific job (one of the nominees for Best TV Actor in the current Academy Awards) portraying a former two-term conservative president who embarks on a Don Quixote-like quest to right some of the wrongs of his administration and to reclaim his legacy 25 years after he was out of the White House.

One of the writers said they tried to put Nolte somewhere in between George Bush and Clinton. He and his wife live on a compound in New Mexico, where most of the ten-episode film series was shot. Living with them are Graves’ right-hand young man Isiah, and an older daughter and a son who has just returned from Iraq. They are all aghast at first at the changes Graves has wanted to make, from inviting Mexican emigrants to gather at his compound to telling the truth about the administration’s tiny support of the fight against cancer. Isiah is a conservative young man who worships Graves and has a hard time in his new role. The son is picked up by a TV channel for his outspoken negative commentaries on everything, and the beautiful daughter (whose recent marriage was just annulled) fall for and gets pregnant by a Mexican dope dealer, who then gets killed.

There is plenty happening in this wonderful series and Nolte is completely believable as the erstwhile president. Sela Ward is also great as his wife, who towards the end of the episodes is going to run for Congress as a conservative senator, in spite of a rumor of an affair with another.

—John Sunier

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