If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that the path of this presidential election has had no shortage of parallels to the world of televised entertainment (perhaps it was only natural with a candidate that lists reality TV on his résumé). Now, with Election Day finally upon us, let’s pause for a brief moment to examine a few fictional races’ most outlandish campaigns. In other words, here’s what not to do.
From Scandal: Don’t rig it.
Remember when Olivia Pope and co. rigged the election so that Fitz would win? Well, it may have worked, but we can all agree Fitz’ presidency didn’t do the country any favors. Anyone more invested in Vermont jam than the welfare of the American people is not fit to lead this country.
Also, don’t mention your out-of-wedlock lover during a nationally televised speech.
Let Fitz’s endlessly poor decision-making when it comes to his romantic life serve as example.
From Veep: Don’t sleep with your VP.
In a fabulously glaring display of what not to do, Selina Meyer agrees to pick Tom James as her running mate even though they had slept together 12 years ago. So what does she do when he basically attempts to steal the office from her? Uh, she has sex with him again. (Don’t take notes, people.)
From House of Cards: Don’t orchestrate an entire conspiracy theory to impeach the current president. Oh, and no committing murder.
Well, you might get away with it and snag the office yourself — but only if you’re Frank Underwood.
From Parks and Recreation: Don’t date your campaign manager.
So she did eventually win, but Leslie Knope’s run for city council against privileged, inarticulate Bobby Newport — which should have been a breeze — was jeopardized over her relationship with campaign manager Ben Wyatt. And also #neverforget that one time she gave a televised interview completely wasted.
From Saved by the Bell: Don’t run unless you really want to win.
Who knew Bayside High would apply here? In season 1, Zack Morris decides to run for class president against Jessie Spano — but only after he finds out the winner gets a free trip to Washington, D.C. When the trip gets canceled, Zack launches a neo-fascist campaign to lose on purpose. Spoiler alert? He wins anyway.