Barack Obama reveals which TV shows helped him write his memoir A Promised Land

Former president is a fan of Watchmen and The Good Place

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Wednesday 16 December 2020 20:42 GMT
Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Joe Biden on 31 October 2020 in Detroit, Michigan
Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Joe Biden on 31 October 2020 in Detroit, Michigan
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Barack Obama has revealed which TV shows helped him find inspiration while working on his memoir A Promised Land.

The former president was asked in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly which programmes he switched on when he needed a break while writing the 768-page volume.

Obama’s first pick was the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, which he praised for “its great characters and examination of the dark side of the American dream”. The show’s fifth season aired between February and April this year. A sixth and final season will follow.

Obama then cited The Good Place, the fantasy comedy series that aired for four seasons from 2016 to January this year. “It’s a wise and sweet combination of goofy comedy and big philosophical questions,” he said of the show, which starred Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D'Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto, and Ted Danson.

Also among Obama’s picks was Watchmen, the acclaimed adaptation of the DC Comics series of the same name starring Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons and more.

The former president’s final two picks were the NBA playoffs and The Boys, also a comic books series adaptation. Obama said he enjoys how “they turn superhero conventions on their heads to lay bare issues of race, capitalism, and the distorting effects of corporate power and mass media”.

A Promised Land was released in November and is currently at the top of the New York Times bestsellers list in the hardcover nonfiction category. Michelle Obama’s Becoming is in third position and has spent 95 weeks on the list.

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