This cable-television series aired in 1988 on HBO as a collaborative effort between Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Gary Trudeau and director Altman. It has variously been described as a "mockumentary" or a "reality-based" comedy, a political satire that examines the presidential race. The series chronicles the campaign of a fictional character. Jack Tanner, run-ning for the presidential nomination. As—Robert Altman describes it, "We find out what the political process is by joining it. We created a candidate. We're going on the campaign trail and we're sending along a couple of cameras to document the event." What is unique is that <i>Tanner '88</i> incorporates real-life individuals into the story. In the first episode, for instance, Senator Bob Dole, Reverend Pat Robertson and Senator Gary Hart appear, and the line between fiction and reality begins to blur. As Trudeau says, "The idea is to take a repertoire of fictional characters and have them rub up against reality and be buffeted by real events—as I do in the comic strip."
Unfortunately those of us who don't get HBO have never seen this award-winning program. Our three-day presentation will he highlighted by a discussion with "Tanner" creators Gary Trudeau and Robert Altman, who received an Emmy for his directing.
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<i>(Archives note: 11 episodes, 30 minutes each)</i>