Considering print journalism’s apparent inability to keep pace with the Internet and its encroaching army of bloggers, I delight in stumbling upon witty features from print magazines or newspapers that actual entertain on the same level as my favorite online media outlets (Read: Gawker). The latest of these successes is Newsweek’s new series “The District,” a spoof of MTV’s The City. The online series parodies Whitney Port and her big move to NYC by substituting Barack Obama as the young, wide-eyed hero and Washington, D.C. for, well, The City.
Newsweek gets it just right. Opening with sweeping shots of Washington set to an unremarkable pop track, our narrator “Barrack” sets the context of the show with a confident voice-over detailing his life thus far. The soundtrack, the visual layout, the aerial shots of the city, even a plot that bores from start to finish— The District cleverly mirrors The City to perfection for pure entertainment. For your pleasure, a side-by-side comparison!
On leaving behind the Perfect Life:
Whitney: “I’m Whitney. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, living the California dream. But then I heard about the Opportunity of a Lifetime.”
Barack: “I’m Barack. I was a senator from Illinois, living the Chicago dream with my wife Michelle and my girls Sasha and Malia. Then I heard about the Opportunity of a Lifetime.”
On making new friends:
Whitney: “In this city, you have to figure out pretty quickly where you fit in: there are the downtown girls… and then there are the downtown guys… and then there’s the uptown crowd. And then there’s this guy I’m dating, Jay. He’s everything I should stay away from: young, good-looking and not used to having just one girlfriend.”
Barack: “In this city, you have to learn pretty quickly where you fit in: there are the Democrats, like my best friends Joe and Hillary. We used to be frenemies… now, they’re totally on Team Barack. Then there’s the Republican crowd- we don’t really see eye-to-eye on most issues…”
On finding enough drama to fill a whole TV season:
Whitney: “I’m going to have to figure out where I fit in and who I can trust. And it all begins here, in The City.” [Cue “Give me them bright lights, long nights…”]
Barack: “Now I’m going to have to figure out what I can change and who I can trust. And it all begins here, in The District.” [Cue “Give me them bright lights, long nights…”]
Brilliant! And the best news? New episodes of The District will appear on newsweek.com every Monday night! Get psyched: if Newsweek’s new drama truly follows in The City’s footsteps, we can look forward to Obama marital drama, a Biden cheating scandal, and Nancy Pelosi with an eating disorder.