"More and more often, absorbing TV serials don’t just stand on their own," says James Poniewozik. "There are ancillary shows, explainers, deep dives for the superfans. The HBO mini-series Chernobyl inspired a successful podcast exploring the history behind the dramatized events. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Bravo’s reality series have inspired talk shows devoted to analyzing and theorizing about them. The first day of the House Judiciary Committee hearings on impeachment was, in its way, that kind of companion piece for the House Intelligence Committee hearings that preceded it. That earlier series, unfolding over two weeks in November, provided the text for the four constitutional scholars featured on Wednesday — three invited by Democrats, one by Republicans — to chew over. The November hearings introduced compelling characters like the fact witnesses William B. Taylor Jr. and Fiona Hill. They set up story lines and stakes and established the setting. They had elements of courtroom-style drama, including when President Trump injected himself into the proceedings via Twitter. Those hearings were the story. Wednesday’s was like the detailed recap: a historical, legal and earnestly wonky breakdown of why it matters if the president pressured the government of Ukraine to kneecap his political rival, and an argument over whether the charge was yet substantiated."
TOPICS: Trump Impeachment Hearings