One of the more patriotic videos of the summer comes from the site that brings you extreme video game satire and unfiltered Andy Dick. 00Bama, a James Bond-esque reimagining of our 44th president as one smooth super-spy, premiered Monday on Atom.com, and while it has yet to reach 1,000 views, it’s as clever and sophisticated as the commander in chief.
Written and directed by Todd Berger, who you might remember from the Vacationeers series The Googling and who was also a writer on Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five, 00Bama’s first mission is to get a domestic terrorist to talk — without resorting to “aggressive interrogation techniques.” He does it, of course, because Barack has all the answers.
And Berger might be able to see into the future, as a key plot point of this first episode, Barack Vs. Domestic Terrorism, is strangely reminiscent of the recent headline-making incident in which Obama established peace between a white cop and a black professor with a few bottles of beer. 00Bama’s weapon of choice in this episode is food, not beverage, but it still has an uncanny resonance with real-life events.
James Jolly isn’t a dead ringer for our current president — especially when it comes to the voice, which Iman Crosson (of The District and countless other parodies) has down far better. But Jolly does bring his own smooth flavor to the role, and looks great in a tux, which more than makes up for that. Backing him up is “Joey B,” “Hill” and “Rahm” (obvious parallels to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emmanuel), who don’t have much to do here but, in the two upcoming installments, will hopefully have a chance to stretch a bit. Production values are solid, with a special shout-out to Helena Wei’s moody and atmospheric cinematography.
This recasting of president as superhero is one that’s always run parallel with the Obama campaign. (Obama himself even poked fun at it during the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner during the campaign.) But with the president’s approval ratings dropping, we may look back on series like these as quaint and anachronistic — relics of a time when we really did think that a new man in office would solve a nation’s problems.