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stephen Sohmers

GUILTY PLEASURE: Favorite Son (1988)

You think our current Presidential administration is a morally bankrupt, hot mess of special interests? Well, it ain’t got nothing on the one in FAVORITE SON, a 1988 political thriller mini-series that eerily foreshadowed our present day events. Hunky Harry Hamlin is a conniving, rising young Senator with his eye on becoming Vice President.

Orchestrating his climb to the White House is his ruthless, gorgeous advisor, played by blonde bombshell Linda Kozlowski. This woman is as comfortable using her body and beauty to get what she wants as she is using an automatic assault rifle. If you like machiavellian, scheming hotties (think Robin Wright in ‘House Of Cards’) she’s your gal!

After Hamlin narrowly survives an assassination attempt in which a Nicaraguan diplomat is killed, FBI agents played by Robert Loggia and Lance Guest head up an investigation where a trail of conspiracies lead right up to the Oval Office of the President himself. This flick is filled with the familiar faces of veteran character actors like John Mahoney, Ronny Cox and Robert Loggia, all of whom are top notch here. Loggia, whose performance as the cynical, world-weary (but surprisingly idealistic) FBI agent determined to reveal the truth was so highly praised that he got a short lived spinoff series (Mancuso, FBI) based on his character. Worth watching for him alone. There’s plentiful sex scenes with the stunning Kozlowski, who shows a whole lot of skin, but also some impressive chops as an actress (a whole lot more than she ever did in the Crocodile Dundee films). Based on the acclaimed book by Stephen Sohmers, this tele-flick caused a minor uproar at the time (it was on network tv folks!) for showing then-taboo subjects: three-way sex, female masturbation, and S&M. Filled with double-crosses and some (still) shocking sex-capades. Check it out given how ‘ripped from today’s headlines’ it was even 30 years ago.