Trump seriously considered taking the oath of office on his bestseller The Art of the Deal
TV Review: The Trump Show is a zippy recap of the absurd early months of his presidency
Donald Trump takes the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States of America. Photograph: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
There is a case to be made for The Trump Show (BBC Two, 9pm) as the year’s most superfluous documentary. Isn’t the whole world living the Donald Trump show, day by day, minute by minute anyway?
Who needs another reminder that we are trapped in the belly of an all-devouring reality TV nightmare?
Added to that is the fact that Rob Coldstream’s three-part series cannot possibly tell us anything we don’t know already. Trump is a vainglorious control freak? He governs through whim? His ego is its own four-headed Mount Rushmore of tectonic narcissism?
Your jaw, it is safe to say, will not be hanging open in shock (though it is interesting to note that, early in his presidency the former Apprentice host was overwhelmed by the burdens of the office).
If the Trump Show has a function, then, it’s as a zippy recap of how unhinged the past four years have been. Coldstream has, to that end, assembled many of the major players in this great tragedy and farce and coaxed from them some satisfyingly indiscreet recollections.
We are reintroduced to Trump’s early consigliere Steve Bannon, who, with long hair and blank gaze, has arrived at the Cloverfield survival bunker phase of his career.
There is also an opportunity to resume acquaintances with the Apprentice’s Omarosa Manigault Newman, Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci and Sean Spicer, the sacrificial lamb White House press secretary forced more than once to insist to journalists that black was, in fact, white.
There are few bombshells in part one, which recaps the first 12 months of Trump’s presidency. And yet Coldstream paints some memorable pictures. Spicer takes us back to the morning after Trump’s inauguration when the new press secretary is watching Barney and Friends with his young children. He is interrupted from enjoying a lumbering, nonsensical creature with glowing skin by a call from the president, furious about reports of a meagre attendance at his swearing-in.
And so Spicer must step up to a podium and admonish the world’s media for publishing factually accurate images. Nearly four years later, he still hasn’t quite come to terms with the humiliation. Just as absurd/horrific is Omarosa’s assertion that Trump seriously considered taking the oath of office on his 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal.
The Trump Show part one concludes with the president staging a bromantic liaison with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. En route to the summit he’s more concerned with how he’ll look on television than about the boring details of Pyongyang’s stand-off with Washington.
None of this is surprising. And it isn’t even that bleakly amusing any more. With US election day closing in and a Trump win not unthinkable, the viewer is instead merely filled with a cold, hard dread. If that was Coldstream’s mission then he has accomplished it with ease.