Another theory is that Trump’s showbiz style presidency, with its non-stop action, plot twists and punchlines has recalibrated America’s scandal standards. Call it the “Shonda Rhimes” presidency.
Rhimes makes TV shows like Scandal (ironic, yes) and How To Get Away With Murder that are notorious for burning through plot. They have more surprise turns and main character deaths in a single episode than dramas in the 1980s had in an entire season. As a result, viewers’ expectations for TV in general have changed, and other shows are struggling to keep up.
The Trump Show brought the pace of politics-as-showbiz to a breathless clip and viewers just can’t keep up with all the plot points. As a result, every twist (“Trump knew about Stormy’s money!”) and turn (“And there may be more Stormy’s, too!”) has less power. Now add a scrappy new co-star for Season Two—Rudy Giuliani as “Crazy Lawyer Guy!”—and the pace picks up even more. More story, less time for outrage. Who can keep up?