The world of politics is a virtual minefield of sexual scandal. From Anthony Weiner to Andrew Cuomo to Al Franken, you can’t shake a voter’s ballot these days, it seems, without hitting a disgraced politician. So rife is the D.C. landscape with public misdeeds that as Jessica Bennett pointed out in a 2016 piece for Time, “We’re somewhat immune from the shock factor: we’d never remember where we were when one or another was first revealed. There have simply been too many to count.” One particular dalliance does stand out amongst the rest, though. Considered the political sex scandal to end all political sex scandals, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t remember where they were when President Bill Clinton uttered those infamous words, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
So it is no surprise that the sordid tale has now found its way to the screen. “Impeachment,” the latest season of Ryan Murphy’s popular “American Crime Story” anthology series, covers Clinton’s (Clive Owen) 1990s affair with then 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldman), as well as the massive fallout that ensued.
The script is, rather ironically, largely based upon the book “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President” by Jeffrey Toobin, who famously dealt with a sex scandal of his own last year.
Titled “Exiles,” the first episode hit FX Tuesday and proved scintillating, if not a bit confusing due to a dizzyingly meandering timeline that flips and flops from 1998 to 1993 to 1994 and back again.
But, as is the case with most all Ryan Murphy productions, the show is certainly nice to look at! Not only have the actors been made up to resemble their respective characters to dazzling effect but “Impeachment” manages to compellingly transport audiences to a 1990s-era Washington, D.C. So it may come as a surprise that the series wasn’t filmed in the nation’s capital but a good 2,600 miles away in Los Angeles!
A few of the spots utilized in episode one include Redondo Beach’s South Bay Galleria which masks as Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, where Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) stages Monica’s surprise FBI meet-up in a scene that was shot much as it played out in real life. Downtown L.A.’s Dalia Cocino Mexicana also pops up, dressed to appear as Monica’s regular morning coffee stop. And Tripp shares a meal with cut-throat book editor Lucianne Goldberg (Margo Martindale) at the famed Gallery Bar and Cognac Room at The Biltmore Los Angeles hotel.