Don’t expect bombshells in Unprecedented, the new Discovery+ documentary that chronicles then-President Trump and his family as they campaign to win the 2020 election — and their desperate efforts to contest the results when he lost.
The three-part series, which offers exclusive access to the Trumps and then-Vice President Mike Pence, has been highly anticipated since last month, when filmmaker Alex Holder was subpoenaed and interviewed by the special committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the United States US Capitol.
The production experienced unprecedented hype for a new series on a streamer best known for home improvement shows, the Barefoot Contessa catalog and other reality TV. News of the documentaries landed on public radar after the committee requested footage from Holder “related to discussions of voter fraud or election integrity.”
Sunday’s premiere proved that the series had nothing to do with the hearings, and Discovery+’s marketing of “Unprecedented” as a new source of revealing information about the Trump White House surrounding the Capitol attack wasn’t entirely honest. Holder’s film crew were not with the Trump family on the day of the attack — as many have speculated — and people who have watched the hearings or followed the news will learn nothing new about the Trump family’s alleged involvement in Big Lie conspiracies, or the violent one Coup attempt.
But that doesn’t mean that “Unprecedented” is necessarily a waste of time. This three-hour document is all about family, from our 45th President’s alarmingly dynastic approach to how the Trumps viewed the presidency as an opportunity to expand the family business. Exclusive interviews and campaign insights featuring Trump and his children, Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric, highlight the individual roles they played in securing their father’s power and influence. Also interviewed are son-in-law Jared Kushner and Pence, although they don’t add much value.
A host of experts, including journalists Peter Baker of The New York Times and Mark Fisher of The Washington Post, provide context for the fly-on-the-wall narrative, discussing everything from the government’s handling of COVID-19 Rises to his conflicting messages at the 2020 vote count depending on whether Trump was ahead or behind in a particular state.
Questions remain unanswered as to why and how the President’s people allowed a film crew to so accurately document the campaign and the White House in its final days, although the best guess seems to be hubris.
Watching “Unprecedented,” it’s clear that the President and his clan had been drinking their own Kool-Aid in 2020 and were confident that despite his low approval ratings, Trump would have another win. They were cheered on by enthusiastic supporters at rallies across the country, and the enthusiasm was contagious. Victory seemed a foregone conclusion as there was no opposition voice to tell the Trumps otherwise.
Holder, a Brit and first-time director, was already sitting for a two-hour interview with the committee’s investigators; This week he will answer questions from officials in Fulton County, Georgia, regarding their investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.
It’s telling that some of the most intriguing material associated with “Unprecedented” didn’t make it into the final film — even though it did was included in the committee’s Jan. 6 request for footage. Holder has hinted that one of those unused clips is an Air Force One interview with Trump that was canceled due to an unscheduled phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We’ll have to wait and see if more comes out of the committee or reports on its work at this point. Because while there’s a lot more to chew on in the documentaries, especially for those interested in the Trump family dynamic, it pales in comparison to the essential television of the hearings.
When: Anytime after July 10th
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-07-10/a-new-trump-doc-was-subpoenaed-by-jan-6-committee-its-not-as-revelatory-as-it-sounds ‘Unprecedented’ on Discovery+: Why Alex Holder doc is a bust