VSL:WEB // What Samantha and Mr. Kotter can teach us about Obama and McCain

Joost, the online video channel (Avis to Hulu’s Hertz), is running political-themed episodes of your favorite old TV shows — and they just might curb your addiction to 24/7 campaign coverage.

The collection features “special” episodes of Bewitched, Dynasty, Square Pegs, and other shows with characters whose election fever is almost as serious as ours. On Welcome Back, Kotter, Barbarino (a ridiculously young John Travolta) runs for student-body president with a slogan that’s reminiscent of many a post-9/11 campaign: “Vote for Vinnie and Nobody Gets Hurt.” On Maude, characters argue over issues that could have been ripped from today’s headlines: an unpopular war and socialized medicine (along with an eerie reminder that Nixon ran for president as “The One”). Take a break from the news cycle — without taking a break from the news cycle — and take in a few episodes.

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VSL:WEB // What Samantha and Mr. Kotter can teach us about Obama and McCain