TV Club: Benched: “Campaign Contributions”/Brief Encounters”

“Campaign Contributions” (season 1, episode 11)

The wheels come off, and it feels good

The opening seconds of “Campaign Contributions” show how a morning routine relies on habit and muscle memory. Nina rolls over, hits the alarm, and pulls the blankets over her head in a gesture of defeat before the day has even begun.

Then consciousness asserts itself over habit, and she smiles a broad, bright Eliza Coupe grin. After a year of waking up to “a mixed feeling of dread and inadequacy, like this is going to be the new worst day of my life,” Nina feels better. Nina feels good.

She breezes into her office, chattering all the way that nothing can go wrong, plops herself down on her office chair, and falls to the floor as it collapses under her. Phil warns her that the wheels came off, but she plows ahead on the strength of …

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