Tracy Flick, Tom Perrotta’s protagonist from his darkly humorous novel Election, returns in Tracy Flick Can’t Win (6 hours), an engrossing story of retrospection, regret and self-fulfillment. Now the vice principal at a suburban New Jersey high school, Tracy is vying for the principal gig, which means navigating school politics and the sophomoric behavior of the adults around her.
Award-winning actor Lucy Liu’s sensitive performance of Tracy captures every moment of confidence and frustration. Her controlled tones highlight the loneliness, self-doubt and disappointment that Tracy feels after sidelining her political aspirations to take care of her mother and raise her daughter. “Better Call Saul” actor Dennis Boutsikaris’ entertaining performance of retiring principal Jack Weede’s misguided masculine mindset is sprinkled with guilt and shame. Other superb cast members (Jeremy Bobb, Ramona Young, Ali Andre Ali and Pete Simonelli) are equally impressive, conveying the nuances of strained personal and professional relationships while delivering quietly compelling reactions to the story’s climatic ending.