Wesleyan ‘14 graduate Ben Florsheim was recently elected as the Mayor of Middletown, thanks to a successful grassroots campaign and good taste in white button-downs. Going up against former Middletown mayor Seb Giuliano, no one could have predicted Ben’s underdog win- no one, that is, except Ben Florsheim circa 2014.
In his senior thesis “The Trail: A Dramatic Series” (recently uncovered by Sophie Elwood ’20), Ben Florsheim created an entirely fictional television pilot about a Connecticut mayoral race, that bears no similarities whatsoever to actual events that happened just 5 years later. It should be said that “The Trail” is not like other girls. Florsheim decries The West Wing, Scandal, and Veep for being unrealistic, and instead wants to recreate the gritty realism of The Wire. Per Florsheim, “Its aims… are for grit over polish and for depth, breadth, and a clear link to reality over snappy, self-contained storylines.”
And, much like The Wire, The Trail features an all-white cast and takes place on the mean streets of Central Connecticut. Its protagonist is the entirely fictional “Dan Singer”, a 29-year-old Democratic candidate for mayor of the entirely fictional “Middleburgh, Connecticut”.