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WASHINGTON– President Barack Obama says he’s a fan of two popular cable TV shows: HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Showtime’s “Homeland.”

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First lady Michelle Obama and their daughters, 13-year-old Malia and 10-year-old Sasha, enjoy watching ABC’s “Modern Family.”

The president and first lady Michelle Obama talked to People Magazine about life in the White House, from Facebook and helping their daughters with classroom assignments to their favorite TV shows and reading habits. Mrs. Obama says their daughters are “settled, they’re healthy, (and) thriving.”

Asked about favorite TV shows, Mrs. Obama said, “For the girls and me, “Modern Family,” that’s our favorite show.” The comedy is about three related Los Angeles-area families.

The president said, “I’m a little darker,” telling the magazine that he enjoys “Boardwalk Empire,” a drama depicting Prohibition-era Atlantic City, and “Homeland,” a psychological thriller about a CIA officer trying to unravel a suspected terrorist plot.

Michelle Obama says her husband has urged Malia to read the classics, so she’s reading John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Tender Is the Night.” Mrs. Obama says Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon” is her favorite book, and “I’m interested in hearing how she interprets it.”

The president said he doesn’t let his daughters on Facebook. He said they told him, “Why would we want to have a whole bunch of people who we don’t know knowing our business?”

The first couple said their daughters don’t need much help with school work anymore and are “remarkably self-sufficient.” The president said sometimes Malia asks for help with a list of 75 vocabulary words. “She’ll say, “Read them to me, and I’m going to write them out so that I can spell them right.” Mrs. Obama jokes, “That’s excruciating.”

In 2008, Obama promised his daughters a dog and his wife a date night after the election. This time, “they basically have a blank check. Whatever she demands, she will get.”


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