The Politician premieres September 27th on Netflix.
By Ariba Bhuvad
Ryan Murphy has done it again, folks. But are we surprised? Nah, not at all. Starring Pitch Perfect’s Ben Platt, the incomparable Gwyneth Paltrow, American Horror Story’s Jessica Lange, along with many, many more comes this unique dark comedy. And when I say unique, I’m not exaggerating. The Politician has the classic Ryan Murphy vibes to it as it focuses on social/political commentary relevant to today’s world but adds a comedic, satirical twist to it.
Platt plays a character by the name of Payton Hobart who was adopted into a wealthy family and has always had harbored very ambitious dreams of becoming the President of the United States one day. But before he can get there, he has to tackle the biggest hurdle of all–becoming President at his high school.
Now, this show is nothing like you’d imagine. On the surface, it comes off as yet another coming of age story about a young kid with big dreams. This couldn’t be far from the truth. In reality, it’s a story about someone taking a treacherous path to achieve their dreams, even if it means betraying anyone and everyone around you (and boy, does that happen here).
I’m actually quite baffled at how Murphy and co. pulled off such a multi-layered series that possesses so much grit, commentary, and what I like to call, “in your face gut punches”. If you pay close attention while watching The Politician you’ll begin to make parallels to our political world today and get a very strange, but intriguing perspective on what it takes to get there.
During this eight-episode first season, I was a bit skeptical when I initially began watching, unsure of where the story was taking us. It has a slow start to it that still keeps you engaged and addicted even when your mind is telling you otherwise. But the initial time invested has a great pay-off by the end of the first season–I promise.
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be in awe of Murphy’s ability to create yet another socially relevant series. But most importantly, you’ll love Platt’s performance which is further enhanced by a supporting cast of equally talented individuals such as Lucy Boynton, Zoey Deutch, Laura Dreyfuss, and more. If you’re thinking to yourself how Platt and co. pull off playing high school students, I’ll be the first to tell you it’s actually pretty convincing. The entire time I was never jaded by the impossibility of the characters they are playing who are younger than they actually are. But it worked, and it worked great.
The twists and turns the series takes do not prepare you for where the season eventually ends, but I promise, it’s a wild, fulfilling ride. I understand that The Politician may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was most certainly mine, and I couldn’t get enough (plus Ryan Murphy made it, so there’s that).
So, when does season 2 come out?
I give The Politician a B+.