Whether you’re a huge fan of Ben Platt (and his angelic singing voice), Ryan Murphy shows in general, or watching brutal, searing takedowns of modern politics, then Netflix’s new dark comedy The Politician should earn your vote.
Not sure whether or not it’s worth eight hours of your life? Check out everything you need to know about the binge-worthy dramedy below to find out if you support this ticket.
What is The Politician about?
If you take the hilariously honest corrupt politics of Veep, combined with the suspended disbelief of high concept high school drama of Riverdale, mix in a few of Glee‘s musical performances, and add in Murphy’s penchant for tangential, wacky departures from the main plot of a show, you’ll get The Politician. The satirical dramedy centers on wealthy high school student Payton Hobart (Platt), who lives in the gorgeous and upscale Santa Barbara, Calif. The overachieving, highly anxious senior has known since he was just a kid that he’s going to be president of the United States one day. Note that he doesn’t view that as a wish, but merely fate. And his vision for his path to the White House is non-negotiable: he must first navigate the “treacherous political landscape” of Saint Sebastian High School’s high stakes, intense election for senior class president.
And this isn’t your normal high school class president campaign either. This is like the dirtiest of the dirty D.C. politics transplanted into the ultra-rich city where the sun always shines and money never stops flowing. In Payton’s mind, winning student body president is what he needs to get accepted to Harvard, and from Harvard, the rest is history. But can he outsmart his “ruthless” classmates, including his own personal nemesis, without sacrificing his own morality and carefully crafted image? And what does that mean for his overall happiness?
With secret love affairs, murder plots, and just general secrets being exposed left and right, The Politician is about so much more than just an election. But we can’t reveal much more without spoiling some of the biggest plot developments of the season. Just take our word for it: you cannot predict where this show goes in each episode, let alone the entire season. And by the time the first season ends, you’ll be begging for a second season immediately.
Watch the cast explain the plot themselves in the video below.
Who’s in the cast
Created by Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, The Politician stars Platt in the titular role of Payton — and yes, the Dear Evan Hansen and Pitch Perfect star who is one Oscar shy of an EGOT finds more than a few ways to show off his voice in this show. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Payton’s adoptive and loving mother Georgina. David Corenswet plays Payton’s secret love and campaign opponent River (who will make you cry), while Lucy Boynton (who you may recognize from Bohemian Rhapsody) plays River’s girlfriend and Payton’s morally-bankrupt nemesis Astrid.
Platt reunites with his Dear Evan Hansen costar Laura Dreyfuss, who plays Payton’s extremely cutthroat political advisor McAfee, who’s harboring some deep secrets of her own. Zoey Deutch plays Payton’s first choice for a VP, Infinity Jackson, and Murphy’s go-to scene-stealer Jessica Lange plays Infinity’s bleach-blonde mullet-sporting, chain-smoking, potentially sociopathic grandmother Dusty. Lange’s fellow American Horror Story alum Dylan McDermott and Mad Men star January Jones are clearly having the time of their lives playing Astrid’s spiteful parents, and Judith Light and Bette Midler show up in two roles that we really can’t reveal anything about since that whole storyline is a huge spoiler/wonderful surprise.
When does The Politician premiere?
The entire eight-episode first season of The Politician debuts on Friday, Sept. 27.
How can you watch it?
The Politician will stream exclusively on Netflix.