Netflix Review: The Politician

SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!

Payton Hobart is a lot of things, but he is not a loser. Ben Platt stars in Netflix’s The Politician as an egotistical borderline sociopathic high school senior who has no other ambition in life rather than to be the President of the United States. After years of carefully cultivating his educational career with the right classes, clubs, and friends that bolster him to be the best political candidate he can be (with their own aspirations of being part of his White House dream as well), the only plausible and reasonable way to start would be to win Saint Sebastian High School’s student body election. Of course, despite having all the factors pointing to an obviously easy win, things are never as they seem.

There are several factors complicating Payton’s seemingly uncomplicated life:

 

  1. His running mate, Infinity Jackson (Zoey Deutch) is a girl with cancer & victim of Munchausen by proxy because of her Nana Rose (Jessica Lange) --- think Gypsy Rose & DeeDee Blanchard!

  2. His brothers Martin & Luther are trying to get him & their mom Georgina (Gwyneth Paltrow) of their father’s will for a multitude of reasons

  3. Payton wants to get into Harvard by his own merit and not daddy’s money, but modern-day corruption is highlighted in many ways throughout the season

  4. The love of his life & rival for this election is River Barkley (David Coronswet), also known as star football player & Payton’s Mandarin tutor

 

Throughout the course of the season, The Politician delves into everything from social class hierarchy, family divide, political satire, and of course, cutthroat high school drama. The show gives different perspectives and lets you get to know the characters (both main or not). Episode 3 “October Surprise” shows us Payton being offered by Harvard to get off the waitlist if the Hobart family is willing to donate millions and have a building named after them, in which he argues that he wants to be accepted on his own merit, successfully arguing his way to an acceptance letter. Episode 5 “The Voter” circulates around the idea that everyone’s vote matters, no matter if you’re a popular kid at school, or in this case, an average undecided named Elliot Beachman. 

We also get to know some powerful women in the show, namely Georgina Hobart, Infinity Jackson, & Astrid Sloan, who are all given a chance to develop their character arcs in the 8 episodes that comprise the season. Georgina (Paltrow) is a housewife who has a love affair with a woman who worked at their stables and wants a divorce from her husband, but her love for her adopted son makes her sacrifice her happiness in order to see him succeed. Infinity (Deutch) is victimized by her Nana to make money off of her mysterious unknown illness, but after being told by Payton (who ran a background check on her) that she needs to really open her eyes about the abuse she is being put through, Infinity utilizes the campaign to make her voice heard. Astrid (played by Lucy Boynton) is another rival of Payton’s who was raised with the classic “rich girl” mentality and was dating River (Coronswet) at the time of his death, running away from home to discover who she really wants to be and eating all the Bubba Gump’s she wants in an attempt to escape her harsh reality waiting for her at home.

The Politician is a whirlwind of events with plot twists at every corner, making this comedy-drama one to put on your Watch List. The last episode “Vienna” leaves you hanging at the edge of your seat until the guaranteed season 2 premiere.

 

Watch The Politician season one on Netflix.