David Corenswet and Ben Platt in "The Politician". Picture: Netflix
David Corenswet and Ben Platt in "The Politician". Picture: Netflix

'The Politician' is the campy show you've been waiting for

By Jamal Grootboom Time of article published Sep 25, 2019

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Ryan Murphy’s first show with Netflix, "The Politician", has everything you want from the Emmy award-winning show creator. 

It's campy, has queers galore, snappy dialogue and a story that's ridiculous while plausible. 

"The Politician" follows Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) on his journey to becoming president of the US, starting with his high school election for Student Body president. The show takes many twists and turns. 

When it comes to representation this show covers all the necessary basis for a modern show depicting high school kids. Our lead character Hobart is either pan or bisexual and while I would usually be annoyed when writers make characters sexuality unclear, this time we have on-screen PDA from his same-sex love interest and his opposite-sex love interest. Not labelling Hobart's sexuality feels intentional and not as a cop out. 

The other characters include a transgender man and a non-binary QPOC (queer person of colour). And what makes the show a great beacon for representation is how these characters are treated by the writers. Their gender identities and sexualities are very much a part of the characters, however, it’s not the only thing their respective storylines focuses on. 

The acting overall in the series is very over-the-top, but since everyone is in on the same campy page, it works perfectly. Jessica Lange shines in her role as Dusty Jackson and it’s great having one the "American Horror Story" stars back in a lead role on our screens in a Ryan Murphy production. 

As our main protagonist, Platt embodies the A-type personality nature of Hobart. And while his character could have easily been one dimensional, Platt brings nuance and depth to the character that keeps you invested in him until the very end.

The pace of the show is phenomenal. Every minute feels important and going forward the eight-episode count is something Murphy needs to stick to in general. Many times in his shows, the premise and the first few episodes start strong. However, at the midway point or the final three episodes the wheels fall off the wagon (see "AHS: Apocalypse"). 

Murphy’s use of flashback this time around is also used to give context and more background knowledge for the characters unlike "AHS: Apocalypse" where it felt like filler and added little to no value to the rest of the plot. 

Overall, the show is a perfect mix of what we’ve become used to in Ryan Murphy productions. It’s campy AF, the characters have nuance and depth, there's queer representation galore and the fashion looks are everything. If you’re a fan of the Murphy then you have to watch this show. Even if you’re not a fan of him, the approach to politics in the series gives great look had how serious career politicians take every political race - even at a school level.  

*"The Politician" starts streaming on Netflix from September 27. 

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