‘The Politician’ has my vote

TV show dives deep into our society


Fair use from Netflix

Noah Orloff

Following the life of a high school senior Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), “The Politician” introduces viewers into a world full of corruption, power, love, murder and self-exploration — all centered around a high school presidential election.

The Netflix original series begins by highlighting Payton’s strong political ambitions, which evolve throughout the eight-episode season. Payton is obsessive about his future goals, forming a character with sociopathic tendencies. He also has billions of dollars under his family name. The TV series covers a very pivotal portion of Payton’s life or “career,” leading to intense character development. The changes in Payton’s life are presented in a successful fashion; I practically felt like a therapist provided with his life story, attempting to analyze the information at hand. 

In addition to the emphasis on Payton’s presidential campaign, the show provides many intricate subplots, making the series more exciting. Characters such as Ricardo (Benjamin Barrett) and Dusty Jackson (Jessica Lange) contrast with the competitive environment of the election, serving as comedic relief in many situations. The series also spreads light on more serious issues such as suicide, terminal illness, political correctness, cheating and murder. 

Another complex part of the show is the use of realistic issues in the political scene. Real problems are discussed, many times combated with “political” reactions. There were times where the storyline became very extreme, adding to the social commentary on our current politics that the show exhibits. Sometimes I felt the plot was a little too far-fetched for my liking, leaving me thankful the Park Student Council scene is nowhere near as cutthroat as the climate in the show. 

Acting was always spot on, leading me to a point where I felt deeply rooted in the storyline. The plot was not hard to follow, while still maintaining a strong number of twists — my favorite combination for a TV series.

At the end of the day, the first season left me asking for more episodes, which carries a lot of weight for me. 


“The Politician”: ★★★★☆