New hit show The Politician provides viewers a welcome escape from reality

Nick Alutto, Managing Editor of A&E

By: Nick Alutto

Managing Editor of A&E

Ryan Murphy, creator of American Horror Story and Glee, has produced his first streaming television series called, The Politician, through his new partnership with Netflix starring Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, and Zoey Deutch.

The series follows high school senior, Payton Hobart, as he runs for student body president. He sees this as the first step in achieving his dreams and supposed destiny of becoming the president of the United States.

Its eight episodes vary in length with the longest lasting over an hour, and its shortest being around 30 minutes. Although some episodes are lengthy, the season is still concise enough to make it perfect for a weekend-long binge.

Fans of Ryan Murphy’s biggest show, American Horror Story, will be happy to see some familiar faces pop up in the series, some occupying larger roles than others.

Sometimes it is the minor background characters that steal the show the most. Dylan McDermott, specifically, has a relatively small role in the series but shines in it. His character perfectly showcases the show’s very dark humor. It’s  nearly devoid of anyone acting in anything besides their own self interest. It is instead a cast of mainly sociopathic characters who get themselves into terrible, yet humorous, situations.

Murphy, along with fellow head writers Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk, also create serious scenes that make the viewer feel for the characters despite their relatively terrible and selfish personalities. It is this depth of character that will make viewers find themselves rooting for characters they initially hated or at times hate their favorite character in the show.The Politician is not meant to be realistic. The depiction of high school and a high stakes election is not representative of what really happens in schools, which may be some people’s criticism of the series, but I enjoyed this detachment. The show is unrealistic but it never tries to seem like its a truthful depiction of high school life which makes it more enjoyable.

The cast is made up of award-winning actors and their performances are as good, sometimes better than expected. Ben Platt takes center stage and is able to show off his incredible acting and singing skills. Some characters, like McDermott’s, are a little bit over-the-top, but it fits very well with the tone of the series making these acting decisions justified.

A negative aspect of this season is that it heavily sets up other seasons instead of focusing on itself. Characters are introduced fast and sometimes are not given the full scope needed to justify their actions. However, by the end of the season I found myself wanting another season and more episodes with these characters even if the first season seemingly does not matter in hindsight.

The Politician is an easily bingeable show that is addictive, very fast, and will offer viewers a break from their lives into a world of hilariously terrible people.