As someone who has studied politics at university, I always look forward to the release of a new political drama. The West Wing kicked off TV viewers’ interest in the complex and almost mythical elements of what it means to govern, with comedies like The Thick of It and Veep adding a touch of realism and chaos to the mix. When House of Cards first debuted on Netflix in 2013, I don’t think anyone really considered the possibility that such a fantastically written and performed show would end as tragically as it did, with its lead actor and main attraction forced to leave after allegations of sexual misconduct.
As the plot of the final season of House of Cards failed massively to fill the gap that Kevin Spacey left behind, it makes sense that Netflix would try and right a wrong by rebooting users’ interests in the American political landscape. And how better to do it than through the medium of a comedy?
Despite the title, The Politician appears to shy away from the traditional political setting and focus on a more personable and teen/young adult friendly location. The show revolves around Payton Hobart, an ambitious student at a college in California, who kick-starts his path to one day become President of the United States by running for Student Body President (or what we in Great Britain would call President of the Students’ Union).
After selecting a female running mate, Hobart is immediately told by his campaign managers that he is already leading the student polls, but soon discovers the path is not completely devoid of obstacles to plague him through his noble quest.
Though exact details of the show have been kept under wraps, the trailer depicts a hilarious and cringeworthy journey through Hobart’s campaign to keep us laughing through the politics. As his ambition begins to erode his humanity, his rivals plot to demolish his campaign, with one fellow student even contemplating assassinating him to prevent him winning the election.
And when I say assassinate, I don’t mean in the way that those morons on The Apprentice assassinate each other for a glimmer of approval from Alan Sugar. I mean proper assassination, like with a sniper. Or a pencil, if you’re John Wick.
But it appears that somewhere in the brutal campaigning, Hobart might find redemption in embracing his closeted homosexuality and compassionate representation of his potential constituents before his seemingly appropriate career path ends in disaster.
Yes, you can watch it right here:
The show has a wide range of fantastic actors leading the cast. Tony Award winner Ben Platt stars as the flamboyant and narcissistic Payton Hobart, with Gwyneth Paltrow playing his despairing adopted mother Georgina. Veteran actor Jessica Lange plays Dusty Jackson, the foul-mouthed mother of Hobart’s running mate Infinity (Zoey Deutch).
Lucy Boynton, of Murder on the Orient Express and Bohemian Rhapsody fame, plays Hobart’s equally ambitious and Machiavellian rival Astrid Sloan, with Bette Midler, Judith Light and January Jones billed to appear in as yet undisclosed roles.
The show is the brain-child of three celebrated American writers: Ryan Murphy, who created Glee, alongside Ian Brennan (who created Scream Queens) and Brad Falchuk (creator of American Horror Story and Gwyneth Paltrow’s husband).
The show was produced by Netflix after the streaming service won a bidding war against Amazon and Hulu. Production companies included Fox 21 TV Studios and Ryan Murphy’s own self-titled company.
The show will drop on Netflix on Friday 27th September (I’m not complaining, but why are so many good productions coming out on my birthday?), which is 10 episodes long.
It seems that way yes, as a second season was in the works before production had even begun on the first.
That’s when you know a show must be good. When it already announces its re-election campaign before it’s even won …
Get it? Lol.
Max is an awkward Medievalist struggling with ever evolving technology. When not writing for The Hook, he can be found attending self-help classes for his decade-long addiction to KFC. His greatest achievements include getting blocked by Owen Jones on Twitter and completing the Metro quick crossword in just under twenty-seven hours.Follow