Political satire, plot jumps, pantsuits: New Netflix show brings contentious issues to high school


Courtesy of Netflix

"The Politician" features a star-studded cast such as Jessica Lange and Ben Platt. It premiered on Sept. 27 on Netflix.

Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix show, “The Politician,” leaves many viewers with the question: “Was that show good, or did I just really like the pantsuits?”

Murphy is mainly known for his successful shows “American Horror Story,” “Glee” and “Scream Queens.” That means when Murphy announced that “The Politician” was being made, fans were excited for what he would put together. 

“The Politician” is a satirical look on overachieving, Gen Z high schoolers wrapped up in a student body presidential election and the lengths they will go to get what they want. With Ben Platt as the complex and driven lead, “The Politician” uses a sharp and comedic tone with controversial topics. Did I mention they all wear gorgeous, colorful pantsuits?

Like Murphy’s other shows, “The Politician” does not shy away from pushing the envelope, and this show definitely does that by talking about subjects such as gun violence, mental illness and gender fluidity. 

The cast is filled to the brim with talent, ranging from A-listers to Broadway legends.

“The Politician” is a well made show with  beautiful cinematography and obvious talent like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange and Ben Platt, who put so much passion into their characters. This makes the show 10 times more enjoyable.

This show is compelling and has many  deep metaphors and important representation for  LGBTQ+ community. “The Politician” attempts to have a fresh view of the up-and-coming Gen Z, and their unique and developing views on current events, while dealing with things that are going on in their personal lives. 

Although “The Politician” has an excellent cast with a fabulous wardrobe and an interesting plot, the show often gets lost in its attempt at shock value in the side plots,  completely pulling away from the main storyline.

For example, Jessica Lange, who plays an overbearing grandmother to Zoey Deutch,  a young, naive teenager with cancer, decides to help Ben Platt’s character, Payton Hobart,  in his race for student body president of their high school.

Although Jessica Lange gives an excellent performance, her side plot seems more over-the-top than satirical. This is frustrating, because it seems like a lot of talent was wasted for such insignificant plots. 

The side plots seem to be a technique to keep the runtime of each of the eight episodes long enough to flesh out the main plot, which leaves the side plots more boring than captivating compared to the main plot, that has so much going for it.

Despite this, “The Politician” is a colorfully set, darkly comedic show with a few musical numbers to tug on your heartstrings. 

Even though the first season left many critics on the fence about whether the show is good or not, it does end with the introduction of a new, more mature storyline, leaving audiences excited.