“The Politician” Review

Madeleine Kim, Staff Writer

Starring Ben Platt, “The Politician” is not your average high school story. 

The Netflix Original follows ambitious high schooler Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) and his friends (Julia Schlaepfer, Laura Dreyfuss, and Theo Germaine) on a quest to make Payton student body president. Their race proves to be much more than ordinary as it is filled with scandal, tragedy, and among other obstacles. 

Rated TV-14, “The Politician” not only covers the drama of Payton’s run against his rival Astrid Sloan (Lucy Boynton) and his attempt to uncover secrets of his running mate (Zoey Deutch), but also several mental health issues including depression and suicide dispite being listed as a comedy. Because of this, viewers who watch “The Politician” should watch with discretion, as some topics discussed may be upsetting. 

As the show progresses, viewers also follow along with Payton’s unpleasant home life. Despite the protests of his mother (Gwenth Paltrow), Payton is abused by his father and brothers due to him being adopted. With that window into his home life, viewers learn deeper motives that back his ambitions. 

Fans of Political Dramas, Ben Platt, and the creator Ryan Murphy will find “The Politician” hard to stop watching. Fans of Murphy will even notice similarities between “The Politician” and “Glee”. Also a comedy drama, “Glee” (2009-2015) was filmed in the same colorfully flamboyant style as “The Politician” as well as the two shows being musical. The very foundation of “Glee” was the singing, but a musical element in “The Politician” may come off as a surprise. 

Ben Platt’s original claim to fame was as “Evan Hansen” in the Original Broadway Cast of the hit musical “Dear Evan Hansen”. Considering how die-hard fans consider it a crime to cast Platt in any role without having him sing, viewers can expect to witness him at some of his vocal best. Though not as musical as “Glee”, “The Politician” gives Platt’s fans plenty of opportunities to bask in his talent. 

All of this in mind, “The Politician” proves to be an interesting watch. Filled with intense drama and plot twists, “The Politician” keeps audiences on the edges of their seats. The exciting tension and balance between comedy and drama makes “The Politician” exhilarating. Add the combination of such well acclaimed actors in the cast, and that’s one worthwhile watch.