**This article accommodates some spoilers for season two of The Politician.**
What would occur if the characters on Glee banded collectively to launch a political marketing campaign for a younger billionaire? Netflix’s The Politician, a powerful candidate for essentially the most annoying scripted collection on tv. (Yes, Netflix counts as tv.)
There are quite a few methods by which this present strikes a really weird notice, however let’s begin with the way it glorifies the whole lot improper with the panorama of contemporary politics – mainly, that the privileged few can get a considerable leg up on everybody else. Ben Platt performs the “protagonist” Payton Hobart, a younger man from an awfully rich background, who has at all times dreamed of changing into President of the United States. We’re anticipated to help this aspiration, regardless of the character present in an entire ethical vacuum.
Over the course of the collection, Payton does loads of tearful naval gazing about whether or not he’s an excellent individual, which normally ends with him acknowledging that he isn’t however selecting to not do something about it. Rather, he continues doing heinously egocentric issues in pursuit of private acquire together with, however not restricted to, perpetuating youngster abuse and committing electoral fraud. In spite of this, the present depicts him as a usually sympathetic and inspirational determine, one who rallies unsettling ranges of dedication from his cult-like marketing campaign staff.
Speaking of which, his closest political allies are a bunch of fast-talking sociopaths, so singularly targeted on getting their fearless chief elected that they’ve sacrificed any semblance of individuality. The prime instance of that is Payton’s dedicated (or presumably brainwashed) girlfriend Alice, who emotionally admits to deferring her complete life to him with a view to fulfil “his dreams”, one thing that has robbed her of any ambitions of her personal. In one fleeting second of readability, it appears to be like as if she might lastly emancipate herself from his grasp, however alas, she dutifully returns half an episode later with little justification.
These characters exist solely as extensions of Payton, which may be supposed as satire on how politics takes over folks’s lives, however it doesn’t play this manner towards the present’s sickeningly honest idolisation of the person himself. This artistic alternative feels born out of an apparent infatuation with Ben Platt, the present’s artistic staff so enamoured that they even shoe-horn in prolonged musical numbers for him to carry out, regardless of how misplaced these appear among the many remainder of the story.
In an identical method to Murphy’s different Netflix collection, alternate historical past drama Hollywood, The Politician appears to be like on the world via rose-tinted glasses and, in doing so, lacks any significant chew. The present acknowledges that politicians typically again concepts primarily based on what is going to get them votes relatively than what they consider in, however makes an attempt to spin that in a constructive approach. Likewise, its try at exploring the rise of populist leaders is pitifully shallow, extending so far as a half-baked subplot the place Gwyneth Paltrow principally achieves world peace.
It’s no coincidence that the one attention-grabbing episode of The Politician’s second season pulls focus away from the principal forged, in favour of an peculiar mom and daughter dwelling in New York City, who conflict over their contrasting views. While an identical chapter within the first season served solely to name the citizens silly via extreme masturbation humour, this can be a extra considerate effort which truly does an honest job inspecting the generational divide.
It’s considerably astounding that The Politician obtained made, not to mention that it was renewed for a second season. A tv collection that champions the efforts of an selfish billionaire as they bulldoze their approach into politics is so totally tone-deaf in our present panorama that it beggars perception. One assumes that this was an try at satire earlier than the creators fell in love with their lead actor. As it stands, the one joke is on Netflix for paying for this mess. Twice.
The Politician is now streaming on Netflix – take a look at our lists of the greatest TV exhibits on Netflix and the greatest films on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.