"Your new TV obsession The Politician is better than Glee and House of Cards combined."

Our world might be in a bit of political and social turmoil right now, but least we’re getting some bingeable new comedy out of our current devastation.

It is our dissolution in the faith of world leaders coupled with a humorous look at the (frankly quite frightening) power of our current teenage population that is at the center of the dark new satirical high school drama The Politician.

The Politician was birthed from the minds of Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan and tells the story of an over-calculating and highly ambitious high school senior named Payton Hobart (Ben Platt).

Payton has set in motion a highly intricate plan that is geared towards him becoming President of the United States, and it all hinges on his winning the high school election.

Since he put his presidential plan in place at the age of seven, Peyton has assembled a team of devoted advisors from his class to aid him on his ruthless rise to the top, a team comprised of key strategists James (Theo Germaine) and McAfee (Laura Dreyfuss), and his waspish girlfriend Alice (Julia Schlaepfer) who is already very embedded in her role as “first lady”.

Take a look at the trailer for the new Netflix series The Politician.

Aiding Payton’s rise to power is his adoptive mother Georgina Hobart (Gwyneth Paltrow) who is prone to swanning around her opulent mansion looking unamused by her lavish life while heaping praise on the adopted son she freely admits “frightens me”.

After a twisted turn of events involving a student’s death, Payton finds himself facing off against the imposing ice queen of his high school Astrid Sloan, played by Bohemian Rhapsody star Lucy Boynton, in the dirty race for high school president.


In order to strengthen his own likeability and improve his campaign chances, Payton ropes in teen cancer patient Infinity Jackson (Zoey Deutch) to be his running mate, much to the suspicion of her overzealous grandmother and carer Dusty Jackson (American Horror Story icon Jessica Lange).

If you think this ploy makes Payton sound like a charming yet scheming sociopath…well you’d be right, but his story arc is not quite as straightforward as that.

In some ways, The Politician is a much more cynical and slick version of the show tune heavy teen comedy Glee in the way it magnifies the high stakes nature of high school life. The series also utilises the same storytelling ploys used in the addictive House of Cards by crafting the inner dirty tricks of politics into a binge-able TV storyline.

Zoey Deutch as Infinity Jackson and Ben Platt as Payton Hobart in The Politician. Source: Netflix.

In a series that's all cutting one-liners and pastel pallets, the character of Astrid comes across as a perfectly coiffed high-school princess with strong Regina George tendencies, but according to her portrayer Lucy Boynton, she tends to be more Machiavellian than Mean Girls.

"She is an interesting example of the stereotypes we see in a lot of films and television shows," the 25-year-old British actress told Mamamia.


"The more you watch her the more you see that people have really pigeon-holed her and she has turned that to her advantage. That is a very Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk thing to do, lulling the audience into this false idea of character and then turning it on its head at the last moment.

"In the show, I was allowed to be the most cutting with Ben’s character Payton, I have not played a character dynamic before and it was fun to just sometimes see where our scenes went.

"The show is very much about the political involvement that young people of today have. They are not waiting to be educated by the adults in their lives or by some senior platform. 

"It was very cathartic in a way to get back to high school but still be on the outside of all that. So at times the emotions and comedy in the show might look over the top, but these theatrics can actually be very close to how students feel."

Lucy Boynton’s character Astrid is more Machiavellian than Mean Girls.

Just like other TV shows that take up residence in the Ryan Murphy universe, The Politician is quite the feast for your eyes.

Each character has a very distinct wardrobe and colour scheme and in the case of Astrid everything from her 60s inspired mini dresses to her lurid colored blouses, fussy up-dos and thigh-high boots is giving us subtle clues about who her character really is.


"Astrid herself is always in costume because she has decided how she wants people to see her and she dresses accordingly," Lucy told Mamamia of her scene-stealing wardrobe.

"It’s her attempt at ‘peacocking’ with the styles she wears.  I love that towards the end of the series there is a real turn in her character and she dresses for that occasion as well. When she comes back from that, it’s all just slightly unravelled."

"Astrid herself is always in costume because she has decided how she wants people to see her." Source: Netflix.

The Politician is heavy on the storytelling front as there are dozens of characters and sidelined story arcs battling it out for your attention as the series unfolds and while watching the dirty way a presidential-style race unfolds against the backdrop of a high school might make you fearful of our future, at least there are plenty of one liners to keep you chucking along the way.

Season one of The Politician will premiere on Netflix on Friday 27 September. 

For more stories like this, you can follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on Facebook.  You can also visit our newsletter page and sign up to “TV and Movies”  for a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews (see one of her newsletters here). 

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