The thing about reviews is that they’re always extreme. They’re either praising or bashing. However, mostly all reviews are in line with each other and collectively bash and praise a show or a movie. But it gets tricky when one-half of the critics are bashing and the other are praising. And that is exactly the case with The Politician. I hate to admit it but I could not watch this new Ryan Murphy show the day it released. Actually, I just finished it last night and one of the reasons why I kept on stalling is the extreme reviews. I’d read one and it’d say that it’s a political satire masterpiece and then I’d read another and it’s calling the show exhausting and irritating. It’s confusing, to say the least! But do you see just how ironic it is? The Politician is a political satire and it depicts the current political system of the U.S.A, which is either praised or bashed.
But don’t worry, now that I’ve seen it, I’m here to give you a very honest review. I’m both going to bash and praise The Politician.
The Politician is a Political Satire Excellence and It’s All Thanks to Ben Platt
I did not go into the show with any high hopes. I was ready to hate and love the show. Hate it because I agreed with reviews that felt that the cast was way too old for the characters they played. And love it because it had Ben Platt. I know I’m being extremely biased but come on, Ben Platt is a perfection. Have you heard the man sing? It’s angelic and moving. For his singing alone, I’d be willing to give The Politician five stars on Google reviews. And yes! He sings in the show and yes, it the most random thing ever.
But that’s where my biased opinion ends and a very objective one starts. I agree with how critics have called The Politician exhausting and irritating. However, I don’t think it’s a bad thing for the show. Many are calling this a Ryan Murphy failure, but they also forget that The Politician is as much as a Ryan Murphy show as is possible. All his shows are exhausting because they throw so much at you and it gets hard to catch on. And they tend to get irritating because you don’t know what’s going on. Also, there’s always this one character that is so unnecessary and random (a few of them are present in The Politician). But among these drawbacks, he gives you drama and extravagance that won’t bore you.
And The Politician is all of that and more. It breaks into random performances like Glee but then is as dramatic as American Horror story. The show keeps you on the edge of your seat! Plus, The Politician is also acting as a political satire comedy. I wouldn’t go on to call it a masterpiece but they pulled it off really well.
Interesting Premie of the Show
The overarching plot of The Politician centers around a privileged white high school boy named Payton (Ben Platt) who’s dreamed of becoming the president since age 7. The entire show revolves around his student body president campaign. But it’s no ordinary high school campaign. It’s just as serious and mind-blowing as a real presidential campaign. You’ll get to see bribing, kidnapping, and many assassination attempts.
Pretty Diverse Cast
As I’ve mentioned above, Ben Platt is perfection and I found no fault in his acting. Though I would’ve liked if the entire premise of the show was based in colleges rather than high school. But it’s not like this is the first time actors older than their characters are playing them (Looking at you Riverdale).
Other than Ben Platt, the show boasts of Jessica Lange and Gwyneth Paltrow. The former was amazing in the collective 10 minutes she got on the show and Gwyneth Paltrow was probably only there for promotional purposes. The promos had me believing that she’d be a center point while she’s not even a dot in the show.
Stellar performances were given by the two actors who played Payton’s advisers. I’d love to see more of Theo Germaine and Laura Dreyfuss. Zoey Deutch as Infinity Jackson was a surprise. I’m not sure if I like Infinity or just find her overly cringy and irritating. Though I’m pretty sure I hated her boyfriend.
Lucy Boynton as Astrid was like a carbon copy of every mean girl character played by Emma Roberts. So, I’m not sure if I liked this rip-off or not. I mean they could’ve just cast Emma Roberts. But for whats its worth, Lucy’s Astrid was entertaining.
And lastly, David Corenswet as River was just as perfect as Ben Platt’s Payton. They both deserved to be together! Corenswet was a great addition to the cast and it’s unfortunate he didn’t get more screentime.
The Politician is Queer and I Love That
Almost all characters in The Politician are queer but not really out. And honestly, I love that. Imagine a gay or bisexual, I’m not even sure what is Payton’s sexuality, ends up becoming the real president in the upcoming seasons. The drama will be off the charts. Also, I like how the sexuality of these characters didn’t really shape their character arc. They’re obviously there but not the focal point. That’s something that we’ve seen plenty of times in Ryan Murphy’s shows and something we appreciate him for!
Should You Vote for The Politician?
The show did get my vote but don’t listen to me. Watch it for yourself and decide if it’s worth your vote or not. I’m giving The Politician 7.5 out of 10. (Ben Platt and David Corenswet get 100 each)