The Politician: Season One (All Episodes)
September 30, 2019 8:50 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Payton Hobart, a student from Santa Barbara, has known since age seven that he's going to be President of the United States. But first he'll have to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: Saint Sebastian High School.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (12 comments total)
On a scale of Ryan Murphyness, how Ryan Murphy is this show?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:03 AM on September 30, 2019

Vice wasn't a fan -- Netflix’s 'The Politician' Is Trump-Era Satire, But Without Substance

But maybe there are some gems? How Bette Midler and Judith Light made ‘The Politician’s’ most surprising episode (L.A. Times, with spoilers)

I want to watch it to see how it portrays Santa Barbara. I was born and raised there, but left in college, only to come back every now and again to find it changing in weird ways. I don't want to live there again, and luckily for me, it seems like I'd never be able to afford to live there again, so it's not really an option.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 AM on September 30, 2019

I binged this over the weekend, and with only a passing familiarity with Ryan Murphy's work, I imagine it's very Ryan Murphy-y. But it worked? In many ways it reminded me of Revenge yet somehow the stakes felt higher.

I'll agree with Vice that there perhaps wasn't substance but that's not what I was looking for anyway. What got me hooked was watching a bunch of students taking "their campaign cosplaying to West Wing levels of ridiculousness"... "offset by its clever, if-Sorkin-had-a-Tumblr dialogue and its grand set and costume designs, which take equal cues from the excess of Baz Luhrman and the meticulousness of Wes Anderson. " (Stealing Vice's words because they're exactly what I would have stumbled around trying to describe)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:39 AM on September 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

DirtyOldTown, imagine RM wrapping up Scream Queens and deciding that a good next step would be remaking Rushmore and Royal Tennenbaums as a single mini-series. It’s that level of Ryan Murphy-ish. More focused than an average season of AHS, though.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:02 PM on September 30, 2019 [5 favorites]

I was sick over the weekend and watched it, and it was lovely to look at and had scenes of real humour and beauty, but the whole thing just didn't pull together. Some vital ingredient was missing to make it drive. The twins and their brother were very very good though - those scenes really worked.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:17 PM on September 30, 2019

Watched it last week, got a bit bored towards the end of the Series, think the focus on it being high-school politics started to run a bit thin. The final episode has set-up it nicely for a 2nd series though which i'm now looking forward to
posted by lloyder at 8:40 AM on October 1, 2019

I didn’t watch Glee, AHS, or anything else Ryan Murphy has done, so I don’t come to this with prejudice one way or another. Netflix served this up after I finished hate-watching Designated Survivot and it was a great antidote to that mood.

Reflecting on it overall, I think it was really enjoyable. I loved the production design, especially. While part of the reason I didn’t watch Glee is that petty high school drama didn’t appeal to me, this worked for me because things were more tightly focused and used a kind of ambition that looked farther than the confines of high school.

My biggest complaint is how Alice was used in the final episode. It’s easy to go from annoyance over that to disgust overall about the focus on a [rich] white man, but that wasn’t a deal breaker for me in this show.

It had humor, it had some darkness, it had characters I enjoyed watching. I really hope they fry a second season.
posted by itesser at 8:16 AM on October 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

The first episode was thin and without any edge. The only pleasure I took from it was that it suggested to me that Paltrow can't get work on Big Little Lies.
posted by biffa at 1:02 PM on October 3, 2019

The reviews have been very mixed, but I binged the whole series last weekend and loved it.
posted by trillian at 4:50 PM on October 4, 2019

I really was wary about this and primed to nitpick it but I honestly loved it so, so much. I wish they'd cut the last episode before Payton decided to backpedal and go after Alice (whose name I didn't even know until this episode?) and agree to run the campaign, because I really liked what I thought was all of the characters getting out of the bubble of their rich families and their high school politics and experiencing the rest of the world in all it's intense, depressing, boring, awesome normalness, some of them sticking together (Payton and Skye being friends even though she tried to kill him! love that) and some not (not even remembering when Payton and Alice stopped talking, real).

I think Payton getting back into politics again would even be good. But I can't be excited about the group of kids who all blew up into murderous corruption around each other getting back together to primary an apparently great state senator with a happy polyam family :/ especially, if it gets a season two, with Ryan Murphy's tendency to roll back character development so he can rerun the same dramas.

BUT other than the ending I thought it was really surprisingly fantastic and I was really into where it took things. Janet Mock directing more! Gwyneth paltrow and payton having a surprisingly great parental relationship! I 95% felt like the Comical Excesses of the politics of the show weren't making fun of me as a millenial/gen z sjw!

And my personal bias, the thing I love about this show and End of the Fxxcking World, both sympathetic takes on white boys who self-reportedly have no feelings and assume they're bad people and attempt to act accordingly, which could be so tedious or harmful. But I love them because the shows are unforgiving towards their actual bad behavior but also towards their self-flagellation. You're not evil! You're just mentally ill and unsupported! But don't try to kill people! Be a little vulnerable and find love!
posted by gaybobbie at 5:15 PM on October 8, 2019

A lot of good performances in this and the show was a lot of fun. My favorite line was "Rich white girls never lose. They just don't win sometimes.
posted by xammerboy at 10:00 PM on October 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just binged season 1. One of the more interesting scenes, for me, was Payton telling the principal that he's not a good person, but that he really does want to do good things and make the world a better place ... as justification for his inaction when he knew that Infinity's grandmother was poisoning her.
posted by bunderful at 7:53 PM on March 1, 2020

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