To Binge or Not To Binge Episode 62: ‘The Politician’


Hannah Allred

(Graphic by Hannah Allred | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Abigail Raasch, Arts Writer


This article contains mild spoilers for “The Politician.”

One beautiful aspect of Netflix is all the original content. We can acknowledge there have been some flops, but there have also been several phenomenal works of film. “The Politician,” created by Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, is one of the most recent releases by Netflix and a win by my standards. Season one was released on Netflix on Sept. 27 to be followed by season two in 2020.

“The Politician” features singer, Broadway legend and Tony Award winner Ben Platt. Platt plays student Payton Hobart, a wealthy, sociopathic, overly-driven and passionate dreamer. He dreams — or rather he is certain — that one day he will be the President of the United States. Hobart knows each step he needs in order to achieve such a goal. For the first and most immediate step in his life, he must become student body president of Saint Sebastian High School.

Throughout the course of the show, the intensity of the student body election grows, but not in ways many of us would find most relatable. Where other high school dramas could blow up over two girls wearing matching jeans, one student at Saint Sebastian has to deal with living as a victim of Munchausen by proxy. (That’s just one of several layers to the complex plot.) Hobart comes from the richest family in his area, surrounds himself with people of a similar lifestyle and in turn ends up in situations solely caused by the crazy sociological characters on every side. 

During his adventures, Hobart enters other people’s stories and draws them into his political schemes. They are confronted with extreme situations, hard binds, scandalous rumors and even death. In an effort to not spoil the show, all I will say is this intriguing and addicting story will make you question humanity, morals and our political system.


To Binge or Not to Binge?

The dream of being able to watch Platt in a series was a large draw for me to watch this show. After watching the trailer, I went into it expecting to have the usual high school drama, flavored with some fun singing by the amazing Platt and perhaps some dry sarcastic humor. On the contrary, the show is actually incredibly dark with a warped sense of humor. Episodes can get depressing, a bit extreme and ultimately hard to watch because of this. The acting, filmography and storyline are all genius, but the content is hard to handle and different from what I had expected.

“The Politician” is a well-crafted dark drama. For the majority of the season, I would have to say binging may not be the healthiest idea with this show. This is not to say you shouldn’t watch “The Politician” — I 100 percent endorse it — just take it easy. Overall, the show is intriguing with a complex, gripping storyline and a surprisingly optimistic conclusion.

Best Episode

“The Politician” has a thorough and constantly changing storyline, so to pick one specific episode is rather hard because they can’t be watched out of context. Season One, Episode Six and those after give much more depth to Platt’s character, adding more genuine human emotion and life and bringing together real friendships which finally feel stable for the characters. (Plus, he sings more in these episodes.)  This episode doesn’t suddenly become light and easy, but it does bring an acknowledgement of long-awaited development to the story.

Similar Shows

“The Politician” has themes of romance, danger, wealth, inhumane behavior, murder and dark humor. These themes are similar to those of “Gossip Girl,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Thirteen Reasons Why,” “The Act” and other such shows. This is a pick for those not afraid to approach darker and more sociopathic shows. 

Trigger Warnings

“The Politician” does contain sexuality, violence and strong language. Moreover, it will leave you with no faith in humanity, due to the choices constantly made by its characters.


“The Politician”
4 out of 5 stars
Available to stream on Netflix.
1 season, 8 episodes, approximately 6 hours total