Netflix’s new series, “The Politician”, tackles mental health, political correctness, and economic evils with a surprising mix of drama, music, and satire, and revenge. The show is not unique to the young adult television genre, however, it has quickly gained a fanbase of teens and adults alike.
Carried by a stacked cast featuring Ben Platt, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Zoey Deutch, “The Politician” survives on the strong performances of the actors. In particular, the family dynamic between Platt and Paltrow’s characters adds substance and drama to the show. The show would truly not survive without strong performances, as its plot is relatively weak.
One of the biggest issues with the show is the lack of structure and plot. Many of the plotlines (such as Astrid’s runaway) felt out of place, while many fans wanted other storylines to develop, specifically River and Payton’s romance. The amount of LGBTQ+ characters in the show drew a lot of attention, but fans were left feeling empty on their development and romances.
The episodes “The Voter” and the series finale “Vienna” felt entirely out of place and ended up breaking the tone and some of the charm of the series. This issue may stem from the lack of a central director for each episode, a concept that many Netflix series’ have struggled with in the past.
The show drew some controversy for its portrayal of mental health, some viewers even comparing it to “Thirteen Reasons Why”. Because of the way the suicide is treated in a mostly satirical show, some aspects of the mental health storyline come across as offensive. However, the real nature of the suicide story makes it a worth watching series.
Ultimately, “The Politician” is a series worth watching, whether it is just for an easy watch or for the great performances by Platt and Paltrow. The show may have some lackluster details, but overall it creates a heartwarming, watchable first season.
Grace Beilman // Opinion Editor