Series: The Politician
Where to watch it: Netflix
Seasons available: One
Highly dramatized run for class president for sure. Payton Hobart has plans on becoming the President of the United States. And of course, one cannot do that without first becoming student body president at his prestigious school. It seems like it will be an easy run until his former lover, River Barkley announces his intent to run at the instance of his girlfriend of Astrid (yes, there is some tantalizing background drama there that is later explored….). Enraged at the betrayal, Payton confronts River only to have River commit suicide right in front of him.
Torn between the shock and grief and the relief at now running unopposed, Payton regroups with his campaign managers. They are concerned that being the only witness to the suicide could look bad for Payton so he plans a memorial service for River. This seems to work in his favor until River’s former girlfriend, Astrid, announces that she will run in River’s memory.
In this high stakes game, Payton and his mangers, realizes that Astrid may have the sympathy vote. They begin to search for the perfect running mate. After trial and error, they decide on Infinity Jackson. Infinity is a cancer-stricken girl who they believe will be perfect until they learn that she is in fact a victim of munchausen by proxy. Infinity’s not sick in the classical sense but slowly being killed by her grandmother for financial and social gain. One of Payton’s managers insists that they must drop Infinity because if anyone finds out this will ruin them but Payton elects to proceed. Meanwhile, Astrid announces her running mate to be an African American non-binary queer person named Skye.
Outside of school, Payton’s home life is equally disastrous. He is the adopted son in a very financial secure family. He has a devoted mother, a father who does not love him, and twin psychopathic brothers. His mother is essentially only married to his father for the money and only remains with him for Payton’s security and future. However, this is all threatened when she falls in love with the female equestrian that cares for their horses.
Astrid runs a dirty campaign and releases a video where Infinity calls a reporter a “Buttmunch” and the school declares her homophobic. Forced to drop her from his ticket, Payton tells Infinity the truth about her grandmother and she runs away from home with her idiotic boyfriend. Astrid’s running mate, Skye, feels Astrid is not taking the election seriously and approaches Payton about switching sides.
Infinity’s grandmother reaches out to her boyfriend and convinces him that Payton is trying to take Infinity away from them. She suggests that they kill him. Election day arrives and Astrid drops out last moment. Payton celebrates the win until Astrid taunts him with the fact that it’s a false victory. And then Payton is shot by Infinity’s boyfriend- in the butt with a pellet gun. But first he soaked the pellet in rancid squirrel guts in hopes that Payton will get sepsis.
To celebrate the victory, Skye gives Payton a homemade cupcake made with rat poison. When he fails to die, Skye does not become president as hoped. One of his campaign managers becomes suspicious of Skye. Unfortunately, the truth about Infinity comes to light and Payton is forced to resign. Skye becomes student body president after all until Skye is arrested for poisoning Payton. Meanwhile, Payton falls terribly ill and is hospitalized. Doctors are unable to find the cause. Infinity learns of her boyfriend’s crime and rushes to the hospital in time to safe his life, telling them of the weird squirrel guts sepsis plan that actually came to pass.
Infinity’s boyfriend and grandmother gather at her home in panic and her grandmother accidentally shoots her boyfriend. Payton’s mother leaves to find her own happiness. Payton is disowned by his unloving adoptive father and brothers, leaving him to an uncertain future.
In the last episode (which I admit that I had to go back and watch because I thought the series ended there- I mean that was enough of a cliffhanger), we find Payton in college. He has reconciled with Infinity and Skye though his life is essentially in shambles. He is a functioning alcoholic that sees his dead former lover as a sort of spirit guide. But his life seems to turn around when his former high school friends and even enemies recognizes that he has a legitimate chance at winning a seat in the state senate and pull him out of his funk in time to announce his candidacy. We are left with what promises to be a bloody battle between him and a seasoned opponent in a future in an upcoming election.
Is it worth watching: Yes, though it is super drama filled with some intense moments so if you are one of those people who have issues with suicide, maybe refrain. Otherwise, this is a super ridiculous dark (Did I mention dark?) comedy. It’s a fast paced, wild ride full of crazy situations and anxiety ridden teenagers with the world on their shoulders. It also has a great cast including Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, January Jones, Dylan McDermott, Judith Light, Bette Midler, and probably some others I’m forgetting.