Netflix's new comedy drama The Politician has some tantalizing set-up for season 2 in its final episode, so here's what we know so far about Payton Hobart's future. Played by Ben Platt, Payton is a student at Saint Sebastian High School with a very strict and carefully-formulated game plan to become the President of the United States - starting with winning the election for student body president and then going on to Harvard.
Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, The Politician has a rich cast that includes Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ian McDermott and January Jones, as well as a promising cast of newcomers who make up Payton's classmates. The season 1 finale also introduces Judith Light as New York state senator Dede Standish and Bette Midler as her chief of staff, Hadassah Gold, setting them up to become regulars in The Politician season 2.
Payton's mission to become president has already experienced some major bumps in the road, and he still has a long way to go before he has a real shot at the White House. Here's everything we know so far about The Politician season 2.
The Politician Hasn't Been Renewed For Season 2 Yet
Despite season 1's final episode effectively serving as a season 2 premiere, The Politician hasn't officially been renewed by Netflix yet. But given Murphy's strong relationship with the streaming platform, we don't expect it to be in limbo for long. The Politician is the first of several series on the way from Murphy, who has inked an overall deal with Netflix that also includes biographical series A Chorus Line, starring Ewan McGregor, and a show called Ratched in which Sarah Paulson will play a younger version of the antagonistic nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Netflix typically announces renewals a few weeks after a show's release, so expect news about The Politician season 2 soon.
When The Politician Season 2 Could Release
Netflix shows don't follow the typical patterns of network TV, where shows tend to premiere new seasons at the same time each year. In fact, some Netflix series take breaks of anything from 18 months to two years between seasons. However, given that The Politician doesn't have to deal with complex special effects or animation and season 2 will presumably be eight episodes long, like the first season, we could expect to see more episodes as early as September 2020.
What Will The Politician Season 2's Story Be
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Politician season 1.
In the seventh episode of The Politician season 1, "The Assassination of Payton Hobart, Part 2," Payton finally has his downfall. After surviving not one but two assassination attempts, his political career at Saint Sebastian High is ended when Dusty Jackson reveals that he knew his running mate, Infinity Jackson, didn't really have cancer. The school's principal orders Payton to resign, and he complies. His campaign advisor, James, tells him that he will never recover from this and that his chances of becoming president are over. His girlfriend, Alice, breaks up with him. Harvard University withdraws its offer. It looks like the dream is over.
The season finale, "Vienna," picks up three years later, with Payton now attending NYU and working as a piano player in a New York bar. He has lost all of his ambition and is stuck in a cycle of stumbling home drunk every night. However, his old campaign advisor McAfee offers new hope when she starts an internship with state senator Dede Standish and discovers that Dede has grown complacent after years running unopposed. McAfee and James get the gang back together - including Payton's former enemies Astrid and Skye - and persuade Payton to run against Dede. This is the set-up for The Politician season 2: a new campaign to run, a new opponent to beat, and a chance to get back on the ladder to the presidency.
It's a bold move for a show that was set up as a high school drama. Season 2 will presumably see Payton struggling with the challenges of running a real political campaign, and trying to keep Dede and Hadassah from discovering the skeletons in his closet. We can also expect him to continue wrestling with the morals of fighting dirty in order to win - especially when it comes to the salacious secret of Dede's three-way marriage.