Netflix has released a series of new images giving a first look at Ryan Murphy’s new show The Politician. The comedy series is set for a September premiere and stars actor and singer Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect) as Payton Hobart - a wealthy resident of Santa Barbara, California with ambitious political aspirations. Each season of the show will apparently center around a different political race of Payton’s career, though the initial focus will be on his efforts to become class president of his high school - familiar territory for Murphy who also created high school-set comedy drama Glee.
Alongside Platt, The Politician cast includes Gwyneth Paltrow as Payton’s adoptive mother and David Corenswet (House of Cards) and Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody) as popular high school students River and Astrid. The show will also see Murphy reunite with his American Horror Story muse Jessica Lange whose casting was confirmed last year and will play Dusty - a woman hailing from West Virginia who is mother to a cancer-stricken daughter named Infinity, played by Zoey Deutch (Zombieland: Double Tap). Other confirmed cast members include Lange’s American Horror Story co-star Dylan McDermott, January Jones, Bob Balaban (Broad City), Julia Schlaepfer (Charlie Says), Benjamin Barrett (Varsity Punks), Laura Dreyfuss (Glee), Theo Germaine (Work in Progress) and newcomer Rahne Jones.
Now thanks to Netflix releasing its first look images, we have a better idea of what The Politician cast will look like in character. Judging by the photos and some of the designer threads on show, it looks like Santa Barbara’s wealth and privilege is well-represented as is the cutthroat world of high school politics. Platt as Payton is also giving off some major Tracy Flick from Election vibes too, so it’s likely his character will be just as ambitious and ruthless.
The show is part of a five-year deal worth around $300 million that Murphy signed with Netflix in early 2018. Alongside The Politician, the deal reportedly includes another show with the working title Consent that is inspired by the #MeToo movement and will be delivered in an anthology format. It’s a canny move on Netflix’s part considering that Murphy is no stranger to producing a hit show.
However, given Netflix’s tendency to cancel shows after just three seasons, who knows how long The Politician (and Consent, if it happens) will last. Working in its favor is the fact that The Politician has the potential to be a great show - it’s got a talented cast, Murphy’s Midas touch and it’s being made in a political climate ripe for satirizing. Let’s see if The Politician has staying power when it premieres on September 27.