Ben Platt reprises his calculating role in ‘The Politician’
Ben Platt is back (and still blessedly singing) in the second season of Netflix’s bizarre series “The Politician.”
The delightfully off-the-wall series picks up where season one left off, with Payton (Platt) running for a New York State Senate seat against an incumbent who has held the seat for decades. Given that campaign hooliganry is what the first season focused on so heavily, it’s no surprise that the second season of “The Politician” follows suit, as Payton and his high school pals work to win the election against DeDe Standish (Judith Light).
After running a cruel and dirty campaign for class president when he was in high school, Payton is determined to run a clean race this time around and refuses to smear his competition even after he learns that DeDe is part of a secret thruple (a romantic relationship among three people) even though his friends and campaign coordinators think he should.
While all of this is going on, Payton is finishing up his senior year of college and his mother Georgina (Gwenyth Paltrow) has decided to run for office in California in a chaotic, but well-meaning manner and her spotlight casts Payton’s election into the shadows.
While the events in the second season take place four years after Payton’s high school rival/lover’s suicide, River still makes an appearance now and again in the series as Payton tries to grapple with who he is and the type of person he wants to be.
Most of the bright and amusing characters from season one have returned, however, Jessica Lange’s role as a grandmother with Munchausen’s by proxy ran its course in the first season leaving Bette Midler’s passionate and ruthless performance as political adviser Hadassah Gold to steal scene after scene.
While season two of “The Politician” is very similar to the first season with the hyperfocus on a campaign, the characters all experience some degree of personal growth from high school to late college while still maintaining their zany charm that makes “The Politician” such an engaging series.
Episode length: 30 minutes to 1 hour
TV rating: TV-MA
Similar series: Hollywood
Two seasons of “The Politician” are available on Netflix and the series is rated TV-MA. Viewers who enjoy the off-the-wall political plotting in “The Politician” may also enjoy creator Ryan Murphy’s alternative take on a more inclusive Tinsel Town post-World War II in “Hollywood.”