Ryan Murphy highlights relevant societal and political issues in the humorous and highly anticipated second season of his Netflix series “The Politician.”
The storyline jumps to the end of season one, with Payton Hobart, played by Ben Platt, running for Senate in New York against it’s long time Senator Dede Standish, played by Judith Light.
Payton finds out from his former nemesis Astrid, played by Lucy Boynton, that Dede is in a throuple. This information could potentially ruin her career, and Payton struggles to consider whether to use it against her to win the race.
Payton is finally out on his own, still sober and still trying to figure out what kind of man and politician he is. He had the help of River, played by David Corenswet - or what he imagined to be River - and this season we get a tiny bit of River back to help Payton continue on his journey to self-discovery.
We see Payton acknowledge his inner self a little more this season and see truly how politics has continued to impact him. He realizes who he has become and has to decide whether he’s willing to live with that person.
If that wasn’t enough to deal with, Payton isn’t the only Hobart in politics. Payton’s mom Georgina Hobart, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is running for governor in California and causing all kinds of chaos, which is nothing less than thrilling to watch.
Infinity, played by Zoey Deutch, found a love for helping the environment and over time reduced her personal waste as much as possible. Payton uses this and Infinity's newfound fame from her books about her Munchausen by proxy experience, as the central point of his campaign to attract young voters.
“The Politician” doesn’t shy away from talking about important issues and this season was no different. The deceitfulness of politics, generational political judgement, cultural appropriation, and much more are discussed within a comedic and interesting storyline.
Like last season, one of my favorite episodes is from the voter’s perspective. This particular episode shows how the divide between the older and younger generations when it comes to politics and how that divide is hurting us in the end.
The show does a great job at showing the youth of our country, with Payton being a young and empowering candidate wanting to inspire others to do what is right and move in the right direction rather than stay in the past.
This season we got more love triangles, more craziness and yes, somehow even more drama, but, hey, that’s still politics. I hope shows like this help inspire our generation to get involved and be the change they want to see.
You don’t have to run for senator to make a real difference, standing up for what you believe in and working toward making it happen is really the lesson and goal here, and if Payton can do it, so can you.