TV Review: The Politician Season 2

The ever-ambitious Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) returns in The Politician, as he is now running in the local elections for New York senate as he pathes his way to becoming President of the United States.

For those who need a season one recap, we were introduced to wealthy high schooler Payton Hobart whose dream is to become President of the United States. To do this, he must first become Student Body President so he can secure his spot at top university Harvard. However, in his way stands River Barkley – who was also his secret lover – as he runs for election against him.

Payton enlists Infinity by his side – a young student who is believed to have cancer, but it turns out her grandmother is faking her illness. With more ruthless classmates that stand in Payton’s way, this makes his journey to the top even harder, and much to Payton’s dismay they succeed in his downfall.

This is where we pick up in season two as we see Payton work his way to the top. This time, Payton is not the big shot Politician and is the underdog in this election as he is against the very experienced Dede Standish (Judith Light).

At her side is the arrogant and confident Chief of Staff Hadassah Gold (Bette Midler). Payton offers voters a change for the future for the younger people out there. Meanwhile, Payton’s mother Georgina Hobart (Gwyneth Paltrow) sets out for leadership of her own as the Governor of California. However, with her standing threatens her son’s campaign…

Compared to the first season, this plot mirrors that of the first so for most of the series is repeating exactly what you have watched before. What is more disappointing this time is there are fewer musical numbers and emotive scenes. It was these sorts of scenes that made the first seasons not only a comedy but added the emotive element to lure you more into the action.

Unfortunately, director Ryan Murphy fails to include as many of these scenes, making this season less appealing to viewers. As the story progresses, this makes the story more tiresome as we again watching what we have seen before.

Something else that makes this series less enjoyable is some of our favourite characters receive less airtime. For instance, Infinity Jackson (Zoey Deutch) is now an environmental activist as well as a popular celebrity.

In the first season, Infinity brought a naivety and humorous side to the show. However, the fact that she appears less in this season takes these elements away from what we previously watched.

This season isn’t a complete failure though as the lack of airtime for certain characters and musical numbers makes up for it in the airtime we have for our other favourite characters, Payton and his mother Georgina. Ben Platt’s portrayal of Payton in this season particular adds more depth as we see him run for his campaign with an issue he truly cares about.

Gwyneth Paltrow also continues her much loved role as Payton’s wacky and over-ambitious mother which not only entertains viewers but makes the mother-son chemistry between her and Payton even more believable for watchers.

Ultimately, The Politician season two is perhaps not as good as it could have been compared to the first season with less featured, but the roles played by both Ben Platt and Gwyneth Paltrow make the viewing more enjoyable.

By Katie Green

Feature image credit: Netflix

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