‘The Politician’ will mark a moment of radical change in Ryan Murphy’s career. It is his first Netflix original show, and his last show produced by Fox, in a deal that gave us ‘Glee’, ‘Nip/Tuck’, ‘Pose’, nine seasons of ‘American Horror Story’, and two seasons of ‘American Crime Story’. Even though this is Murphy’s first Netflix original, it is not part of the nine-figure, five.year deal he signed with Netflix earlier this year and has him producing more than ten original projects.
Murphy is definitely the man of the hour at Netflix.
‘The Politician’ will follow the story of Payton Hobart, a wealthy young man from Santa Barbara who has hefty political aspirations. He wants to become class president of his prestigious private high school to launch his political career. It’ll premiere on Netflix on September 29, 2019.
‘The Politician’ has many of Murphy’s recurring collaborators in the cast and some exciting newcomers. Alongside the series announcement, Netflix confirmed that Ben Platt would play Payton Hobart, the lead role and that Barbra Streisand would star as Dusty Jackson. Gwyneth Paltrow was announced as Georgina Hobart, Payton’s mother.
A few months later, Streisand revealed she would not join the cast to be able to work on her new album. Jessica Lange, one of Murphy’s most frequent collaborators, joined the show for the same role that Streisand was initially cast. Lange’s character is the over-protective mother of Infinity Jackson, played by Zoey Deutch, a young student that suffers the consequences of Hobart’s ambition. Lucy Boynton will portray Astrid, Lara Dreyfuss will be McAfee, Theo Germaine will portray James; Julie Schlaepfer, Alice. Rahne Jones is set to be Skye, Benjamin Barrett will play Ricardo, and David Corenswet will be River.
In March, Bette Midler and Judith Light were announced to guest star in the show. Dylan McDermott, another frequent Murphy collab, will play an unknown role, with January Jones portraying his wife.
The show was created, written, and produced by two of Murphy’s closest collaborators: Bryan Falchuk, who has worked with Murphy since ‘Nip/Tuck’ and happens to be Paltrow’s husband, and Ian Brennan. Ben Platt also executive produces. The production companies behind the show are Ryan Murphy Productions and Fox 21 TV Studios.
What do we know about the plot and production?
First of all, when Netflix announced the show, a second season was immediately greenlit, which means we’ll also have ‘The Politician’ next year. If the show continues, each season will focus on a different political process of Hobart’s rise to power.
The plot follows Payton Hobart, a wealthy, ambitious high school student that he’s bound to become President of the United States one day. And his first steps are to get elected Student Body President in his school and to secure a spot at Harvard. The first preview showed us the ultra-ambitious Payton, his enigmatic mother, and many classmates Payton will have to convince or fight in his rise to power.
We also know (minor spoiler) from the first chapter that Payton does not get immediately accepted into Harvard like his older siblings.
This leads to one of the major plotlines of the show, which resembles some of the college admissions scandals. Platt said in an interview he gave to Variety that he was shocked to find how the show lined up with some of the facts of the scandal. “It’s like a premonition,” he said. “Ryan [Murphy] is always a few steps ahead of the curve, so it doesn’t surprise me, but when it was happening, it was crazy. He was texting me like, ‘Can you believe that this is what our show is about?'”
Also, we know that most of the filming was planned so Paltrow could sweep in nicely into the show. Both Falchuk and Murphy felt she was perfect for Georgina’s role. Thus, they planned filming the show so she wouldn’t have to invest much time, as she is focused on Goop, her healthy lifestyle company. “It took some convincing…A lot of convincing,” Falchuk told The Hollywood Reporter. He said she was “muse for this character,” yet, Paltrow initially doubted because of her busy schedule, but finally got on board.
Here’s the trailer so you can see what ‘The Politician’ is all about:
The trailer has fans losing their minds about Jessica Lange’s role, as usual:
Saw that Jessica Lange was trending and feared the worst but it just turned out she’s out here being wildly iconic again. pic.twitter.com/CxavxJJtIJ
— Ally Poole (@allyremelle) August 19, 2019
You can watch ‘The Politician’ on Netflix on Friday, September 27th.