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The Politician: everything you need to know about Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Netflix show

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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This is going to be the television show that everyone is talking about in 2019.

Truly, we are living in the golden age of television – and the trailer for Netflix’s The Politician has proven that fact 10 times over.

The streaming platform reportedly forked out $300 million for Ryan Murphy, the man who created Glee, American Crime Story and Feud, for the eight-part series, which is due to debut in September. The Politician, a seriously star-studded anthology, focuses on the Machiavellian schemings of a young student politician. 

Here’s what we know about it so far.

What is The Politician about?

Murphy and Netflix have kept the plot of The Politician firmly under wraps, but what we do know about the show is that it will centre on Payton Hobart, a wealthy student politician from Santa Barbara, California, with designs on becoming Student Body President at his fancy high school.

Producer Ryan Murphy is one of the most powerful people in Hollywood

As the official synopsis reads: “To get elected Student Body President, secure a spot at Harvard, and stay on his singular path to success, Payton will have to outsmart his ruthless classmates without sacrificing his own morality and carefully crafted image.”

The show has already been commissioned for two seasons, with each season focussing on Payton’s role in a different political race. The idea, according to those in the know, is that the final season will follow Payton’s run for President. Think The Crown’s anthology-style setting mixed with the high school drama of Glee and the political machinations of Reese Witherspoon in Election or House of Cards. We’re already hooked.

Is there a trailer for The Politician?

Indeed there is. Check it out for yourself below:

Who is in the cast of The Politician?

The cast for The Politician is outrageously good. Ben Platt will play Payton in his first major role since his Tony Award-winning turn in Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. You might have seen Platt in Pitch Perfect as sweet-faced magician Benji, or in Ricki and the Flash or Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

But that’s so very far from all. Are you sitting comfortably? Let’s begin. The Politician will also feature Bette Midler, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutch, Judith Light, Bob Balaban and Lucy Boynton, fresh from the Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody.

And we saved the best for last – Gwyneth Paltrow will have a major starring role in The Politician

Murphy and Paltrow are frequent collaborators, Paltrow having served as a series regular as substitute teacher Holly Holiday on Glee. (Never forget her iconic performance of Party All The Time). Paltrow is also the wife of Murphy’s longtime collaborator and co-producer on The Politician Brad Falchuk. In fact, it was Murphy who set her up with Falchuk in the first place.

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“They’re both so great,” Murphy said of Paltrow and Falchuk. “If you met them, you would root for their love story. It’s quite a love story, and I’m close to both of them from different periods in my life.” 

Aside from Platt, none of the other cast members have confirmed roles yet. We’re guessing Paltrow will be playing Payton’s overbearing and Goop-y Californian mother – Paltrow serving up some Big Little Lies’ Renata Klein realness, here – with Deutch as his best friend and Light as the no-nonsense school principal. If anyone has any guesses as to who Midler might be playing, we’d love to hear them. 

Is this the only Ryan Murphy series coming to Netflix?

Far from it. Murphy is also working on a One Flew Over The Nest prequel series called Ratched, as well as Hollywood, about the golden age of Tinseltown and Consent, an anthology series about the #MeToo movement.  

When can I watch The Politician?

The Politician will stream on Netflix from 27 September. 

Images: Netflix, Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel.

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