Saturday, June 20, 2020

What I’m Watching: The Politician (Season Premiere)

The Politician: Season 2, Episode 1 “New York State of Mind” (B+)

It feels early for this show’s second season to premiere, after its first debut in September and I finished it by November. It’s just unusual for streaming shows to have seasons released that close together, even though broadcast network series only take a few months off during the summer (until virus-related production delays may have now changed that). Either way, it’s nice to have this wild, overstuffed show back as it leans fully into its new setting and slate of characters that were all introduced in the season one finale. One thing I like is that, even though the show is still prone to characters feeling over-the-top and presenting as completely unrealistic, there were some honest, sincere moments where they did feel real, particularly Judith Light’s Dede Standish and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Georgia Hobart coming to life while arguing during debates. Payton’s attempt to run this race clean didn’t end up winning out, and only Skye noticed that he was happy to let an entire watercooler spill on the floor because he was angry about poll numbers. Complaining about spending a fraction of the budget on hand sanitizer takes on a whole new meaning now, and it’s evident that all of these characters would retreat into cocoons if they had to live in our current reality. There’s plenty of treachery afoot, with Andrew spying for Payton’s campaign and Astrid working directly with Hadassah to spy for Dede’s. Tino sleeping with Georgina can’t be a good idea, and his eventual announcement that she’s his pick for vice-president is going to make Dede much angrier since she happens to be Payton’s mother. This season is only seven episodes as compared with season one’s eight, and I’ll spend the next few weeks working my way through what’s sure to be an entertaining and energetic rollercoaster.

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