*This article contains spoilers for season 1 of The Politician.
In the grand scheme of things, anything right now on television seems ridiculous. The Politician boils politics down to numbers and scandals, as if that’s all that can determine a Presidency. But the show, at its core, is over the top, naively optimistic, while at the same time equally pessimistic.
Two years ago, the way the show was portrayed made sense. In today’s world, nothing makes sense, including the show. Although for that I’m good. The show picks up where it left off. With Payton Hobart running for state senate with his group of friends from high school (and even some former enemies) behind him.
There is back stabbing, hilarity, and drama that would make All my children proud. My one issue with the show this season was a conversation between Payton and Astrid in which they discuss River Barkley’s sexuality.
For those who haven’t seen the show, the first season details Paytons bid for student body president using high school politics as a metaphor for real, life politics. River Barkley is a popular, charming athlete who decides to run but whose untimely death adds fuel to the already bitter rivalry between Payton and Astrid. Both of whom are in love with him.
In season 2, the two discuss a threesome that almost happened between them along with Rivers sexuality. Astrid says something along the lines of “knowing that he wasn’t gay”. Paytons own sexuality hasn’t been defined either, despite this having been a major plot point for season 1. When the series trailer originally aired for season 1, I remember being excited about the possibility that they were going to tell the story of an openly gay man with dreams of being president. Instead, Payton is playing house with Alice, and it was brushed off.
That said, it is entirely possible that future seasons are going to discuss this later and maybe make it part of Payton and his political journey. But something about the conversation seemed off, especially considering how much the show has played up Payton and River as having been in love.
The show talks about sexuality being on a spectrum, which is great, and a conversation that should be had. But in an era where people are struggling to make themselves seen, I think it would be nice to have someone define who they are sexually.
The only character who really talks openly about their identity and sexuality is Skye Leighton, who defines herself as gender non-conforming. T
That said, the shows discussions about sexuality makes leaps and bounds compared to most television shows even having an on going story line about Thrupples. Anything that gets the conversation going is a good thing, and I can definitely appreciate what the show is trying to do. And if you are looking for a ridiculous, fun way to kill some time the show will not disappoint.