The Netflix drama follows high school senior, Payton Hobart’s (Ben Platt) lifelong dream of becoming the next president of the United States.
The title sequence of the show gives a few insights as to what might happen throughout the season without giving too much away.
Viewers see a huge wooden shelf with boxes filled with things like a Harvard emblem, a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Kennedy era presidential buttons and a tarot card which reads “la vittima,” translating to “the victim” in English.
The shelf is propped up, and carved to add some humanistic features. It isn’t until they add the coat of finisher to the wood that we see it’s in the shape of the protagonist, Hobart.
Season 1 lays the groundwork for Payton’s dream. The first task he has to tackle is winning his high school student body presidential election. A piece of cake for this polished and practiced gentleman, right?
Until he finds out that his Mandarin tutor friend, River (David Corenswet), is running against him.
When Hobart runs to River’s home to confront him, River is sitting alone with a gun hiding in his lap. The rest of the season allows viewers to see up close how this race is testing friendships, relationships and how far a person will go to get what they want.
The huge scene stealer in the show was Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Georgina Hobart, Payton’s mother. At first Georgina is carefree, but later we come to see that she’s protective of Payton and his dreams. She vows to make sure he will have everything he ever needs to succeed.
My problem with the series is viewers figure Saint Sebastian, the school the students attend, is a private school. All the important characters are rolling in cash and the director does a great job in showcasing it. It isn’t until the last few episodes that it’s apparent that it’s a public school.
The show takes place in Santa Barbara, so it’s fitting that a huge majority of the characters would be wealthy, but I am not so sure if all of this would be happening at a public school. It’s definitely the thing that makes viewers remember that they are watching a Netflix show .
The story does a great job of having many of the subplots lead or aid the main plot. But halfway through the season, the subplots began veering off into random directions.
The cliffhangers at the end of each episode will make viewers want to keep watching. This show is definitely worth a watch, and I’m counting down the days for the release of Season 2 in 2020.