Typical coming-of-age dramas are peppered with romances, betrayal and peer pressure. However, few look beyond the high school dwellings and at the bigger picture.
In Netflix series The Politician, Saint Sebastian High School serves as a mere backdrop to a larger storyline about the underbelly of societal wealth and power – and what it takes to keep it.
Across eight episodes, the unravelling of a privileged student is told through the colourful lens of acclaimed collaborators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
Ben Platt leads the class as Payton Hobart. He's wealthy, smart and a cut above his peers. His plan to become President of the United States was decided at the age of seven, and his friends – or "advisors" as they prefer to call themselves – are set to take huge steps towards that goal by helping him win the race to become the student body president.
It seems easy enough in theory. But despite his status and academic record, Payton doesn't connect with people, and his cohort doesn't exactly play nice. Oh, and his opposition is the most popular guy in school.
When smarts only get you so far, Payton's path begins to crack. But rest assured, he isn't the only one fighting to stay in the elusive one per cent.
How low will Payton go to rise to his "rightful" place in society? Playing on everyday scenarios with the absurdities and vanity of each character is key to the show's success.
With a finger on the pulse and satirical cheek, The Politician plays out like a melodramatic school production – and everyone wants to be the star.
Scroll through to get to know the key players of the hit new drama below…
Fans know him from the musical comedy Pitch Perfect. But his Broadway performance in Dear Evan Hansen has made him a star. Ben plays Payton, whose path to success is diminished by those around him.
The young actor joins the fray as Payton's political opponent, River. Handsome and rich, River is a shoo-in to win the race. But will his inner demons destroy him?
The Bohemian Rhapsody actress plays River's bitter girlfriend, Astrid. She's popular, manipulative and in it to win it.
The Set It Up actress hits her stride as fellow student Infinity, who crosses paths with Payton on his campaign trail. The unlikely pair decide to help each other with their agendas.
The Academy Award winner debuts in her first leading role for television as mum-of-three Georgina. Despite her lavish lifestyle, she's not particularly happy with her world.
This is Gwyneth's first time working with her husband, Brad Falchuk, since a brief stint on Glee.
Having appeared in other Murphy-Falchuk series such as American Horror Story, Jessica joins the fray as a deceitful con woman and relative of Infinity.
While her role has been kept firmly under wraps, the iconic actress-singer is sure to bring some serious star power to the show. We can't wait to see her shine.
The Politcian premieres on Netflix on Friday, September 27.