The Politician (2019)

“The Politician” (2019) created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, has a title sequence that captures the picture-perfect nature of the TV show through its musical clues, detailed motion, and color choices.  The title sequence starts off with the display of several intricate objects that each have specific purposes, then glides into the figure of a wooden casket, and ends with a shot of a professionally dressed male.

Firstly, the role of music is important in the course of the sequence as it provides a basis for the transitions and movements that take place.  The music begins with a few strung out notes, then builds to an intense  strumming pattern, and finally ends with a cacophony of powerful trumpets and violins.  In the shot below, the music shifts into an up-tempo rhythm right as the two figures are tripped over onto the wooden surface, which exhibits the relationship between movement and music.

Additionally, motion is utilized in a contrasting manner taking place in almost every shot of the sequence.  The camera gradually zooms-in to capture the scene and most objects stay still, while the focus is brought to the occurrence of sudden movement.  For instance, in the top-left picture, the two figures with blue and purple shorts are topple quickly as the camera slowly lingers over the scene.  In this case, the movements are concentrated and effective in catching the viewer’s attention.  These types of movements interrupt the seamless flow of the shot when they take place in such selective cases.

Finally, the choices made about the color usage for the different elements displayed in the shots throughout the sequence are significant in that they symbolize several things.  In the photo right below, the red color of the blazer is vibrant and striking, which stands out compared to the other subdued color shown in other parts of the sequence.  While in the last photo, the wooden figure of the male is cast as pure and perfect with its light tints of beige and off-white.

With the careful use of motion, color, and music, the viewer’s are able to get a glimpse of the overall mood of the TV series along with the potential themes that could revolve around perfectionism and the madness behind it.

Discussion — One Response

  • Lauren Wheeler 04/19/2021 on 2:38 PM

    I love your analysis of this title sequence! The Politician is one of my favorite shows and watching the opening title scene always gave me a sense of uneasiness and I really liked how you pointed out that the themes revolve around perfectionism and madness. With how intense this title sequence is, it would be hard to guess that the first season is only about the main character running for Student Body President at his high school. I really like the use of imagery in this title sequence, specifically the clip of the pills being dropped at 0:10 and the placement of the checkbook at 0:26. Both of these images really help feed into the idea that this is obviously taking place in a very affluent area and this is not just any regular high school student government election.