Gaslit reminds us how good Julia Roberts is. It’s a great show on its own, & Roberts makes it almost phenomenal.
A modern take on the 1970s political Watergate scandal centering on untold stories and forgotten characters of the time. Gaslit is centered around the charismatic Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts), of wife John Mitchel (Sean Penn), Attorney General of the United States under President Richard Nixon.
Everyone knows the story behind Watergate, but few know the story of Michell, her being the only one exposing Nixon from the beginning, and how she was thrown under the bus by her own husband. In fact, the show’s main missing is to rectify that. The limited series will move you, with consistent satire, at times it can be disturbing and dark.
It also helps to have a great cast. Roberts is magnetic as the gossipmonger turned voice of dissent. The show does justice to Martha Mitchell’s robbed legacy, but it also contextualises her fate within the larger social and cultural forces of the time, vividly recreating the paranoia, power plays and cynicism of the political process.
The eight-episode does seem a bit overstuffed, especially with the out of context and painful episode seven. However, it is always engaging and comes at the right time to remind viewers that 50 years ago, when so many people lost their spine, others also grew one.
Should you watch it?
Gaslit may look at Watergate with a fresh lens, but the lessons are deeply relevant. Especially when it comes to listening and understanding people, and the truth.