Extremely underrated series, Mrs America is the perfect show in these uncertain times that explain to the new generation, me included, why the United States is screwed.
While taking a stand against bigots, the show tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the United States, and the illogical backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly.
In addition to Schalfly (Cate Blanchett), each episode focusses on one of the main characters that anyone who reads a book should know: Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale), and Jill Ruckelshaus (Elizabeth Banks). If it weren’t for those women (minus Schalfly), you wouldn’t have a female vice president now and you certainly wouldn’t have same sex marriage.
I obviously don’t know much about any of the women, but Blanchet’s performance was a master class is giving the “villain” layers and force audiences to sympathize with them. Even when I wanted to hate her, she gave Schalfy enough depth for me to feel bad for her. On the other hand, Rose Byrne captures Steinem’s appeal perfectly, I didn’t know much about her, but I’m certainly researching now. In addition, Uzo Aduba is perfectly cast as proudly pioneering presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm. If I were on the Emmy committee, I would certainly give her an Emmy for her role as Chisholm.
In fact, it’s even possible to ignore the politics and enjoy Mrs America simply as a drama about strong women with clashing ideals. That’s a testament to peerless writing and steamroller performances, led by the quietly smoldering Blanchett.
Should you watch it?
In fact, as a gay person in north america (Canada thankfully and not the United States), I should be thankful for the movement highlighted in this show. Yes, it starts as the Women Liberation movement, but it’s also much more. Just watch the show.