Since the beginning of the lockdown, we had time to read, to cook, to take care of ourselves, and – of course – to go through every streaming platform’s catalogues. If you run out of ideas on what to watch, here are five good reasons why you should start Mrs America!
1.Mrs America narrates a pivotal American feminist moment
Mrs America takes place in the USA in the 70s when the country was torn between two antagonist female-led political groups: the feminists and the anti-feminists. The plot focuses on the historical character of Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative housewive who previously had studied law. While she would have liked to participate in debates on the nuclear threat, Phyllis ends up fighting against the feminist movement and creates the STOP ERA campaign. The ERA – a.k.a the Equal Right Amendment – is a constitutional amendment in favour of gender equality. It was first proposed to the Congress in 1923 before second-wave feminists decided to reintroduce it to the centre of political debates. Among them were Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm and Betty Friedan, who are three American feminist figureheads represented in the TV show.
2.Mrs America features an all-star cast
Mrs America is the first tv show where you can see Cate Blanchett holding a lead role. Always wearing a perfect bun and a frozen smile, she plays Phyllis Schlafly, an antiheroine who has a complex personality.
You’ll find next to her other talented actors and actresses. Among them are Rose Byrne playing Gloria Steinem, Uzo Abuda in Shirley Chisholm, Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan, as well as Sarah Paulson and Margo Martingale.
3.Dahvi Waller is Mrs America’s creator
You may have never heard of Dahvi Waller, but you certainly know – and enjoy! – some of the shows she created. Indeed, Dahvi Waller is none other than the one behind Desperate Housewives and Mad Men!
4.Mrs America has an amazing original soundtrack
When you think of the seventies in the USA, you probably associate the period with the Vietnam War, the feminist movement, and the hippie movement. Yet, it was also a time when music held a considerable place. Therefore, watching Mrs America, you will be able to discover – or rediscover – key songs and artists from the decade, such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Eagles, The Kinks, … Beware, you will probably want to shazam them all!
5.Mrs America resonates with current events
Watching Mrs America is a way to take a backwards step when Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to be elected in Congress, just a few years after the end of segregation in the USA. It is also an opportunity to follow second-wave feminist debates on equal pay and abortion rights. While Mrs America is a historical show, it also highly resonates with current events in America where anti-feminist backlashes regularly happen since President Trump’s election. Nowadays, wage inequalities still exist, and the right to abortion keeps being threatened in the USA. As for the ERA, it was not until the beginning of 2020 that Virginia finally ratified the text, hence becoming the last State approving the amendment. Better late than never!
Article by Léah Boukobza