WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
United States, 1970s. Lawyer and model housewife of six, Phyllis Schlafly is also a conservative activist. When she leads the movement to prevent the ratification of the amendment which aims to guarantee equal rights between the sexes, she unleashes the anger of feminists, led by their leaders, Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan …
Broadcast on US time on Canal + Series from April 16. 3 episodes seen on 9.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE ?
WHO IS IT WITH?
Mrs. America can boast of an impressive cast with Oscar-winning Cate Blanchett in mind, who finds her first big role on television here, that of Phyllis Schlafly, an ultra-conservative activist. Rose Byrne and Tracey Ullman camp feminist journalists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, respectively, while Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) portrays politics Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress. The rest of the excellent female cast includes Sarah Paulson, Margo Martindale, Elizabeth Banks, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor and Melanie Lynskey. John Slattery and James Marsden embody the two recurring male figures in the series.
WELL WORTH A LOOK ?
Created by Canadian Dahvi Waller, screenwriter on Mad Men and Halt and Catch Fire, Mrs. America is a choir mini-series inspired by real events that paints portraits of women activists who participated in the emergence of the feminist movement in the United States in the 1970s. Against the great figures of the time fighting for equality gender, the legalization of abortion and other progressive advances, such as Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan, a woman stands out to wage another fight: “Mrs. America” Phyllis Schlafly, an ultra-conservative activist who campaigns against the women’s liberation movement and in defense of the status of housewife by preventing the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
If Phyllis Schlafly remains the common thread of the series, Mrs. America endeavors to narrate this political and ideological struggle between two female camps through the points of view of all the women concerned, who each have the right to their episode centered on their life, their journey, their convictions, their actions but also their disillusions. With its vintage credits, its retro atmosphere and its effective staging, Mrs. America turns out to be a kind of feminine political Mad, tasty, important and inspiring. Through the struggles of these women, this mini-series takes a look behind the scenes of the first discussions on the place of women in society and the genesis of women’s liberation movements.
With intelligence and strength, the series avoids falling into a Manichean pattern and exposes the difficulties encountered by all women against patriarchy but also within their groups of activists, whatever the camp. Sharp and masterful, Mrs. America is a major and necessary series which is interested in the bases of an ongoing debate which echoes terribly in our current society. Cate Blanchett is incredible in her role as a cold activist, conservative and determined to defend the status of housewife. But her fight against the ratification of the amendment aimed at guaranteeing equal rights between the sexes will paradoxically lead her to extricate herself from her status which is dear to her and rub shoulders with men in high places who will use her popularity to their advantage. advantage.
The rest of the impeccable cast comes to tickle the power of Phyllis and allows to question everyone’s convictions to understand their interests, but we regret that some characters are not developed further. More than a historic drama, Mrs. America is above all a political series that will appeal to fans of the genre. If certain aspects of the American bureaucracy sometimes seem vague, the pawns are gradually being put on the chessboard and we understand progressively the ins and outs of this major period of American history through the shenanigans of Phyllis and the actions of Gloria Steinem and her sisters in this exciting FX series.