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Mrs.Fletcher: The Hidden Gem We All Missed Out On

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi South chapter.

‘Woman means power’, ‘woman means strength’, ‘woman means resilience’, yes, yes, yes, we have heard all of these slogans and then some more, displayed on huge splashes of pink banner, especially in honor of the just celebrated International Women’s Day. But do you know what no one really talks about? That ‘woman means being set up for disappointment’, and this is what forms the premise of the 2019 Nicole Holofcener directed comedy miniseries Mrs. Fletcher, starring the phenomenal Kathryn Hahn in the namesake role.

Mrs. Fletcher, which is based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, is one hidden gem of a miniseries which ostensibly appears to be about porn but is so much more than just that. Although this female-centric series might not have garnered as huge a fan base as Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, it is a definite break from stereotypical tv and movie and has a relatability factor that makes it such a good watch.

The series starts with Eve Fletcher, our protagonist, who is a single suburban mom in her mid 40s with a son, Brendan Fletcher, played by Jackson White, who is about to leave for college the next day. Following Brendan’s departure Eve is left with an empty nest and a feeling of desolation, especially with no husband or children to dote on. It is from this moment that we see Eve realizing that her role in life is so much more than just a caregiver as she starts exploring, or rather re-exploring, all her sexual desires which she had been forced to suppress for so long to fit into society’s expectations of a ‘good mother’. What follows is that as Eve becomes more obsessed with porn, she learns to own her femininity as she partakes in the carnal pleasures of life she once fantasized about and believed were only feasible on screen. She also goes on to officially change her name from Eve Fletcher to Eve Mackey, thereby reclaiming the person she once was and completely destroying the person, Mrs. Fletcher, she was made to be.

However, in addition to this sweet moment of victory (for it is nothing short than that for our protagonist), there accompanies a bitter moment as well when in the last episode Eve’s son, Brendan, walks in on his mother in bed with other people and as the other people scurry out, the air is shown to be full of awkwardness and distraught between the mother and son. The series comes to an end with this scene, leaving viewers grasping at the straws to figure out what happens next; but perhaps it also serves as a social commentary on how married and older women’s desires are still considered something that should be talked about in hushed voices and shouldn’t even exist. However, the same society shows no qualms or complaints when it comes to men’s, older in particular, sexual proclivities. When Roy Rafferty, one of Eve’s senior center patients is reported to his son, George for watching porn on full blast publicly in the recreational room, his son in turn retorts to Eve, “He has no pleasures in life. You have any idea what that’s like?”.

We also get to see how porn, which is what the show appears to be about at first glance, shapes the lives of the different characters. On one hand, we see a mother get emboldened and empowered to regain her identity using porn. While on the other, we meet the son who has used porn to build a heteronormative and misogynistic point of view about women and how they like to be ‘used’ during sex (Eve is properly horrified when she hears her son call another woman a ‘fucking slut’ through his bedroom door).

While there’s a lot to comment on about Mrs. Fletcher, one cannot disagree that there is a lot to take away from it too. What I personally loved about the show is how Eve feels like a friend and the protagonist is not treated like some infallible, high and mighty super mom- no, she’s just a regular mom who is caught up in the mundanity of her life but can’t complain, and needs to catch a break. Mrs. Fletcher is definitely one of those shows that might never amass a huge following, but it leaves a clear mark in your memory that makes you think about it time and again. What else are you waiting for? If you haven’t watched it already, grab your favorite snacks and start bingeing right now!

Devanshi Mitra

Delhi South '24

Devanshi is a physics major and you are most likely to find her either doing something borderline illegal or cocooned in a blanket with her nose buried in a book and Taylor Swift blaring in her ears - there's no in between. An exuberant optimist and a firm believer of 'no judgement', when things go south, she'll be there to make it feel like home.