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Looking for a New Show to Binge Watch? Try Mrs. America.

As I was scrolling down the countless TV shows out there, I slowed down my scrolling pace (not stopped) when I saw Mrs. America (a show about second wave feminism and the Equal Rights Amendment). I recognized the show for its Emmy nominations (and one win), and the show came up in multiple conversation in my Intro to WGSS class. An hour later, once I got to the end of the last of “Best Shows of 2020” lists, I decided to watch Mrs. America because I didn’t want a future case of FOMO in Intro WGSS, and more importantly, because I had nothing else to do (read: nothing to do other than catching up on the past week’s asynchronous lectures and five hours’ worth of homework). Even though I’m sure the moment has passed for me to rack up those participation points by talking about a TV show, I’m really glad I started the academic year off strongly with procrastination by watching this masterpiece of a show. If you are looking for a good reason to procrastinate, watch Mrs. America because… well, what else are you going to do? If you need better reasons than “procrastinate” to start a show (or you just need to feel good about not doing any work), here’s why you should (that’s right, watching the show is mandatory and worth 5% of your final grade) watch Mrs. America.

  •     Mrs. America is super educational (it’s a second wave feminism crash course but better because there’s no final exam).

The show follows the political movement to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and the counter movement (STOP ERA) led by Phyllis Schlafly. Each episode is centered around a major personality in the second wave feminist movement (Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisolm, Bella Abzug, Brenda Feigen, and Jill Ruckelshaus). Even though the show is a dramatization of the historical events (after all, it is Hollywood), Mrs. America portrays a nuanced depiction of the 1970s women’s rights movement. Also, a lot of the events in the show resonate with current events.


Women protesting in the Women\'s March on Washington
Vlad Tchompalov, via Unsplash

 

  •       It has a start-studded cast (it’s like the 1970s version of Ocean’s Eight)

Since the show is about the 1970s feminist movement, there are a lot of iconic characters (read the previous paragraph again if you forgot the list of feminists already). The true beauty of big budget historical drama shows is famous people playing historical famous people. Mrs. America is no different: Cate Blanchett plays Phyllis Schlafly, Rose Byrne plays Gloria Steinem, Uzo Aduba plays Shirley Chisolm, Elizabeth Banks plays Jill Ruckelshaus, and most importantly, Sarah Paulson plays the fictional character Alice Macray. If you didn’t actually read the names, just go to the Wikipedia page where you can go down the biggest rabbit hole ever (actually, I think The Crown might have a deeper Wikipedia rabbit hole).

 

  •      There’s only nine episodes (so even if you end up hating it, you only lose nine hours of your life).

It is a miniseries, so if you’re not looking for a long-term relationship with a TV show, Mrs. America is the show for you. Each episode is about an hour, and there’s only nine episodes, so if you do the math, it only takes nine hours to watch the whole show. There’s probably not going to be a season 2, so you don’t even have to be worried about remembering to watch the show next year.


three women posting for picture
Omar Lopez/Unsplash

 

  •      It’s Emmy nominated (so, I’m not lying, it’s really good)

The show received 10 Emmy nominations this year, and Uzo Aduba won an Emmy for Supporting Actress. And if you still want to kill more time after you finish the show, just watch all the other Emmy nominated shows from this year.

 

  •     It has a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Do you need a bigger reason?

If this hasn’t convinced you, just think about how nice it would be to not re-watch The Office for the 213th time and stream Mrs. America on Hulu.

 

 

 

Brianna Hines is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and minoring in Marketing.
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