Monday, November 7, 2016

Pilot Review: Good Girls Revolt

Good Girls Revolt (Amazon)
Premiered October 28

I feel like Amazon is churning out new shows almost every week now, firmly competing with Netflix for the streaming service with the best original programming, something that wasn’t true even a few years ago. When asked about his relationship with Amazon at a New York Film Festival press conference for the film “The Lost City of Z,” director James Gray joked that it started when he needed to order some toilet paper. Amazon has grown into something so much bigger and more formidable, still delivering the same kind of quality, and therefore it seems like the perfect fit for this period drama about the winds of change blowing at a news magazine where men take all the credit for the hard work done by the female researchers. Putting Anna Camp, who’s great in just about everything, in the cast is a boon, and the concept of turning something like “Mad Men” on its head is definitely appealing. But there’s something about the explicit chauvinism of the characters on this show that feels suffocating, and the show is so set on having certain people - namely Grace Gummer’s Nora Ephron - wrestling so bluntly and vocally with that concept in stark contrast to the way things are and the way change is achieved in that kind of environment. Having her walk out and quit after the quality of her work suddenly went downhill when she was revealed to be its author makes me intrigued to at least see where episode two takes us, but I’m not anywhere near as impressed as I had hoped to be.

How will it work as a series? That’s what I don’t know. This pilot premiered almost a full year ago on Amazon and was obviously enough for viewers to vote for it to become a series, and so I imagine it will head in an interesting direction that isn’t so miserable and frustrating. It being a fictional story also helps because it can be a bit more sensational and progressive than perhaps real times were.
How long will it last? It looks like reviews for the show were pretty good, and there’s just about no reason for Amazon not to continue with any of their shows if they’re popular enough. I suspect this one will run for a few seasons.

Pilot grade: B-

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