Friday, May 29, 2020

What I’m Watching: Mrs. America (Series Finale)

Mrs. America: Season 1, Episode 9 “Reagan” (B)

I found this final episode to be the weakest of the series, but that doesn’t mean it was bad, just that everything else up to this point was superior. Maybe it was that each hour focused specifically on one woman, and the penultimate one was about the lesser-known women behind the scenes. This hour was more about what happened after as this show rushed to its rather abrupt conclusion that came as a result of Reagan’s election. The biggest casualty was definitely Phyllis herself who, after basking in the glory of getting to mock Bella and Gloria publicly and await a phone call from the president she helped get elected, did in fact get that call, only to be told that she couldn’t get what she had worked for because he needed to placate the pro-ERA groups. Her fate wasn’t all that different from what happened to Alice, which was to realize that she was no longer part of the movement she had worked so hard to support, unwilling to accept the concessions that Rosemary cruelly told her she should have known would have to be made. Bella being dismissed because she wasn’t wanted anymore was another unfortunate retirement, though at least she had the backing of her fellow liberals – including Jill – who showed solidarity by refusing to participate if she couldn’t be a part of it. Ending with cuts to modern-day happenings related to the ERA was very powerful, and this show definitely signed off on a high note. This series is likely headed for major awards recognition, and I for one will be happy to see it collect many trophies. While Blanchett was obviously excellent, I’d also love to see recognition for Elizabeth Banks (Jill), Ari Graynor (Brenda), and Kayli Carter (Pamela) in addition to the big-name stars.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Cate Blanchett as Phyllis

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