Friday, May 13, 2022

What I’m Watching: The First Lady

The First Lady: Season 1, Episode 4 “Cracked Pot” (B+)

While the previous episode ended with joyous weddings, this hour examined the consequences of marriage and how things aren’t always as rosy as they initially seem. While he was relatively apologetic about the whole thing, Franklin’s affair with Lucy Mercer, played by Maria Dizzia, hit Eleanor hard, and it would have surely ended their marriage had Sara not gotten in the way. Her threat to cut them both off was severe and one that convinced Franklin, but Eleanor was determined not to share a bed with the man who had broken her trust, one of the only truly impactful actions she could take in that era. I’m interested to see more about her relationship with Lily Rabe’s Hick. Betty’s story in this hour was similarly devastating, but for different reasons, showing how she first became dependent on medication and alcohol and how her bond with Clara got her through some of the much tougher times. Michelle was intent on advocating for change when she saw how her education level was the only thing that got her daughter the urgent medical attention she needed, and that’s how she met Kate Mulgrew’s Susan and started her work. I have to mention the strong performance from actress Jayme Lawson as the younger Michelle, and would advise anyone who hasn’t to watch her in the film “Farewell Amor.” This entire ensemble is terrific, with Eliza Scanlen and Kristine Froseth particularly strong choices to play the younger Eleanor and Betty, respectively, with Charlie Plummer as the younger Franklin.

No comments: