Friday, June 10, 2022

What I’m Watching: The First Lady

The First Lady: Season 1, Episode 7 “Nadir” (B+)

It’s really hard to watch this episode and see the devastation that Barack felt when he found out about the elementary school shooting in Sandy Hook and know that, ten years later, nothing has changed and this happened again. I suppose that’s one of the effective things about this show, that it will continuously be relevant. Even if segregation no longer exists and did endure long after FDR’s time in office, there is still rampant racism in our society. There are still men who call women hysterical and do nothing to try to help when there is actually a problem, instead moving to manage it and contain it so that someone more capable can step in to take the lead. Don and Dick coming over on Christmas Eve to get Betty on message was intrusive, but Dick telling Betty at James’ funeral that he had put together resumes for Nancy’s replacement was outright cruel, only confirming to her that she was thought of as expendable and insignificant. While Franklin said to his disapproving daughter that he wouldn’t be able to do anything to end segregation because then he would lose support to do anything more, Eleanor received affirmation of her decision to publicly resign from an unexpected source, her mother-in-law. I like that Tommy and Eleanor both concluded that there must have been something seriously wrong with Sara for her to deliver a compliment, an important moment of humor in an otherwise very appropriately serious episode. Ford laughing at Chevy Chase’s impression of him was also fun.

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