Mrs. America (miniseries)
Mrs. America is an American drama television miniseries created by Dahvi Waller about the political movement to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. It stars Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Elizabeth Banks, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Tracey Ullman, and Sarah Paulson. The series aired on FX on Hulu from April 15, 2020 to May 27, 2020, and received widespread critical acclaim.
|Created by||Dahvi Waller|
|Theme music composer||Walter Murphy|
|Opening theme||"A Fifth of Beethoven"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Running time||43–54 minutes|
|Original network||FX on Hulu|
|Original release||April 15 –|
May 27, 2020
Mrs. America is loosely based on the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and the unexpected backlash led by Phyllis Schlafly, played by Blanchett. Through the eyes of the women of that era—both Schlafly and second-wave feminists including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus—the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the '70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and shifted the American political landscape. Every episode contains an opening message which acknowledges that some scenes and characters are fictionalized for creative purposes.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly
- Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem
- Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm
- Elizabeth Banks as Jill Ruckelshaus
- Kayli Carter as Pamela
- Ari Graynor as Brenda Feigen
- Melanie Lynskey as Rosemary Thomson
- Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug
- John Slattery as Fred Schlafly
- Jeanne Tripplehorn as Eleanor Schlafly
- Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan
- Sarah Paulson as Alice Macray
- Niecy Nash as Flo Kennedy
- James Marsden as Phil Crane
- Olivia Scriven as Liza Schlafly
- Bria Henderson as Margaret Sloan-Hunter
- Jay Ellis as Franklin Thomas
- John Bourgeois as George McGovern
- Ben Rosenfield as John Schlafly
- Jake Lacy as Stanley Pottinger
- Cindy Drummond as Lottie Beth Hobbs
- Annie Parisse as Midge Costanza
- Melissa Joyner as Audrey Rowe Colom
- Teresa Pavlinek as Ann Patterson
- Andrea Navedo as Carmen Delgado Votaw
- Melinda Page Hamilton as Mary Frances
- David Eisner as Martin Abzug
- Marcia Bennett as Dadie Stewart
- Novie Edwards as Willie B. Reed
- Brendan Cox as Bruce Schlafly
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date ||Prod.|
|1||"Phyllis"||Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck||Dahvi Waller||April 15, 2020||101|
|Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative advocate for Barry Goldwater and perennial candidate for Congress, refrains from running again amid a slew of harassment by her male colleagues and lack of support by her husband Fred. Instead she sets on a new campaign: fighting the bipartisan support of the Equal Rights Amendment.|
|2||"Gloria"||Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck||Dahvi Waller||April 15, 2020||102|
|Gloria Steinem channels her reputation as editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine to lead the fight for women’s rights as co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus, including abortion and equal pay, while Schlafly uses her grassroots campaign to stop ERA ratification in her home state of Illinois.|
|3||"Shirley"||Amma Asante||Tanya Barfield||April 15, 2020||103|
|Shirley Chisholm, an African-American congresswoman and Presidential candidate, vows to stay in the race for nomination come the 1972 Democratic National Convention, while Steinem lobbies for abortion rights on the floor. Meanwhile, Schlafly struggles to make the newly-named Stop ERA campaign a national convention while watering down racial overtones from members of the Southern States.|
|4||"Betty"||Amma Asante||Boo Killebrew||April 22, 2020||104|
|Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), challenges Schlafly to a debate on the ERA against Steinem and NOW’s advice. During the debate, Friedan is seemingly winning, until Schlafly gets under her skin and Friedan lashes out at her.|
|5||"Phyllis & Fred & Brenda & Marc"||Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre||Micah Schraft and April Shih||April 29, 2020||105|
|Feminist couple Brenda and Marc Feigen-Fasteau come to terms with Brenda’s pregnancy and her experimentation with another woman while debating traditional couple Fred and Phyllis Schlafly, who come to terms with Phyllis’s campaign and return to law school. During the debate, Phyllis tries to cite a case to bolster her position, only to have it destroyed by Brenda, who realizes that the case was completely fabricated.|
|6||"Jill"||Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre||Sharon Hoffman||May 6, 2020||106|
|Jill Ruckelshaus, a Pro-ERA and Pro-Choice Republican, battles to unify the party against Schlafly’s growing Anti-ERA and Pro-Life movement amid the 1976 Republican National Convention. Both Jill and Bill Ruckelshaus are expecting Gerald Ford to name Bill as his VP running mate, and are later disappointed when they find out Ford has chosen Bob Dole instead. Chisholm attempts to form a committee tackling sexual harassment among congressmen and their women employees, much to the displeasure of Bella Abzug. Schlafly seeks to expand her mailing list by joining forces with another organization that wishes to push a stronger pro-life and anti-gay agenda.|
|7||"Bella"||Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck||Micah Schraft||May 13, 2020||107|
|Right after giving a speech at a luncheon, Schlafly is hit with a pie in the face by a male waiter, damaging her left eye. Bella Abzug, former congresswoman and co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus comes off a losing Senate election in 1976 to run the National Women's Conference in Houston the following November, while many anti-ERA people are trying to get in as delegates. Meanwhile, Schlafly attempts to form a counter-rally to take place right after the Houston conference.|
|8||"Houston"||Janicza Bravo||Dahvi Waller||May 20, 2020||108|
|Without Schlafly for the first time, the STOP ERA women are invited to the 1977 National Women's Conference in Houston to defend their cause. Alice is overwhelmed by her surroundings, gets herself drunk, and begins to question her own beliefs regarding women's rights, and the tactics the STOP ERA group are using to try to win.|
|9||"Reagan"||Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck||Dahvi Waller and Joshua Allen Griffith||May 27, 2020||109|
|Carter fires Abzug as head of his Women's Right's Commission, much to the anger of Steinem and others working with her. With the original ERA ratification deadline extended, Schlafly sets her sights on continuing to fight it, as well as trying to angle for a Cabinet position while helping Reagan in 1980. After winning, Reagan calls Schlafly to say he is appreciative of her help, but cannot offer her a position in his new administration because she is too polarizing.|
In October 2018, it was announced FX had ordered the miniseries. In November 2019, it was announced the show would premiere on Hulu instead of FX, as part of "FX on Hulu". In January 2020, it was announced that the series would premiere on April 15, 2020.
Alongside the series order, Cate Blanchett was announced to star. In May 2019, Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, James Marsden, Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulson, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tracey Ullman were added to the series. In June 2019, Elizabeth Banks was cast to star while Bria Henderson was set to recur. Niecy Nash was cast in a recurring role in August, with Olivia Scriven cast in October.
The first three episodes premiered on Hulu under the FX on Hulu label on April 15, 2020. In India, the series started streaming on Hulu and FX's corporate sibling Disney+ Hotstar on April 16, 2020. In Australia, the series debuted on April 21, 2020 on Foxtel's Fox Showcase network, and is available on demand via its Foxtel Now and Binge services.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the miniseries holds an approval rating of 95% based on 81 reviews, with an average rating of 8.26/10. The website's critical consensus states: "Mrs. America captures the complicated life and times of Phyllis Schlafly with poise and style to spare, brought to vivid life by a superb ensemble led by another masterful performance from Cate Blanchett." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 87 out of 100 based on 38 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
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- "Mrs. America – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
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- Bennett, Anita (May 14, 2019). "Uzo Aduba, James Marsden, Sarah Paulson, More Join Cate Blanchett in FX's 'Mrs. America'". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on November 21, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 4, 2019). "Elizabeth Banks To Co-Star in FX Limited Series 'Mrs. America'". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on September 4, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- Petski, Denise (June 25, 2019). "'P-Valley' Casts Thomas Q. Jones; Bria Henderson Joins 'Mrs. America'". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
- Petski, Denise (August 16, 2019). "'Mrs. America': Niecy Nash To Recur in FX Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- Petski, Denise (October 23, 2019). "'Mrs. America': Olivia Scriven To Recur in FX Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- "Current Productions | IATSE 873". IATSE 873. Archived from the original on October 23, 2019. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- Srihari, Prahlad (April 16, 2020). "Mrs. America review: Cate Blanchett and the anti-feminist mystique of FX-Hulu's ERA-defining drama". Firstpost. Archived from the original on May 11, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "New drama Mrs America salutes some of the all-time great feminist leaders". Foxtel. April 15, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
- "Mrs. America: Season 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
- "Mrs. America: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 29, 2020.