Cigarettes, sexism and money — the ’60s. Now, here in the ‘00s, my life has been dedicated to a newspaper. It has been writing stories and interviewing subjects, it has been fair, and it has been equal. In the new Amazon drama Good Girls Revolt, we follow the women of the news industry who are being treated unfairly and who are beginning to rebel against the system in place.
The responsibilities on the newspaper staff are distinctly divided — the women lead the research and the men write the stories, the men put their names on the stories, the women have no say. In the very first episode, a new woman, Nora Ephron (played by Grace Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter) immediately stirs things up. She decides to write a story and sneak it in with the men’s work. The two bosses, Finn and Wick, proceed to praise the story and hold it to the utmost degree of perfection. However, upon finding out a woman wrote it, they disgrace it, they throw it away and Nora quits. I love this episode because I think it captures the whole meaning of the season in just the first episode. The whole plot felt very hopeful and but also had this semblance of hopelessness, it was captivating to say the least.
After the Nora debacle, the show tends to follow three women: Patti Robinson, the sexually promiscuous hippie, Jane Hollander, the uptight rich girl with a mother who insists she get married very soon and Cindy Reston, the quiet revolutionary. Personally, I think Cindy has the greatest character arc so far as she’s caught in between the world that Patti seems to live in, one of freedom and equality, and the world that Jane seems to live in, one of boxes and gender roles. Cindy is played by Erin Darke and I couldn’t imagine anyone better to play this role. The casting directors really nailed who they chose to represent each character. I couldn’t see a single person that I thought could’ve been better represented.
With Cindy being my favorite character, I can confidently tell you that Jane is my least favorite. Sure, she has these defining qualities that make you feel sorry for her and the way she acts, and the way she was brought up. But most of her personality is wrapped up in being exactly who she’s supposed to be and not who she wants to be. Even when given the chance to join the other girls, she refuses, and not only does she refuse she practically spits on the whole operation. She’s a stereotype, there’s really no way around that. Although I dislike her because of this, her character is necessary in that she’s so completely opposite compared to the other women. She’s our control in this societal experiment. I do however see character development in her future and I hope she eventually turns against the ways of a “normal” ’60s woman and joins the other women.
If you’re at all interested in feminism, journalism or the 1960s, then you will love this show. Although only available on Amazon Prime, it has already made a splash with viewers. The characters are dynamic, the storyline is ever-changing, ever-developing and it should definitely be next on your list. Watch out Mad Men, there’s a new show on the block.