Review: Good Girls Revolt, season 1

Anna Camp, Genevieve Angelson, and Erin Darke in Good Girls Revolt

Good Girls Revolt is an Amazon Prime production about the women’s movement in the late 1960s and early 70s. The story is set in a fictional magazine called “News of the Week,” based on events that took place at “Newsweek Magazine” and written about in a book by Lynn Povich.

Anna Camp, Genevieve Angelson, and Erin Darke play the chief leaders of the revolt among the women researchers at “News of the Week.” The women weren’t allowed to write – only male reporters could do that. Even when a female researcher basically wrote an article for her reporter, he got the byline. And he made 3 times the money she made.

Genevieve Angelson as Patti Robinson and Erin Darke as Cindy Reston meet the lawyer Eleanor Holmes Norton (Joy Bryant) at a consciousness raising event. Eleanor Holmes Norton is one of the few real people in the story. (@EleanorNorton) They learned that it was illegal to refuse to allow women the same opportunities as men. Eleanor Holmes Norton suggests to them that they file a complaint with the EEOC.

The 10 episodes of season 1 of Good Girls Revolt deal with how Patti and Cindy recruit women at their magazine into secret discussions about filing the complaint. Not only are the men’s minds set in a system of patriarchy, but the women have the same set of cultural values to overcome. It’s an awareness issue every woman at the magazine deals with in her own way and in her own time. The final episode shows them filing the complaint amid a big press conference. All hell will break loose at the magazine, but we don’t see that in season 1. (I haven’t seen an actual announcement that there will be a season 2, it’s an assumption.)

There are many women in this story. Seeing the women interact and support each other was an outstanding part of Good Girls Revolt for me.

Anna Camp as Jane Hollander joins the complaint late in the season, after insisting that she could advance by playing the game as it exists and based on her merit. Not so much, Jane. Sexual harassment from her boss Gregory (Michael Graziadei) finally convinces her.

Patti, the ringleader from the start, wavers in her commitment based on what’s going on with the man (men) in her life.

Hunter Parrish and Chris Diamantopoulos in Good Girls Revolt
Hunter Parrish plays a reporter and Chris Diamantopoulos is the editor-in-chief

Patti’s reporter, Douglas Rhodes (Hunter Parrish) is her main bed mate. She also manages to squeeze in a fling with the boss, ‘Finn’ Woodhouse (Chris Diamantopoulos). Eleanor Holmes Norton warned the women against sleeping with their reporters, but not everyone listened. Both of these men told Patti she was valuable and they would support her, but when it came down to really doing it, they clung to tradition.

Cindy was unhappily married at the start of the first season. She drank too much, had an affair with Ned (Michael Oberholtzer) from work, and showed the most impressive growth in character of any of the women. She started off mousey and meek and ended up strong and forthright. It was a lovely transformation to watch.

Here are the three actress explaining their characters and something about the story.

Thank goodness, Erin Darke doesn’t speak in a babydoll voice in real life the way she did as Cindy. We’ve come a long way, baby.

I loved watching this story unfold. I lived through these times in America, but mostly through the news rather than in my own life. I remember the marches, the consciousness raisings, the books by Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem that inspired the women of the country. I remember how feminists were vilified (and still are) by most men and a lot of women.

Young feminists today often talk about standing on the shoulders of those who came before. The women in Good Girls Revolt are the women who came before. Watch and learn.

You can watch the trailer in this earlier post. Six of the 10 episodes in season 1 were directed by women. Dana Calvo created the series and contributed writing to all 10 episodes.

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