Here are just 6 reasons why Amazon's "Good Girls Revolt" should not be cancelled
Last week, Amazon Studios shocked subscribers when it cancelled critically acclaimed series Good Girls Revolt after just one season. The series — which is a fictionalized version of the landmark 1970 lawsuit in which 46 female employees of Newsweek sued the magazine for gender discrimination — is based on a 2012 book of the same name by Lynn Povich, one of the leading complainants in the suit.
The cancellation came as a shock to many, not just because they were fans of the series, but because of its popularity amongst Amazon viewers. Data commissioned by Sony TV, the production company behind the series, found the series to have an 80% completion rate, which is higher than many of Amazon’s most beloved series.
With latest reports citing Amazon Studios head Roy Price’s disinterest in the series as the primary factor for the cancellation, there seems to be a serious underlying gender problem. While it appears that Sony is looking for another distributor, let’s take a moment to reflect on the impact of Good Girls Revolt and its importance for women and men now more than ever.
1. The series takes place around the turn of 1970, but is still incredibly relevant in 2016.
The lawsuit takes place 46 years ago, but will still resonant with so many women. We continue to live in a time when women are denied opportunity because of their sex, not to mention most still make less than their male counterparts. We can connect with Patti and the women of News of the Week because, underneath their retro garb and Creedence Clearwater Revival records, they’re facing similar problems to ours. If there’s one thing this show has taught us, it’s that 46 years may have passed but we still have much more ground to cover.
2. The women are complex and flawed (and the acting is superb).
While they’re our champions and our heroes in taking on this difficult task, the women of News of the Week are complex and multilayered. Patti Robinson (Genevieve Angelson), Cindy Reston (Erin Darke), and Jane Hollander (Anna Camp) don’t seamlessly pull together their lawsuit. They engage in potentially damaging office relationships and struggle to pull together enough support from the women of the office.
There are also times when they are selfish and unaware of their own privilege, like Jane and her wealth, and Patti and Cindy not understanding their privilege as white women while they try to recruit the only three black women in their office to join the cause. Their portrayal is made even better because they are flawed and real.
3. It’s a show about gender discrimination without pointing fingers at men.
Good Girls Revolt doesn’t cast men as malicious villains actively seeking to act as the foils to their female colleagues. Doug Rhodes (Hunter Parrish) is the reporter to Patti’s researcher and her on-again, off-again boyfriend who wants to understand Patti’s point of view but struggles to understand his privilege as a man. He loves Patti and in theory, wants her to follow her dreams to become a reporter but just does not (and in many ways, simply cannot) understand the lack of opportunity she has as a woman in a male-dominated world, let alone workforce.
Similarly, Finn Woodbridge (Chris Diamantopoulos), News of the Week’s Editor at Large wants to modernize the magazine but can’t shake his sexist “boys club” newsroom habits. While some of the men do abhorrent things, most of the male characters seem to consider their female colleagues as partners and friends without actually understanding the gross inequalities as anything other than journalistic tradition. These guys aren’t bad people, they just have yet to reconcile what it means to be straight white men, which would be really interesting to explore in future seasons.
4. It’s a show for women of all generations.
My sisters and I love watching the show because it makes us feel empowered and it inspires us to speak up and act on moments of injustice. It reminds us that we’re not alone in our frustrations with gender inequality and makes us realize that change is possible. At the same time, it’s incredible to watch the show and talk about it with our mom, who grew up during the ‘70s. Sure, she was a bit younger than Patti, Jane, and Cindy, but she experienced the same lack of opportunities despite intellectual abilities and drive. She remembers the sexist comments and profound male arrogance that made up her regular work environment.
Specifically, this show offers young women a chance to learn and build on the women’s movement that came before them, while simultaneously reminding older (or middle-aged) women why it is important to continue fighting and not become complacent.
5. There is so much more to be explored both in terms of gender and politics.
The series centers around the lawsuit, but the show does an incredible job weaving in real-life events and stories within narrative. It touched on the complexities of the Vietnam War and veteran struggles back home. It references the added struggle of fitting into the office environment for a woman of color in the working world, leaving the opportunity to revisit the storyline in later seasons. The first season also featured stories that centered around illegal abortions and potential unwanted pregnancies. The point is, there is SO much left to be covered.
6. This series is essentially an ode to the power of women.
It’s impossible to not feel empowered watching the show. This show was created by a woman, based on a book by a woman, and is centered around women being all-around badasses. In addition to the female dominated cast, the number of women working behind the scenes on the series is almost unheard of. In the 10-episode first season, six episodes were directed by women and women made up half of the credited writers on staff. In an industry where women make up such a small percentage of showrunners, directors, producers, and writers, Good Girls Revolt is breaking barriers in a multitude of ways.
Without rehashing the entirety of the past year, 2016 was a really tough year to be a woman. Good Girls Revolt was a beacon of hope for many women looking to be inspired. With or without a second season, Good Girls Revolt meant a lot for women in 2016. This series deserves to find a new home because it is telling a history that can’t and shouldn’t be forgotten.