Entertainment | Why Good Girls Revolt Deserves a Second Season

I recently finished watching the first season of a show called Good Girls Revolt on Amazon Prime. The show is set in USA and loosely based on the true story of a group of women researchers who sued Newsweek in 1970 for denying equal opportunities to their female staff. After I'd marathoned the ten episodes available, I was saddened to learn that Amazon Prime had cancelled the series and whether it gets a second season depends entirely on whether another network picks it up. Whilst there's nothing I can do about this, I have nonetheless decided to do what we bloggers usually do with our opinions, and write a blog post.

Coincidentally, I happened upon this TV show at the same time that I'm writing an essay on gender history, a trend particularly prominent within the academic field of history during the same time period as the show is set. Many pieces of gender history have been accused of oversimplification, grouping society into 'men' and 'women', ignoring the differences in experience between men and women of different race or class, for example. With these ideas in mind, I found myself judging this on-demand television programme by the same measurement. I was really happy to see that Good Girls Revolt displayed a wide range of different women from different backgrounds and social groups, and acknowledged the differences in their experiences at work despite them working the same job at the same place.

I also loved that although the story was primarily about a group of women who wanted equal career prospects with men, the women were not automatically driven solely by this, and were shown, realistically, to have other motivations in life. For example, Cindy wanted to branch away from her marriage, Naomi prioritised the welfare of her children, and Jane's story-line centred a lot around figuring out who she was and wanted to be. I really found myself rooting for Jane throughout the show and felt that her character development was very well-written. I loved seeing her become increasingly self-aware episode by episode, eventually realising that she needed to take proper action for her career advancement, and that her parents' expectations of her were holding her back from happiness. Furthermore, the show didn't fall into the trap of having all the women's motivations centre around destroying every traditional idea of femininity. For example, Patti's sister was portrayed as happily engaged, getting married because she wanted to rather than feeling socially obliged to.

One could perhaps criticise the writing of the show's men as a little two-dimensional. However, as many pieces of media consist of well-developed male characters, resulting in impeccably dull women (Doctor Who from 2011 onwards, I'm looking at you), Good Girls Revolt provides a welcome reversal of that trend. Furthermore, the greater complexity of the women suits the show's aims of portraying female empowerment and conveying their diversity. Men have had their turn being the focus of many a television show, and many a history book, making Good Girls Revolt a refreshing look at the women of history.

What were your thoughts on Good Girls Revolt? Let me know in the comments below!

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