Good Girls Revolt
“Good Girls Revolt is inspiring in its historical victory—and especially timely as we brace ourselves for our own, modern battles against gender inequality.”
Title: Good Girls Revolt (2015)
Creators: Dana Calvo 👩🏼🇺🇸
Writers: Book by Lynn Povich 👩🏼🇺🇸, TV scripts by Dana Calvo 👩🏼🇺🇸 and various (3 👨🏼, 2 👩🏼, 1 👩🏽)
Reviewed by Li 👩🏻🇺🇸
This is binge-watching at its best: a self-contained series with likable characters to root for as they work towards a satisfying ending. Period sets and costumes make for a groovy 1970’s vibe that’s fun to disappear into for the 10 episodes that make up this rollicking, feminist drama.
While the execution is imperfect in the show’s overstuffed cast and predictability, its appeal is undeniable: audience members on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a sky-high 97%, while critics stayed in the weeds with a 72% rating.
Does it pass the Bechdel Test? YES
The entire basis of this show is about uprooting misogyny from male-dominated industries. There is a plethora of female characters and they assume various shapes and forms and walks of life, if primarily white.
Good Girls Revolt does nothing revolutionary in the Race category. The only people of color on the show are black characters with very minimal storylines. I appreciate that Calvo address the singularly difficult position black women had in risking their jobs for what were largely white feminist causes, but overall POC are used as support for white stories.
To note, Eleanor—the black ACLU lawyer played by Joy Bryant—does have a pivotal role as she encourages the female researchers to “revolt”. However, I’m disinclined to add points for this reason, seeing as how the character is unchanged from her real-life counterpart, Eleanor Holmes Norton. It would have been incredibly offensive to have whitewashed out someone so integral to the original lawsuit.
No LGBTQ representation. However, Mediaversity takes into consideration that less than 4% of adults self-identified as LGBTQ in 2015*, so programs without queer characters are often still accurate to their real-life contexts. Good Girls Revolt falls into this category; hence, a middling score.
Mediaversity Grade: B- 3.75/5
Good Girls Revolt is entertaining, illuminating, and pro-women; it just happens to prioritize gender equality as the voice of the show, so racial and queer representations fall to secondary (or absent) themes. There’s nothing wrong with a tight POV, however, and I would highly recommend Good Girls Revolt to anyone looking for a weekend binge, especially if you’re looking to get fired up. After all, it's history-based victory over a patriarchal workplace is uplifting, and especially timely as we brace ourselves for our own, modern battles against gender inequality.