Amy’s March 2024 Viewing Roundup

March 5th, 2024

There are some promising series currently playing on television—including HBO’s  THE REGIME starring Kate Winslet. But there will be fewer offerings as streaming services and network channels reduce their “content.” Meanwhile, The Academy Awards will be aired live on ABC, but there isn’t much suspense regarding who will be rewarded with the Oscar for best director. The nominations were a source of controversy and criticism as a result of Greta Gerwig failing to be nominated for best director for the hugely successful BARBIE. Whatever one thinks of the merits of that criticism, it does seem like a missed opportunity for the directing division of the Academy. Need a palate cleanser from these disheartening realities? Try these:

FLY WITH ME (Streaming on PBS): At a time when it appears as if Peak Television has peaked, PBS remains a viable source of excellent television. It’s most evident in their documentary series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE which features fascinating individuals all too often forgotten or ignored by history. FLY WITH ME is no exception as it features those brave women who worked as stewardesses in the early years of commercial flights when flying was still both dangerous and adventurous. For young women of that era, working in that profession held the promise of independence and adventure. It was still a time when single women couldn’t legally obtain a credit card so it seemed like an incredible professional opportunity. But there was a catch. You could have a job and see the world, but you couldn’t age, take off your make-up, gain weight, get married or pregnant, and only white women need apply. Politicized and inspired by the activism of the 1960s and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these fed-up and underpaid women legally challenged the archaic rules of the major airlines and won lawsuits that forever changed the industry and the workplace for all women in the United States. Ironically, the stewardesses were advertised by the airlines as sexual playmates so these women were stigmatized as being passive, vacuous and non-threatening, but nothing could have been further from the truth. These women displayed grit and tenacity in challenging the patriarchal system and demanding to be treated as the intelligent and competent professionals that they were. And if that doesn’t qualify them all as feminist heroines then I don’t know what does.

FEUD: CAPOTE VS. THE SWANS (Playing on FX and streaming on HULU): Based on this show, it would seem that being rich, hanging out with the glitterati and attending round-the-clock fancy lunches/dinners/social events isn’t as much fun as one would hope, but it had its interesting moments at least as captured by this series. FEUD: CAPOTE VS. THE SWANS delves into the friendship between Truman Capote and his socialite female friends who represent the elite circles of New York City high society. It was the 1960s, and Truman Capote was coming off the success of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S and IN COLD BLOOD. He seemed to be at the peak of his artistic and social life, but in truth he was succumbing to alcoholism and tormented by personal demons. The swans, the name he gave that circle of friends, may be privileged socialites, but they were also damaged individuals who turn on him after he revealed embarrassing, personal details of their lives in a book excerpt that was published in Esquire. The fall-out from this betrayal is what makes this series compelling, and the viewer can only wonder what led Capote to engage in such an act of cruelty and self-destruction. The series is also a study of the close but fraught relationships that often develop between gay men and women as there exists a natural kinship that is perhaps the result of sharing similar struggles regarding a fear of aging and being discarded, as well as all the limitations imposed on them by a patriarchal order over which they have little control.




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