The stars of “Good Girls Revolt” want you to know their show is not a “Mad Men” knock-off.
While both are ‘60s workplace dramas with a flair for the music and fashion of the era, the tone and verve of Amazon’s new ten-part series feel more like if Peggy Olson got a spin-off.
Created by Dana Calvo (“Narcos”), season one of "Good Girls Revolt" opens in 1969, just as “Mad Men” was winding down. It tells the true story of how 46 women at Newsweek sued their bosses for gender discrimination in a landmark 1970 case, detailed in the book “The Good Girls Revolt” by Lynn Povich.
The series’ heroines Jane (Anna Camp, “Pitch Perfect” and “True Blood”), Patti (Genevieve Angelson, “Backstrom”) and Cindy (Erin Darke, “Love and Mercy"), are twentysomethings who work at the fictionalized News of the Week at a time when the men were reporters and the women were resigned to the role of researchers — essentially, they did the heavy lifting, but never saw a byline.
But this story is unmistakably theirs.
“Don Draper is the voice of ‘Mad Men’ and he is bitter and jaded. These three girls are full of light and hope,” says Camp, (who, incidentally, you may recognize as Draper’s mistress Bethany van Nuys in "Mad Men" Season 4).
We sat down with the three stars to talk about how the show tackles issues, from sexual discrimination to the wage gap, that make it so relevant today — and how the costuming helped them all seamlessly transition back to the era.
This show could not be premiering at a more apropos time. There’s a scene when Joy Bryant’s character (based on the ACLU lawyer Eleanor Holmes Norton) says, “Ten is better than two, two is better than one,” that made me think of how Trump's video led to so many women coming forward about sexual assault.
Angelson: The other thing that Joy [Bryant] says is, she references the quote ‘I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.' I think that’s a lot of what this dialogue has created. Kelly Oxford saying [on Twitter] “tweet me your first sexual assaults” and everyone having to be in a national dialogue about what sexual assault is. For me, it makes it very exciting that Trump is saying the things he is saying, because if people are going to think those things, let’s say them out loud.
Darke: If Trump weren’t running for president, if we had a sane human being [instead] and less of this national conversation and less relevance for this show, I’d take the trade! I was horrified while making the pilot by how relevant it was, the everyday inequalities and workplace interactions with men and women. I already was like, this show is so relevant! And then we made the season, and stepped off set and into this election, and I was like, 'holy sh—, it’s like Amazon is paying him!'
Camp: I want to woo Melania [Trump] over and be like, “Leave, leave, we’ll give you a guest star on the show! We can save you and your daughters!”