[Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched the first episode of First Lady, stop reading now!]
I actually had to sign up for ShowTime (again!) to be able to watch this series. I have to say, I think it will be worth it. Episode 1 began with each First Lady posing for an official portrait. The likenesses between the actresses and the First Ladies they portrayed were startling, particularly Viola Davis as Michelle Obama- though I have to say, there were times I was disconcerted by her unnatural eyebrows and occasional lip pursing.
Michelle Pfeiffer played Betty Ford; I was surprised at how quickly the focus was on Betty Ford’s alcohol abuse.
It will be interesting to see where that goes. Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt is astonishing. Anderson is intriguing; her facial features, particularly her mouth, were altered in such a way as to capture Eleanor Roosevelt’s, well…homeliness. From the beginning we see how supportive Eleanor is of Roosevelt seeking the presidency, even after his polio diagnosis, which she insisted be kept secret. We also see the friction between her and Roosevelt’s overbearing mother, played by Ellen Burstyn. Eleanor Roosevelt of the 3 First Ladies, was the only one right from the beginning in favor of her husband running for President.
This first hour went by too quickly! And I didn’t dare look away, because the story lines switched back and forth between the women so quickly. But I am hooked! I can’t wait for episode 2.