With the release of Cate Blanchett’s new series, Mrs. America, viewers revisit a pivotal moment in America’s equal rights history. Blanchett plays Phyllis Schlafly, the Illinois woman who famously opposed feminism and rallied the housewives of America in opposition to the US’s Equal Rights Amendment Bill in the 1970s.

The drama, which also stars Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba and Sarah Paulson, is about real events and people. So does it matter whether it’s entirely faithful to the real story?

Mrs. America: Fact, with a little bit of fiction thrown in for good measure.

Mrs. America: Fact, with a little bit of fiction thrown in for good measure. Credit:FX/Foxtel

It’s the big question in The Televisionaries podcast this week, where The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald‘s top TV critics tackle hot TV topics. Host Louise Rugendyke is joined by culture editor-at-large Michael Idato and Spectrum deputy editor Kylie Northover.

While Northover describes Mrs. America as “a fantastic history lesson”, elements of it, such as the creation of a new character played by Paulson, are at odds with the fact that it’s based on a true story. A disclaimer at the beginning of each episode reads, “some scenes and dialogue are created for storyline purposes”.



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