Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in THE FIRST LADY
(R): Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in THE FIRST LADY. Photo credit: Jackson Lee Davis/SHOWTIME.

Showtime’s ‘The First Lady’ Is Canceled After Ruining Viola Davis’ Perfect Track Record

After a mostly lambasted and critically mixed first season, the Showtime anthology series The First Lady will not be returning for a second season.

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The first season was split between three different First Ladies of the United States: Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Michelle Obama (Viola Davis). It dealt with their political and personal ups and downs under the scrutiny of the office. However, the performances, sans Pfeiffer, were not really compelling. In the case of Viola Davis, her mouth choices went viral because not only was it … weird, but it was just not the kind of work we are used to seeing from the usually impeccable actress. Davis is still one of the best; it was just … not good.

Plus, it is not even a decade out from the end of the Obama administration, and it is just not going to do anything interesting with it. Eleanor Roosevelt is also just such a well known and iconic First Lady that it sort of very irrelevant to stuff her legacy into one season. Betty Ford, as played by Pfeiffer, was the standout of the three, but it was still not enough to make up for the blandness.

“Showtime can confirm that the anthology series ‘The First Lady’ will not be moving forward with another season,” a Showtime spokesperson told Variety. “We would like to applaud the artistry and commitment of our showrunner Cathy Schulman, director Susanne Bier, their fellow executive producers, our amazing cast, led by executive producer Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson, and our studio partner Lionsgate for their dedicated work in telling the unique stories of three remarkable leaders.”

I do wish this had been a documentary series with some good voiceover, because the stories of the First Ladies is compelling, but this was not the best way to do it.

(via Variety, featured image: Jackson Lee Davis/SHOWTIME.)


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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.