Gaslit premieres on Starz on April 24, 2022, with new episodes coming weekly on Sundays.
On the first episode of the Slow Burn podcast, host Leon Nefakh compared Martha Mitchell to Anthony Scaramucci. Trump’s communications director was the focus of political discourse for his 10-day term, delivering a constant stream of abusive quotes and stories before disappearing from the news. Similarly, Martha, an Arkansas socialite and wife of Richard Nixon’s Attorney General John Ann Mitchell, was briefly one of the most famous people in America and was a key part of uncovering the Watergate scandal, but largely a retelling of the previous. was left out. Days of the Nixon Presidency.
Gaslit, a six-episode Starz mini-series based on the podcast, brings Martha to the fore as part of a strange group of lawyers plotting to sabotage the Democrats ahead of Nixon’s reelection campaign. The first episode offers a mix of dark comedy, paranoia and personal drama, offering a version of the Watergate story that is disturbing at a time when current politics is on the verge of an equally real and true crisis.
Julia Roberts stars as Martha alongside Sean Penn, who plays John and is almost unrecognizable thanks to a receding hairline and prosthetic jowls. The two sell their stormy relationship, showing a couple who were deeply in love and spending much of their time and attention before John’s job moved them from New York to DC. Throughout the episode they fight over Martha’s love of talking to the press, talk about rivalry with First Lady Pat Nixon and speak out against the Vietnam War, and then make up with goon pet names and physical affection. who kills their 11-year-old daughter, Marty (Darby Camp).
While Martha plans a posh fundraiser for Nixon, John is working on an espionage campaign against his political rivals. White House Counsel John Dean (of Dan Stevens) Downton Abbey And troop) points out that this hardly seems necessary given Nixon’s leadership in the elections, but that when he sees an opportunity to treat the president well, he would quickly address his practical and ethical concerns about the matter. Is. In a clever bit of storytelling by director Matt Ross and writer/producer Robbie Pickering, Nixon has no lines and is only seen in silhouette. He’s like a ghost that hangs over the episode and its characters – propelling them without any direct role in the action.
Stevens gives a remarkable performance as he meets FBI Agent G. Gordon alternates between entertainment and horror in the plans proposed by Lidy (Shea Whigham), with a presentation that suggests kidnapping the Democrats or seducing them with prostitutes. Vighan, who previously co-starred with Roberts homecomingAs a man with an unshakable devotion to Nixon and his masculine prowess, there’s a whole lot of devouring scenes here, viewing himself as a crusader against communism and feminism. There is no scene in which he does not steal, starting with the episode’s shaky introduction where he explains the nature of human conflicts while proving his patience by holding his hand over an open flame.
Rounding out the cast is Mo (Betty Gilpin), a flight attendant who meets John through a dating service and sees the best in him, despite their political differences. The episode depicts the fragmentation of DC, the posh gatherings by the political elite disrupted by the Vietnam protests and John wanders through the streets in his mustard Porsche while a homeless man defecates on the sidewalk. A clear parallel is drawn between Michelle and the delicate relationships of both John and Moe, with a clear ability to trump any romance with the temptation of fame, money, and power.
During a big fight at a fundraiser, John gives Martha a crushing line: “All those journalists you call at midnight are not your friends. They can’t take their eyes off a good show.” Martha Gaslitt delivers a good show in the first episode, filling it with absurdity and genuine emotion and breathing new life into familiar political intrigue. At the end of the episode the events of Watergate As we begin, the Premiere promises an even more spectacular ride to come.