Many people were a little flustered once Mad Men ended, but ABC was right on time when they debuted their new 10-episode series Astronaut Wives Club. The series is based on Lily Koppel’s book Astronaut Wives Club and those women who were on the edge of space history. This is a story about the real lives of the wives who were left behind, as their husbands became the first astronauts to go into space, at the beginning of America’s space exploration.
The show is set in the 1960s and it has the hair, cocktails, and fashion of the time. The series focuses on the wives of the show (hint: the title), it is a period drama which is based on a true story. This show is about the astronauts that were a part of the Mercury Project which failed during the Cold War era. Filming of the show takes place in certain areas of New Orleans, which look like Texas, Florida, and Virginia.
The first episode aired Thursday, June 18 and opened with seven women, all with their husbands, at a cocktail party. These women are helping their husbands to check out the competition, by having small talk with other members of the party, along with lots of dancing and judgmental stares. The women are determining who the opposition will be because they want their husband to be the first man launched out into space. The anticipation has The Astronaut Wives Club on edge until the first man in history to go into outer space is announced.
The husbands venture out to Florida, where they party with young girls, swim in pools, and get drunk after working hard. The Astronaut Wives Club then surprise their husbands, and some of the men are not happy when their wives appear. The wife of the man who goes to space first is offered home-cooked meals from the other wives, as a wifely gesture, and she rejects them at the beginning. Later she accepts the food with emotional support from the other wives. The first episode then ends with the women dancing together and trying to predict what the following months will bring to their new association.
This show reminds many fans of the 1960s take on the Real Housewives. However, the women are not treated much differently than how they were treated in Mad Men. The ABC series briefly touches the surface levels of the sexist perspective which took place during the time.
There are nice camera angles and lighting effects which makes the show mesmerizing, and hard to believe the script is based on a real-life event. The actors play their parts well and the women fit their characters. However, if the show slows down and the audience gets a better understanding of each of the wives, it might be able to round-up a large fan base.
Episode two of The Astronaut Wives Club aired Thursday, June 25. It began with characters Louise and Alan Shepard relaxing in the success pool due to his completion of his mission as the first man to go into space. While Betty and Gus Grissom prepare for Grissom’s own launch. Betty asks Louise for advice, and Annie Glen fears the press wants to speak with her after John’s orbit. She begins to get flustered for having trouble with her stuttering problem.
Now that the second man prepares to go off into space, will The Astronaut Wives Club continue to stay on the edge or begin to enjoy their new experiences of being the first families in history to go into space. Episode three will reveal the answers on its next premiere July 2, 8p.m. ET.
Opinion by Krystle Mitchell
Nola: Watch: Astronaut Wives Club Episode 2
People: Astronaut Wives Club Sneak Peak
Michigan Daily: Superficial sexism of Astronaut Wives Club
Photo Courtesy of Paul Hudson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License