The First Lady
By Diondra Brown,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Mature drama series showcases three historical women.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
While the series is a drama, it is based on historical events and on the lives of important American figures. Viewers will learn more about each character's life and experiences.
Do and say the things you believe in. Don't let others define who you are. Never accept no as an answer. America is an ever changing country.
Positive Role Models
Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt are all positive role models because they redefined the role of first lady and strove for equality for women and social justice.
Takes a gender-bending stance on the presidency, as the first wives are largely highlighted -- while the male presidents are secondary characters. The women are feminists who defy widely held expectations for their role. Racial diversity among the cast.
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Violence & Scariness
Violence or threatened violence against notable American figures and presidents is mentioned. This includes death threats against President Barack Obama and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
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Every so often characters curse, using words such as "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol and occasionally smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The First Lady is a mature drama series about the first ladies in American history. The show focuses on first ladies from three distinct time periods. It has some explicit language, including words such as "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word, and some drinking and smoking. Themes of the show include promoting diversity, striving for women's rights, speaking out against injustice, and the importance of the role of the first lady in the White House. Parents may see merit in allowing viewers somewhat younger to watch the show for historical knowledge, but may want to have conversations with older kids about the more mature parts of the series.
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The First Lady
Based on 1 parent review
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What's the Story?
THE FIRST LADY centers around three dynamic, complex, and loyal women who have served in the position of first lady of the United States. Michelle Obama (Viola Davis), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) all exhibit how essential it is to support the president while also striving for individuality. Each woman faces her own set of complicated issues, largely fueled by sexism and racism, during her husband's campaign for presidency and after entering the East Wing of the White House. Based on each women's real life, the series showcases the competing demands of the multiple roles each woman has -- first lady, wife, mother, daughter, friend, career professional -- and how sacrifice and service often come first.
Is It Any Good?
A compelling series that grounds prominent historical figures using raw emotions and struggles, The First Lady tackles important thematic issues and shares more about life before the presidency for Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt. The cast does an amazing job of bringing iconic people and stories to life in a new way. Viewers will be left wanting to know even more about U.S. history and life inside the White House.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how The First Lady follows the stories of Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Which first lady did you know the most about before watching the show? Who did you know the least about? What is something new you learned about each woman?
Who do you think had the most difficult job as first lady? Why? Do you think the creators of the show should have selected different first ladies to feature? Why, or why not?
How do you think the role of first lady has changed throughout history? Do you think each president supports this evolution?
If you could have a conversation with one character from the show, who would you choose? Why? What would you ask them?
- Premiere date: April 17, 2022
- Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson
- Network: Showtime
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Activism, Great Girl Role Models, History
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 3, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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