The First Lady Viola Davis

Showtime’s The First Lady: the explosive new trailer with Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson is finally here

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The trailer for Showtime’s The First Lady has just been released and it’s as eye-opening as it is explosive. 

While we may have a lot going on within our own political sphere here in the UK, there’s no denying that there’s a fascination that comes with thoughts of the White House.

What goes on behind the closed doors of that looming, large Washington-based building? Yes, it’s the headquarters of the President but what about the other people who work there? What about the family that is often behind the ‘most powerful figure in the world’? Or even, the first lady?

While political-based series such as Scandal, Madam Secretary and Impeachment: American Crime Story have done a good job of plummeting us right into the drama, Showtime’s upcoming series, The First Lady, is set to centre on the White House – but through a female lens that will be unlike anything you’ve seen before. 

The First Lady Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson stars as Eleanor Roosevelt in Showtime's The First Lady.

The three-part series will hone in on the women behind some of the most notable presidents in power. As the official synopsis reads:

“In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic First Ladies.

“This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women, tracing their journeys to Washington through interweaving storylines with an enlightening intimacy, with season one focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt.”

Viola Davis will star as Michelle Obama, while Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt will be played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson respectively. 

The First Lady Viola Davis
Viola Davis stars as Michelle Obama in Showtime's The First Lady.

Now, we finally have a proper first look at the women in action as Showtime has treated us to one hell of a trailer.

In it, the question of “How do you really feel about being the first lady?” underpins all the drama.

We see a newly appointed Obama family struggling with the newfound fame that comes with presidency, but also the attempted moulding of Michelle into a “Black Martha Stewart”, as Davis exclaims. 

Michelle Pfeiffer The First Lady
Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Betty Ford in Showtime's The First Lady.

“The First Lady has to be a special kind of woman”, Betty says in an interview and it’s safe to say that, after watching the trailer, that begins to seem like an understatement.

As the three stories weave in and out of each other through a whirlwind of hurried scenes, we start to get the sense that, although these stories run in different time periods, they have many of the same themes – misogyny, prejudice and pacification.

Pfeiffer appears to be bringing the same candid attitude that Betty became known for, stating to her husband President Gerald (played by The Dark Knight’s Aaron Eckhart) that “I’ll be here for you but I am going to be myself”.  

Anderson may shuffle through the halls as Eleanor but her stellar portrayal of the longest-serving First Lady in history is painfully accurate. She simply tells her husband President Franklin (played by Designated Survivor’s Kiefer Sutherland) in one scene: “Don’t push me off. I am your wife, not one of your girlfriends.”

And in another: “You are the husband of a wife who has a mind and a life of her own.”

If ever there was a character that deserved her own slogan t-shirt company, we would place our bets on Anderson’s Eleanor, that’s for certain.  

Although the trailer is only a couple of minutes long, it does a fantastic job of placing us right into the politically-charged action that we can expect to see unfold throughout The First Lady.

And fans have been quick to react online with many praising the phenomenal casting:

We love the way that Anderson has described the drama as being about “wives with lives and minds of their own”:

But to be honest, we’re just very, very excited to see this drama hit our screens soon:

The First Lady will be airing on Sunday 17 April on Showtime in the US, with a UK release date yet to be announced.

Watch this space for updates. 

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