Dispatches are coming in from an alternate universe: HBO's miniseries adaptation of The Plot Against America is a timely, chilling, and somewhat flawed success — at least according to critics' reviews that have now started to surface. Based on Philip Roth's novel of the same name, the six-part project takes place in a reality where Charles Lindbergh (an America Firster and Nazi sympathizer) wins the 1940 presidential election instead of FDR.
"While it takes a while to get going — in that too-much throat-clearing-context type of way — it eventually lays the foundation for a narrative that, had history broken a different way, isn’t too far-fetched ... especially when viewed through the lens of today’s polarizing, turbulent times," reads Michael Starr's review for The New York Post.
Using his immense power as the Leader of the Free World, Lindbergh keeps the United States out of the growing conflict in Europe and even fosters ties between America and Hitler's Germany. As a result, the Jews living in the U.S. begin to fear for their lives as anti-Semitism becomes even more commonplace. As the country slips into fascism, the audience's point of reference is the Levins, a small Jewish family from New Jersey.
"Directed by Minkie Spiro and Thomas Schlamme, The Plot Against America is a uniformly handsome piece of television, blending production design, cinematography, and seamless special effects to build out the world of 1940s New Jersey," writes The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg, who was also impressed with the accurate depiction of Judaism. "It's a period recreation that suffers a little from Shiny Car Syndrome, but I loved how both directors concentrated on the smaller details of family life and Jewish life, such that characters' degree of Yiddish fluency or awareness of proper responses in the Aleinu prayer are pivotal."
"Plot is too tough-minded to deliver simple hope, but it’s openhearted enough to build an inspiring portrait of a family struggling to survive the days of perpetual fear. Their love is the real America, and no s—hole president will ever take that from us," says Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly.
The miniseries co-stars Morgan Spector, Zoe Kazan, Winona Ryder, John Turturro, Anthony Boyle, Azhy Robertson, and Caleb Malis.
Created by The Wire vets David Simon and Ed Burns, The Plot Against America debuts on HBO on March 16 at 9 p.m. EST.
DC is releasing a new anthology of women-centric comics curated by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Titled Wonder Women in History, the YA graphic novel will feature stories by an all-star roster of female writers and artists (the full lineup has yet to be revealed). The tales will focus on "real-world heroes who take up Wonder Woman’s iconic mantle and work in the fields of science, social justice activism, diplomacy, and more," says the press release.
Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and Greta Thunberg are among those to be profiled.
“Wonder Woman’s commitment to justice and compassion has inspired fans for decades,” said Anderson in a statement. “I am thrilled to help bring this book of real-life Wonder Women to the world.”
The anthology goes on sale on Dec. 1. You can pre-order a copy right here.
As Karl Urban's Billy Butcher might say: "F***ing diabolical!"
Entertainment Weekly has a first look at Stormfront in Season 2 of The Boys. The character (played by Aya Cash) will be joining The Seven as a new member of the famous team. In the comics, Stormfront is a male superhero with elements drawn from classic comic book personas like Thor and Shazam!. There's also some Hitler Youth in there and no, we're not kidding.
"I think she’s here to blow up Vought," Cash told EW of the show's corporate entity that monetizes these heroes. "She’s here to try to get Vought back to the original idea behind creating superheroes ... And she can be quite the feminist. There’s a lot of, I wouldn’t say misdirect, but she also is a very empowered woman ... You start off this season thinking she’s one thing and then discover she’s another.”
“She’s the grenade that gets thrown into Homelander’s world and the world of the Seven,” added Antony Starr, who plays Homelander, per EW.
The Boys Season 2 is expected to debut on Amazon Prime sometime this year.