This 10 part series on Starz featuring Martha Mitchell, the wife of the once Attorney General for Richard Nixon. tells the story of Watergate from multiple perspectives, not just Martha’s. James Dean takes perhaps an even more central role.
Julia Roberts does a great job as Martha. Sean Penn is unrecognizable as her husband. Shea Whigham is Emmy worthy playing a truly crazy G. Gordon Liddy. It was the role of a lifetime and he knocked it out of the park.
While you may have lived through Watergate and think you know the story, this is worth watching not just for the acting but the applicability to our time as we have a twice-impeached former president getting ready to run for office once more and tearing apart our Republic by never conceding and baselessly claiming election fraud. The fact Nixon wasn’t criminally held accountable for what he did has helped bring about what we are facing now. We had a coup attempt in plain sight and those that should take action are questioning whether they can hold the people behind that attempt criminally liable. They MUST be held accountable.
There are many great moments in this series, but if you could only watch one hour, it would be Episode 9, the Year of the Rat. G Gordon Liddy in prison takes up a good part of it, but it also focuses on Martha’s marriage falling apart. Julie Robert’s fight with Sean Penn is stunning and gut-wrenching. The vicious words and the physical abuse show no restraint. It’s brutal and real.
What struck me was the reflection of those who did Nixon’s bidding and the growing realization that he totally did not give a damn about any of them. Nixon wasn’t a man worthy of loyalty because he gave nothing back. This is even more true of Trump. As a malignant narcissist, no one else exists in his world except him. The millions running around with Trump flags (since when does a president have a flag?) matter nothing to him except as he can use them and fleece them for their money. We needed to learn the lesson of Nixon and we did nothing to stop it from happening again.
I don’t think we will survive another. We may not have survived this one.
Well worth watching.