American anthology drama series “The First Lady” may not have been totally approved by viewers and critics as it was canceled after just one season.
The Showtime production stars famed movie stars like Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Gillian Anderson, who all played roles of First Ladies of the United States, Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt, respectively.
Despite featuring brilliant performers, the film got mixed reviews, with the majority being negative, leading to varied reactions from fans about its cancellation.
“The First Lady” Was Not Picked By Showtime For A Renewal
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As Deadline reported not long ago, Showtime will not be showing a second season of the one-hour drama series set in the East Wing of the White House.
Fans may recall that the first season narrated the stories of “America’s charismatic, complex, and dynamic first ladies, centered on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama.”
A representative of the network said in a statement to the outlet, “Showtime can confirm that the anthology series “The First Lady” will not be moving forward with another season.” The statement further read:
“We would like to applaud the artistry and commitment of our showrunner Cathy Schulman, director Susanne Bier, their fellow executive producers, our amazing cast led by executive producer Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Gillian Anderson.”
The spokesperson further commended their studio partner Lionsgate for “their dedicated work in telling the unique stories of three remarkable leaders.”
Hailing from writer Aaron Cooley, actress Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions, Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, and Jeff Gaspin’s Gaspin Media, “The First Lady” received an unenthusiastic reception from reviewers.
Cooley and Davis executively produced the movie along with Tennon through their JuVee Productions, while Schulman was via Welle Entertainment. On the other hand, Gaspin’s was through Gaspin Media and Brad Kaplan via Link Entertainment.
Furthermore, Susanne Bier was director and executive producer, and at the same time, Showtime and Lionsgate TV co-produced the production.
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Earlier in February, Schulman and Bier revealed they were “exploring potential future installments,” which they said could feature other past First Ladies of the White House.
Some highly regarded women mentioned included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Hillary Clinton, Dolly Madison, Edith Wilson, Martha Washington, Rosalynn Carter, and Melania Trump.
Several months after Schulman and Bier’s revelation, 56-year-old Davis reacted to criticisms of her performance in “The First Lady,” which The Blast reported, along with fans’ opinions of her acting.
As the outlet noted, viewers were not so taken with the Academy Award winner’s facial expressions in the series, and they accused her of pursing her lips extremely.
The said critics compared her expression to “duckface,” referring to a term used to portray “the exaggerated pouting expression frequently used by media personalities.”
This led to a viral onslaught of the famed actress as she was ridiculed mercilessly on social media, resulting in her epic comeback via an interview with BBC News.
Davis admitted that it was “incredibly hurtful” when people criticized her work, but she understood that negative remarks came with the job.
She further described “criticisms” as an “occupational hazard” that entertainment icons had to accept no matter the pain.
The “HTGAWM” star addressed the internet haters saying, “Critics absolutely serve no purpose, and I’m not saying that to be nasty, either. They always feel like they’re telling you something that you don’t know.”
She then added that critics generally believed that liars surrounded celebrities. Plus, they deemed themselves the ones in charge of telling their stars the truth, giving them the chance to be mean.
Fans’ Mixed Reactions To Cancelation Of “The First Lady”
Given the cancelation of the Showtime drama show, Twitter was in full riot mode as several supporters vented their distaste for the series, particularly Davis’ performance, while others expressed disappointments.
One Twitter user confessed to being utterly confident that the Primetime Emmy Award winner was the reason “The First Lady” was not picked for a second season as her performance was supposedly “terrible AF.”
Another fan wrote, “This was a wonderful step back & forward in time & the first of its kind from the first lady’s point of reference. How could you not renew?”
The series also appeared to have been utterly “ridiculous” for a critic who described the Davis’ portrayals as “borderline” caricature” and “absolutely cringey,” leading her to state that the cancelation of the remaining installments was necessary.
One other avid Viola Davis fan was not having any of the haters’ remarks as she called her idol “really good,” noting that she expressed all of Michelle Obama’s mannerisms well.