Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day Eighteen – Astrowives

Inspiration today came from the past. I took a trip down memory lane while watching the TV series debut of The Astronaut Wives Club based on the book by Lily Koppel. Having grown up a few miles from one of the main aeronautics firms in this country that designed and manufactured everything from rockets, Apollo capsules to space shuttles, the space race was ingrained in my childhood memories. I remember standing on the playground in elementary school and seeing a block long rocket being transported on a flatbed. Our own 60's neighborhood coffee klatch included space race engineer wives.

I couldn't help thinking of my mother and how she would have loved this show. She was always a big proponent of the space program. The show focuses on the women behind the first American spacemen and their stories. I like the way it shows their strength while having to conform to the gender roles expected of them at the time. The space race is portrayed as an American PR program as much as the arms race and how the U.S. of A. HAS to be the first and best in everything ahead of the Russians. The wives are recruited to promote the apple pie image further. Of course there's a certain amount of Real Housewives melodrama to make it interesting. I don't know how accurate the wives' stories are but I plan on reading the book to find out more. The astronauts seem to be treated like precursors to modern major league sports celebrities with cars, parties and women while their wives both compete and cling together for support. In that era, a woman's accomplishments were tied to her husband's success, not her own. 

It's also nice knowing ahead of time that there will be 10 episodes. So I can watch it without worrying about it being yanked off the air after 3 episodes or ending unfinished due to cancellation. The series will move quickly to span the 60's decade up to the first man on the moon that exactly coincides with my child and teen years. I'm looking forward to future episodes. 

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