Logline: Set in the late 1970s during the notorious Model Wars and centers on Bertie Geiss – a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman at the helm of an internationally renowned modeling agency.
Cast: Andie MacDowell, Steven Weber
Creators: Helen Childress (W/EP), Rosalie Swedlin (EP), Scarlett Lacey (EP), Richard Shepard (D)
Studios: TriStar Television, Anonymous Content
Period set TV shows focused mainly on women have a spotty history. The Playboy Club didn’t really work, and neither did Pan Am. Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt got a greenlight, and some decent reviews, but has yet to air.
Model Woman has Geiss Agency as its epicenter, an agency that represents the best models of 1977. And the epicenter of the agency is Bertie Geiss, who runs it along with twentysomethings Elson Geiss and Lonnie Geiss.
There’s a lot of nice period touches, and I’m sure the production design will be aces on this one. It also does a good job of exploring the sexism pervasive in the era. But there just isn’t much narrative drive here. Mad Men, it could be argued, also had a languid pace and low stakes. But the dialogue on that show was transcendent, and looking back on the pilot, it was setting up so many things. The same might be true of Model Woman, but this is network tv, and you can’t slow play drama in a network world (Empire burns through story like the sun is going to implode the Earth in the next year, and they must get every ridiculous plot twist out there before that happens.
Anyway, nice writing, interesting subject, I just don’t see it as a series.