'Project Blue Book': The only two women in the show are setting their own trends even while representing the post-war era
With their fashionable '50s outlook, the two women serve as harbingers of the modern woman that we know, albeit in their own different ways
History Channel's 'Project Blue Book' has brought back everything representing the '50s on screen, including the era's conservative nature that did not allow women to take the front seat. In the Robert Zemeckis production, women certainly do not have a major role to play and what is even more disappointing is that there are only two leading women who appear every now and then on the show. However, even with the limited screen time given to them, Laura Mennell's Mimi Hynek (Dr. J Allen Hynek's wife) and Ksenia Solo's Susie Miller are probably the most suitable representation of the women of that era.
Starring alongside Aidan Gillen as Dr. J Allen Hynek and Michael Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn, 'Project Blue Book' sees Mimi and Susie bond over a very short period of time, and soon develop a strange relationship that neither of the two can comprehend.
However, there is a small twist at the end of their relationship. Within the first two episodes, it is already established that Susie is not just a regular rich woman who had lost her way at the store, but she is actually a spy who is trying to get her hands on the Doctor's research. What better way to gain entry other than through the woman of the house?
It is, however, quite unusual that Susie would try to seduce Mimi, who not for once depicted herself as a woman of varied interests.
Since the beginning, Mimi has played every role thrust upon her — a wife, a mother, a housekeeper — but never once has she expressed her concern over Allen's consistent disappearance from home or has tried to question him on his work. However, she shed all her inhibitions the moment she came across Susie. Susie was the escape that Mimi never realized she was looking for until she saw it. With Susie, she goes to beatnik clubs, slides on the driver's seat, and does not mind pacing up the car on a high road.
Susie is a revelation for Mimi, who is a strict representation of the women in the post-war era. Mimi belongs to the generation of women for whom the war was a clarion call for freedom. For the first time women were getting involved in men's business, they were taking charge, they ran buses and other public vehicles, and some women even led their own parties to look out for working-class women. However, once the men were back, the women once again had to retreat into their shelled existence, but no one can really be chained down once they have tasted what freedom feels like.
Like most women of her era, Mimi too sought to go back to the time when she is free, but her very urge to be free is what is puts her and her family in danger. Susie is not someone who is looking for validation like Mimi. Instead, she is a woman of the new generation who was born in a free world for the first time. She has her own agenda to follow and the relationship that she shares with Mimi is built upon the notion of fulfilling a purpose.
She has her own selfish cause behind all of it, a lot like Quinn who is perhaps utilizing Hynek to attain his place on the higher rungs of the military ladder.
The third episode will see Mimi and Susie spend some play time together at the end of which Mimi reveals a secret to Hynek. We will know more about this strange bond when the show returns with episode three on January 22 on History Channel.