First word that comes to my mind is “Wow.”
Amanda Farrow has no doubt faced adversity in the workplace and had to fight to earn her place as the only female editor at Fabian Paperbacks. She is a powerful figure.
Amanda has worked in the publishing world for fifteen years. This means she started working toward the end of World War II. At the time she started, there probably weren’t a lot of men around the workplace – they were all off to war. As a result, this likely helped advance her career and by the time the men were back, she had made herself an invaluable asset to the company. Certainly she has encountered sexual harassment and plenty of moments where she wasn’t taken seriously, but Amanda uses her intelligence, wit and confidence in her work to stand her ground.
It is pretty astounding this woman was able to become the only female editor in a publishing house run by men. In the 40’s and early 50’s, it was even more of a man’s world, than in 1959.
When Amanda meets Caroline Bender, she can’t help but see herself. A young, intelligent, ambitious woman, eager to be successful. Amanda is threatened by Caroline, but at the same time relates to her. She is used to being the only powerful female in the room, and now that Caroline is in the picture, Amanda does lose her footing a bit.
Even so, there are moments when I believe Amanda wants Caroline to be successful. One of my favorite lines in the show is when Amanda is speaking to Caroline and says “I suggest you decide which kind of girl you want to be. Otherwise someone else will make that decision for you.” Amanda is speaking from experience.
I find Amanda Farrow to be a wonderful acting challenge and “challenge” is the truth. It has been such a process for me, getting to know her, accepting her and finding the places within myself where I relate to her.
We are both unmarried women, in our 30’s, with no kids, and a demanding career. That is some pretty significant common ground we share. Amanda has so many layers of complexity. In each of her scenes she reveals something different about herself.
She’s intelligent, strong and vulnerable.
We get to see it all.
I cannot wait to see how she evolves throughout the run of the show.
Amanda Farrow in The Best of Everything