There is no such thing as too much Betty Gilpin on our TVs and yet her shows keep facing less-than-desirable fates. GLOW’s final season was foiled by the pandemic, Three Women was dumped by Showtime after filming was complete, and Roar didn’t get nearly enough attention. What will it take for a network or streamer to go all-in on Gilpin?
Peacock is proving that it gets it. Gilpin stars in the streamer’s new series Mrs. Davis, and a lot of information about the series, created by Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof, has been withheld up until this point to maintain an air of mystery. But now finally, we have a premiere date — April 20 — and a full trailer. It’s hard evidence that we will see Gilpin on our screens for at least eight episodes this year, and from what we now know, it’ll be a wild ride letting the actress show off every facet of herself.
Back in October 2020, Netflix announced that what was to be the fourth and final season of GLOW was canceled mid-production because of shutdowns related to COVID-19. Gilpin has since made peace with the streamer’s decision, crediting her background in live theater for helping her come to terms with it.
“I think even though we got canceled, it’s like, ‘Yeah, we still did it though,’” she told Collider in 2021. “I feel like sometimes you do a play, sometimes your soul comes out in a room and is recognized for a second and then the air changes and you’re terrible again and it’s all bad and the whole front row’s asleep, but you did it, for one second. And I’m like, we did three seasons.”
That doesn’t make it any easier for fans, however, especially after Kate Nash tweeted out photos from the GLOW Season 4 set earlier this year. In the replies, Nash confirmed that two episodes were filmed in their entirety and the cast had scripts for the entire season, which would have followed Gilpin’s character, Debbie Eagan, as the head of a TV station. Kate, we’re begging you, get Netflix to release the tapes!
Earlier this year, the series Three Women starring Gilpin, Shaleine Woodley, DeWanda Wise, and Blair Underwood was canceled by Showtime when the network merged with Paramount+ after the entire season had already been completed. In March, Starz announced it had picked up the series, giving it new life.
“We set out to make a bluntly beautiful show about the way that women want and suffer and thrill, the way they make love and take love,” show creator Lisa Toledo said in a press release. “That STARZ will be the home for ‘Three Women’ is not merely right and perfect, but also a force of auspicious change. I cannot wait for the world to see these raw and real stories on a network committed to the complexity and firepower of the female experience.”
Gilpin is no stranger to Starz, appearing in the 2022 limited series Gaslit, so this should bode well. However the network hasn’t yet announced when that series will come to air, and based on past experience, it’s best to not believe it until the first teaser drops so as to not face disappointment again.
Buckle up, because it sounds like this series will be going a lot of different directions at warp speed. In the simplest terms, Mrs. Davis is about a nun named Simone (Gilpin) who goes on a mission to take down an all-powerful Artificial Intelligence that has won over the entire world. This A.I., called Mrs. Davis, is friendly, engaging, and has a quality that makes each character think she’s been created just for them. In the first teaser, people are seen passing on ear pods to one another saying, “She wants to talk to you.” We don’t hear her message, but those on the receiving end seem joyful and at peace, making it seem like this will be an especially difficult A.I. to want to crush to a pulp.
While that battle is the central narrative, according to Vulture, the series — which Kathryn VanArendonk calls a “sci-fi romp” — also explores God, faith, augmented reality, gamification, Reno magicians, the American west, the Holy Grail, and death.
“We were pushing back against dystopia,” Lindelof tells Vulture, noting that the show needed to be “fun to watch, not a huge downer. Where in the Venn diagram do The Sound of Music, Black Mirror, and True Romance overlap? That’s what we were gunning for.”
Hernandez says she used The Hobbit’s “there and back again” story arc with Simone as the reluctant hero in order to allow for all kinds of diversions to occur. Lindelof compares the Mrs. Davies writers’ room to that of The Leftovers and Watchmen, where no idea is too ridiculous to try out. That’s to say, no matter how much viewers know about this show going in, it will likely be impossible to predict all the bizarre twists and turns to come. Just enjoy the ride.
The first four hour-long episodes of Mrs. Davis will premiere on April 20 with new episodes streaming every Thursday.
Joining Gilpin is Margo Martindale as the Mother Superior of Simone’s convent; Elizabeth Marvel as Celeste, Simone’s mother; David Arqutte as Monty, Simone’s father and a magician; Jake McDorman as Wiley, a rodeo rider; Kim Hawthore as a kindergarten teacher who Mrs. Davis uses as a conduit for her message; plus Chris Diamantopoulos, Andy McQueen, Ben Chaplin, Katja Herbers, Ashley Romans, Tom Wlaschiha, and Mathilde Ollivier as yet unknown characters.
Mrs. Davis premieres on Peacock on April 20. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.
TOPICS: Mrs. Davis, Peacock, GLOW, Three Women, Betty Gilpin, Damon Lindelof, David Arquette, Margo Martindale, Tara Hernandez