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The Astronaut Wives Club: One huge reason all women should watch this show

Julie Robinson

by

Entertainment Writer

Julie Robinson, @juliecrob, has decided that the title of “Pop Culture Junkie” gives her permission to indulge in reality TV with nary a guilt twinge. She misses “Six Feet Under” and “Nip/Tuck”, has a few logistical questions for the fo...

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

From the moment I saw the first trailer of ABC's The Astronaut Wives Club, I knew summer TV was going to be a bit juicier.

The promise of a look back at the Space Race through the eyes of America's first astronauts' wives is enough to bring me inside for an evening. And now that I've seen the first episode, I predict that women everywhere will do so weekly. Here's why:

1. We miss Mad Men

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

Image: ABC/Skip Bolen

With Don Draper, Joan Harris and Roger Sterling in our rearview mirrors, so goes our view into the world of chain smoking, binge drinking and B&W television coverage of events of the '60s. The first episode of TAWC tickled our ears with the Bostonian accent of JFK and played with words that somewhat rhymed with "Sputnik." We were also reminded of the grocery-schlepping prowess of the station wagon and saw a bevy of reporters carrying cameras heavier than bowling balls. Retro fix, check!

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2. We miss Desperate Housewives, and the Real Housewives aren't the same

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

Image: ABC/Cook Allender

Cocoa Beach isn't exactly a cul-de-sac, but we do get a familiar hint of Wisteria Lane. A light in the window means it's OK to drop by with a freshly baked cake, and kids in jammies are free to stay up late while moms shoot the breeze on the patio. And unlike the televised train wreck that is the RH, we actually want to know more about Annie Glenn, Louise Shepard and the other real housewives of space.

3. It's a fashion feast

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

Image: ABC/Cook Allender

"The memo said (to wear) a pastel shirtwaist dress."

It was game on when platinum-haired Rene Carpenter (played sassily by Yvonne Strahovski) showed up at the wives' first Life Magazine photo shoot sporting a pastel Christian Dior number instead.

Costume designer Eric Daman gives us a range from prim to progressive and brings back pedal pushers and pearls — and the word on the street is that before the summer's over we'll be seeing miniskirts and a definite lack of brassieres. If you pay close attention, you'll note that each character has been given a color scheme that gives clues to her backstory. Betty Grissom (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) is a Midwesterner, so Daman has designed a "frozen vegetable color palette" that focuses on bright yellow corn from her home state of Indiana. Somebody pass the butter!

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4. It's our duty

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

Image: ABC/Cook Allender

We've come a long way, baby. My mom wasn't exactly the stand-by-your-man type, but I vaguely remember conversations about her vote canceling his out if she dared to have her own opinion. These women behind the men will likely be revealed to vary in their personal missions, but it's clear that their main job is to help their husbands get what they want. In the case of the men who made up the Mercury Seven, it's to get on that first rocket to the moon. So the little ladies smile for the camera even when they want to cry and, apparently, turn a blind eye to pools full of space groupies in bikinis who seek their own kind of moon rock.

5. It's a Jell-O-palooza

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

Image: ABC/Skip Bolen

I don't know about you, but I'm a little hummus(ed) out. Sure chickpeas are a super food, but just for this summer, let's wiggle and jiggle to the gelatinous wonder that is Jell-O. It adds a splash of color to any menu as long as the chef builds time into her prep to allow for it to cool. Second on the list of ingredient staples is mayo. Ham salad, anyone?

More: A Downton Abbey fan favorite is returning — what's it mean?

6. The sisterhood is strong

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

Image: ABC/Cook Allender

The biggest reason women should watch this show? The sisterhood.

Sisterhood isn't going anywhere, but it's always nice to see a group of women band together when things get tough. Female characters from Sex in the City, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Hot in Cleveland and even the sister wives of Big Love remind us that women take care of everyone else, but who takes care of women? We do. The Astronaut Wives Club will likely have its share of snarkiness, but when NASA lights a match under the firecracker their husbands are sitting on, the women will hold their breaths together. In the words of Louise Shepard (Dominique McElligott), "If we ever feel lost, all we need to do is look around and see that we are not traveling alone." Word.

7. It will make summer stargazing a little more meaningful

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

Image: ABC/Cook Allender

TAWC reminds us that before men (and finally, women!) risked their lives for space exploration, there were monkeys, canines and even fruit flies. As we saw in last night's premiere of The Astronauts Wives Club, when Alan Shepard first went up into space, the country collectively held its breath until his crackly voice from afar replied, "Copy that." On my checklist for this weekend? I'm going to dig out the old telescope.

Did you watch The Astronauts Wives Club? Let us know how you felt about it in the comments!

We can't get enough of the sisterhood in The Astronaut Wives Club

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