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The First Wives Club, the series launching on BET's upcoming streaming service, BET+, is a not a one-to-one replica of the beloved 1996 movie starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton — and the differences go beyond the fact that in this adaptation, the leads are all black women.
Jill Scott plays Hazel, the closest equivalent to Hawn's Elise. But rather than being a washed-up actress, Hazel is a recording artist given the boot by her no-good man. Michelle Buteau, who broke out this year in Always Be My Maybe, plays orthopedic surgeon Bree, who is in the middle of a divorce from her cheating husband. And Ryan Michelle Bathe plays Ari, an attorney who, for the time being anyway, is still married to an aspiring politician David (Mark Tallman). Truth be told, First Wives Club probably made the right call in not mimicking the movie's setup completely, and based on the first few episodes shown to critics, the departure works just fine. This First Wives Club, from Girls Trip scribe Tracy Oliver, is more like a spiritual sister to the flick, largely because of its underlying message of sisterhood and, as Rihanna might put it, getting what you're owed.
Lot - People - Significance - Ryan - Michelle
"A lot of people ask about the historical significance," Ryan Michelle Bathe told TV Guide via phone, "but it never felt to me like a reimagining as black women. I wouldn't call it a [revival]. It felt like it was about, as women, we are taking the baton. That's a different thing."
Though the original is "definitely in the top 10" of movies Bathe loves, she hasn't spent a ton of time worrying about how purists will judge the show. (That said, she probably will care about the opinions of Goldie Hawn, whom Bathe likes to think of as her "auntie-in-law in...
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