The official synopsis for Rodham, the alt-history novel by Curtis Sittenfeld, reads like one man’s short-form exercise in insult comedy through a white knight lens: “In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise: Life magazine has covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she’s attending Yale Law School, and she’s on the forefront of student activism and the women’s rights movement. And then she meets Bill Clinton.” Sittenfeld’s book doesn’t imagine an alternate history in which Hillary Clinton merely won the 2016 presidential election, but a “you go girl” history in which she dumps Bill Clinton and strikes out on her own. At best, it’s fetishistic fanfic that seemingly elides the more troubling aspects of Hillary Clinton and attributes her shortcomings to her choice in husband. At worst, it’s an author laboring under the misguided delusion that we could’ve had it aaaaaall if this MAN hadn’t fucked it all up. Rodham: A Novel adds insult to injury for anyone who understands and accepts the complexity of being a Hillary supporter, particularly given her ongoing marriage to an alleged sexual abuser, rapist, and serial philanderer.
BUT ANYWAY. If the thought of reading Sittenfeld’s book is too tiresome for you (and understandably so), worry not: Rodham is going to be a TV series now. The Affair’s Sarah Treem is writing and executive producing the alt-history drama (that’s a fancy and fun way of saying “historical fanfic,” no?) for Hulu, Deadline reports. The series will explore themes from Sittenfeld’s novel, namely “the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still run mostly by men.” Cute!