QCODE and Crooked Media’s “Edith!” has generated some buzz. It’s an eight-part scripted fiction series and a modern take on the radio drama genre. This show feels like you’re watching a television program without visuals. And if you’re into historical fiction, the podcast’s drama is surely a bonus.
“Edith!” is based on President Woodrow Wilson’s wife. This podcast is a near-true story about how she is loosely referred to as America’s first female president.
This story takes place in 1919, after World War I. President Wilson was traveling and returned early to Washington D.C. because he was not feeling well. The president had a stroke and became partially paralyzed. His wife, in real life and in the podcast, keeps the full status of the president’s health private. As a result, she doesn’t let anyone see him besides his doctor. In the podcast, Edith takes it upon herself to gain control of the situation.
The First Lady acts on President Wilson’s behalf as the unelected President. She takes over presidential duties and fools members of the Cabinet. In the first few episodes, we hear her deliberately forging presidential memorandums.
Although Edith has roles in the White House, she speaks about ones she does not enjoy. She calls it a “dollhouse” with specific first lady duties to fulfill. Edith’s character dislikes how she cannot do certain things, and seizes the chance to self-empower. Throughout this series, we’ll find out if her plan gets foiled.
Why is this story so prime for a fictional adaptation? No one truly knows the extent to which Edith made decisions in the White House or on behalf of President Wilson.
The series is narrated by Edith, as she addresses the audience directly. We meet Edith’s best friend, Trudie. She provides commentary on everything unfolding in discussions with Edith. Edith is played by Rosamund Pike. The podcast is written by Gonzalo Cordova and Travis Helwig. It is directed by Maureen Bharooch.
You might notice the concept for “Edith!” if you watch Drunk History. The idea appeared in a skit in 2018. Most episodes are around 30 minutes in length. Weekly episodes are released on Thursdays.