Traitors is a Channel 4 original period spy drama that premiered Feb. 17 in the UK and is now streaming on Netflix. The show takes a close look at what it's like to be female in Britain in the post-World War II era. Whether you've seen the series or not, you probably already want more on principle. So, I dug in to find out if there will be a Season 2 of Traitors. The answer is that there is no answer yet. But, I think it's far too early to worry about that.
As has been seen with other shows (most recentlyYou) Netflix can serve as a springboard to help struggling shows reach a wider audience and generate the buzz they deserve. Traitors is buzzworthy, but Season 1 is only six episodes long, so of course plenty of people want to see more of the dramatic espionage action.
According to The Guardian reviewer Rebecca Nicholson, after a couple of episodes establishing that it is hard to be a spy and a female in 1945 (is anyone surprised by this fact?) the show "kicks into gear, and it does so by finding its women." I am here for some more female-led drama.
Feef Symonds (Emma Appleton) is a British aristocrat who agrees to help an American agent root out a possible Russian infiltration of the British government. Yet, despite being set in 1945, Nicholson observes that the show's tone sets it apart from similar ones in the genre for a unique reason. "The conversations often feel modern, and timely parallels are rarely subtle," she wrote.
Cara Horgan plays Rae Savitt — a Jewish typist for the Home Office, the department of the UK government now responsible for immigration control, passport and visa allocation, and fire and rescue prevention, among other issues related to the safety and security of citizens. In a conversation with Metro.co.uk, Horgan talked about what makes Traitors so timely. "‘I do think it’s very topical right now just because of everything going on with Brexit, and the uncertainty in the government, she said. "It feels like we’re in another time in history where people who are not originally from Britain are now having to question and redefine the place they thought was home, suddenly might not be home."
The site notes that although the modern political parallels are hard to ignore, the show mainly focuses on personal relationships. So, viewers get to experience the thrill of deception while watching a bunch of women figure out how to assert their independence in a male-dominated society and juggle personal relationships at the same time. There are also impassioned speeches from characters like Priscilla Garrick about what a woman has to do to succeed in a man's world. “Women have to be twice as good as men,” she says.
The quote itself isn't shocking. But what makes the show worth watching is following Traitors women define what it looks like to be twice as good as men in 1945.