What Will the Ladies of ‘9 to 5’ Have to Say About Power Dynamics in 2018?

All of the original cast returns, confirm EP Jane Fonda

By Athena Wisotsky

 
What Will the Ladies of ‘9 to 5’ Have to Say About Power Dynamics in 2018?
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26 July 2018

If you’re unfamiliar with 9-5’s early ‘80s take on workplace sexism, it’s kinda like Horrible Bosses meets Mad Men meets Girls. The comedy is ranked among the 100 funniest films of all time by the American Film Institute and according to Hollywood Reporter, remains on of the highest-grossing domestic comedies of all time.

And it’s the origin of the enduring earworm by Dolly Parton of the same name.

Which makes me wonder if my fellow editors (emphasis on fellow) were being bashful when they said they forgot the plot. We’re all in for an education regardless, because the sequel is happening, and the original, inimitable 1980 cast of Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and some guy (originally played by Dabney Coleman) remains intact, according to Fonda, who is EP on the project.

It’s been confirmed that the setting will also remain the same — Consolidated Companies — and the plot will incorporate the (sigh) still ongoing unpacking of gender dynamics in the workplace. Critics, perhaps ones named Don McLean, will ask, “Is this just a hollow cash grab profiteering off the stories of traumatized women who decided to name their abusers?” But given these are all powerful actresses who now have that much more life experience in the industry, I think it’s safe to expect there to be some chew with the bite. Fonda, for her part, believes problems have actually gotten worse and harder to manage, as HR and hiring have begun to be outsourced to third parties.

The 1980 film was also Dolly Parton’s acting debut, and today she has been (correctly) elevated to saint status, more or less. Plus a roster of new talent will be good: Rashida Jones co-writing the script was a bit of news from this winter.

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