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Handmaid's Tale ep 1 & 2

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Entries in Ryan Murphy (17)

Monday
Apr242017

Feud 1.08: You Mean All This Time We Could Have Been Friends? - Season Finale

In the season one finale, Joan goes to the dentist, Bette gets roasted, and the show answers the question “If you could have any four people over for dinner, dead or alive…?”

by Jorge Molina

Last night, after seven weeks of behind-the-scenes introspections, gargantuan character work, and many, many hats, Feud reached its conclusion. And if it accomplished anything, it was making clear that, underneath the two legends the world knows as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, there were two broken women with an eternal strive for outside validation, left empty once the cameras stopped rolling.

The finale presents the last years in the careers of Joan (Jessica Lange) and Bette (Susan Sarandon). But mostly Joan. Because she seemed to have been the most natural recipient of all the themes Ryan Murphy and company wanted to make evident: ageism, mysogny, merciless sacrifice for Hollywood, estrangement, ingratitude, and, mostly, pain...

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Monday
Apr102017

Feud: Bette and Joan "Hagsploitation" 

Previously on Feud: Bette and Joan 
1. "Pilot" 2. "The Other Woman" 3. "Mommie Dearest" 4. "More or Less" 5. "And the Winner Is" (Part 1) (Part 2)

By Spencer Coile  

Although initially centered on the drama that took place during the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Feud persists. As we enter into episode six, "Hagsploitation," both Bette and Joan have no bona fide hits on the horizon. Sure, Joan is tackling Strait Jacket and Bette has her hands full on TV (much to Joan's judgement) on Wagon Train, but in 1964, the success of Baby Jane has waned. In fact, in a scene that features vase throwing and Mamacita standing her ground, Joan laments that it had been nine months since any offer came her way. Clearly, as the title suggests, there is something more pervasive and sinister that happens in Hollywood, far more dastardly than the actual feud that persists between Bette and Joan: the exploitation of older actresses for the benefit of their audience... 

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Monday
Mar272017

Feud: Bette and Joan "More or Less"

Previously
1 "Pilot"
2 "The Other Woman" 
3 "Mommie Dearest

by Eric Blume

Episode 4, “More, Or Less” marks the halfway point for Feud: Bette and Joan, and this episode focuses on power and limitations, not only for its title characters, but for everyone surrounding them.  

This episode sees both lead actresses confronted by a lack of offers after the completion of shooting Whatever Happed to Baby Jane?.  Susan Sarandon’s reaction to meeting her new young agent is priceless, and Jessica Lange has a “fuck you fellas” scene that feels right out of Mommie Dearest.  

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Wednesday
Feb152017

Feud - Titles & Trailer

Feud: Bette and Joan is just 18 days away.

We're almost more excited about it than the Oscars despite reservations about the casting and tone. Indie Wire loves what they've seen of it so far. They even love that Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange read more like themselves rather than as mimics of Bette & Joan though I personally worry about this very thing. But we shall see. Anything that reminds contemporary audiences to seek out cultural knowledge of classics is something to be at least a little bit excited about. 

Trailer and opening credit sequence are after the jump...

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Tuesday
Feb072017

Annette Bening Joins the next "American Crime Story"

Chris here. Like many of you, I'm still bemoaning Annette Bening's 20th Century Women Oscar miss - but her next role might lighten the sting depending on where your television alliances lie. The actress is the first cast member to join Ryan Murphy's Katrina: American Crime Story as Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco. With Feud just a few weeks away, Ryan Murphy is giving us all actresses all the time, even on projects yet to film.

If this seems something of a surprising casting coup for Murphy, you have probably forgotten that they had already worked together on Murphy's Running With Scissors adaptation. Funny how loyal his actors are even on his outright misfires. Murphy promises that other recognized figures like Blanco will factor into his Katrina narrative, so start speculating (or shuddering) away at who he could get to play the likes of Sean Penn and George W. Bush.

And let's not be too quick to lament that yet another one of our greats is heading to the small screen. If Ryan Murphy can give Bening as much to work with as he did for Sarah Paulson in The People vs. OJ Simpson, perhaps she'll have an equally unstoppable awards path. Even if Oscar remains elusive, Emmy could be the first step to EGOT.

Sunday
Jul172016

Q&A: Magnani, Cameos, Oscar Ties, and Homoeroticism

I promised a second round of Q&A this week so here we go. Seven more reader questions answered...

Mr W: Do you have any thoughts on Anna Magnani? She's one of my Top 10 Actresses of all time, but I don't think I've ever read anything on her from you.

I do not. Embarrassing to admit but I've only seen her in The Rose Tattoo (1955) which she was wonderful in. Any suggestions as to where to start?

/3rtful: Is there one unsung veteran actress you would like to see get an award season career boost through Ryan Murphy?

There's very few veterans I wouldn't want to see good a career boost. But i'll just name a dozen (and anyone reading should know I could list another 5 dozen with ease -- I shoulda been a casting director). Given that Murphy usually pulls from the 80s and 90s actressing packs (which, one assumes, reflects his formative fandoms) I wish he would throw a bone to Shelley Duvall (though maybe given her rumored mental health this isn't a good idea), Ally Sheedy, Daryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, or Lesley Ann Warren any of whom might be brilliant within his unusually creepy heightened worlds...

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Wednesday
Jun152016

Emmy FYC: The People v. O.J. Simpson for Best Limited Series

We're sharing Emmy FYCs as nomination balloting continues. Here's Lynn Lee...

When promotional clips first started appearing for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, I found myself wondering what on earth FX could be thinking.  The whole thing seemed like an obvious misfire: Cuba Gooding, Jr. didn’t look or sound anything like O.J.; John Travolta seemed to be channeling his inner alien under layers of makeup and Botox and a perpetually, awkwardly raised chin; and who was going to be interested in a dramatization of a trial that had saturated the media over 20 years ago and was now being produced by Ryan Murphy, the king of camp?  How could it be anything but terrible?

Well, turns out FX knew what it was doing.  Not only was The People v. O.J. Simpson not terrible, it just may turn out to be the best drama series of the year.  There are many reasons why the show worked as well as it did, and why it deserves Emmy recognition, but three stand out...

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