Connect with us

TV News

Ratched Season 1 – Review

Published

on

Ratched season one image
Netflix

Nurse Ratched has returned, this time reimaged for Netflix by the conductor of the camp and creepy, Ryan Murphy. Season One contains eight spine-tingling episodes.

A prequel for Ken Kesey’s character from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Louise Fletcher’s Academy award-winning portrayal of the original Nurse Ratched became an iconic New Hollywood’ villain. She embodied the stern female face of the establishment. This in contrast to Jack Nicholson’s cheeky, rebellious male protagonist.

Kesey’s Nurse Ratched embodied a new evil. The bureaucratic ruler, the leader of the establishment. Perhaps more psychotic than the inmates of the asylum she ruled over. Which raises the question, could murphy, the modern prince of the pomp and perverse do justice to Kesey’s monochrome matron?

SPOILERS: You have been warned, there are spoilers ahead.

A fresh adaptation

The 1975 character’s ice-cold demeanour gave a convicting depiction of a systematic ruler. Ratched’s patronising dialogue and manipulation tactics were at the forefront of her arsenal as a villain. The 2020 version is no different.

Set in 1947, in Season One we meet Mildred Ratched (Murphy muse, Sarah Paulson) on her way to the Lucia State Hospital. This is several years prior to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Her witty monologue at the gas station attendants’ expense gives both vigour and a slight nod to Kesey’s creation, as Ratched is as fierce as ever. So far so good, as we are then introduced to the genocidal Edmund Tolleson (another Murphy favourite, Finn Wittrock).

Here we see Murphy’s influence and a clear separation from the source material. Ken Kesey’s text played on emotional turmoil on vulnerable characters to elicit a response from the audience. Whereas here, we see Tolleson murder 3 priests in the space of 5 minutes.

Undeniably engaging and on-brand of a Ryan Murphy show. The seeds are planted for the rest of the series and its clear, were growing something very different than One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

A visual feast

The shows strongest feature is undoubtedly its appearance. The nods to Hitchcock combined with the Douglas Sirk melodrama of the mid-century. This sets the show apart from any other grandiose Murphy creation.

Pose, AHS, Glee and many other Murphy projects maintain a strong visual identity, and Ratched joins the ranks. The technicoloured California coastline, the teal green nurses’ uniforms, the art deco hospital design and Silence of the Lambs-esq wine cellar/jail. They all position the show as a rich display of gothic grandeur.

The redundant explanations

As the series continues, the further backstory is revealed and what starts off steady, soon turns into a bumpy ride. Following the development of Mildred and Gwendolyn’s relationship, Mildred recounts the horrors of her many abusive foster parents to the audience. Yet, this is via the medium of… puppetry.

Murphy’s bizarre choice of storytelling does serve its purpose. It offers the background of Mildred and Edmund, yet the puppets lay out the history of abuse. Then actors retell the story and finally, Mildred recounts the whole series of events we just saw, in one long face to face monologue. The one unique element of the puppet show becomes diluted into a tiresome series of repetition, that could have been avoided.

Once the two narratives of Mildred and Edmund are tied up, there is a simple race to the finish as she is trying to save him from death row. But, Edmund is given a logical past that relates to his current actions. He has been made a monster and has only ever killed for revenge, whilst we are left wondering what Mildreds’ end game is? Save her non-biological brother and hide him forever? Save her new girlfriend and run away with her? Or is it to take over the hospital and maintain control to relate back to the original text?

Mildred is shown to be a fantastic manipulator that slowly becomes unravelled. All done as she loses control throughout the series, yet the audience also loses grip of why we are watching and what we want to happen.

Overall

The first series had a decent arc, that sadly becomes more convoluted than it needed to be. The final episode is set in Mexico. This, unfortunately, involves a dream sequence. Setting up the Mildred vs. Edmond narrative for Ratched Season Two already feels like a misstep.

Yet, it was an enjoyable binge watch that deserves some leeway due to the outstanding cinematography and design. The jury is still out on if this Rached (turned Mexican bother-hunter) will ever relate back to the original. We will see if Ratched Season Two will correct some of its initial wrongs and draw us back in for more than just the flamboyant design…


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10


Thanks for reading Ratched Season One review. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read more of our Mandalorian Episode One Review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Ratched HERE.

Ratched is streaming now on Netflix.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Ratched Season One – Review – PORTFOLIO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TV News

Loki Episode 6 – Review

Published

on

Loki episode 6 image
Marvel Studios

Episode six of Loki from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s time for the series finale. Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

More to come

The post-credit scene showed that a second series has already been ordered, meaning this finale is essentially the end of Part One. Thank goodness it is. Because if this was the denouement of the entire Loki story then there’s a good chance it would go down in television infamy as one of the more unusual series endings.

Introducing the big bad

We pick up from Sylvie and Loki’s defeat of The Alioth as they look at the citadel upon the rock at the end of time. They make their way to the entrance, and upon being invited in they’re met by Miss Minutes. It’s been widely predicted that ‘she’ would be an agitator in this series. And at last her role has been revealed. She is an emissary of Kang The Conquerer, embedded within the TVA.

She offers Loki the earth, almost literally, as she tries to coax him to betray Sylvie. Her offers of infinity stones, defeating Thanos etc. Happily, Loki rejects all the trinkets that she offers. Instead, he and Sylvie head into the lift where they meet ‘He Who Remains’ aka Kang The Conquerer. A 31st-century scientist and the true timekeeper.

Loki fight

Sylvie attempts to kill him but he quickly demonstrates some of his powers by dodging and weaving her before she gives in and the three of them sit down for a very long discussion. To sum up what was a lengthy and occasionally fairly tedious scene. He Who Remains (HWR) asks Loki and Sylvie to kill him and take over the role of controlling the timeline. Loki is extremely reticent but Sylvie, angry at what HWR’s meddling has done to her life, is desperate to do so.

Meanwhile, back at TVA HQ, Renslayer is informed by Miss Minutes of HWR’s plan. Showing her dual role and playing on Renslayer’s desperation to keep the TVA active and relevant.

Loki and Sylvie get into a physical fight over what to do with HWR. With Loki recognising how the timeline will fragment with branches springing up all over the place. But Sylvie is consumed by her rage and eventually overpowers Loki, sending him back to the TVA and then kills He Who Remains.

Setting up season two

Loki finds Mobius and tries to explain what has happened. But then discovers the terrible effects of what Sylvie has done by apparently killing HWR. Mobius has no idea who Loki is. This situation is then made worse when Loki looks out to see a statue of He Who Remains adorning TVA HQ. Loki realises that he is in a different timeline branch. One where HWR or Kang is in control of everything. Sylvie has been manipulated into apparently killing him which has enabled him to increase his power further.

Jonathan Majors was masterful as He Who Remains. Which is what you’d expect from someone with a Masters in acting from Yale. He was flamboyant, powerful and mesmerising, which is exactly what you want from a major villain. He will be back in AntMan 3 as Kang The Conquerer and is set to be the key villain in the next phase of the MCU post-Endgame and Thanos.

I have been extremely positive about this series, as I think it has been the strongest and most cohesive of the Marvel series so far this year. But I can’t disagree with anyone who felt short-changed by this finale. My 11-year-old son was pretty vocal in his disappointment the moment the credits rolled, and he was absolutely right. He is one of the most obsessive Marvel fans around and if he was underwhelmed, I feel pretty sure he was reflecting the majority view. Nothing I’ve seen online since has dissuaded me from that either.

Phase 4 groundwork

It seemed that the finale was essentially an exercise in introducing He Who Remains or Kang to our screens ahead of AntMan 3. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, it meant that the focus shifted away from being the climax of this series. Instead of being a prologue for the next phase of the MCU, which does seem a peculiar decision.

There are those who feel that the series original premise of Loki and Mobius teaming up to find Variants dotted around time and space was dropped after the first two episodes. Instead, it was replaced with a love story between Sylvie and Loki and a voyage of discovery with Mobius reduced to a bit part for the rest of the series.

But, the cliffhanger at the end of the series as Loki returns to the TVA does give me hope that Series Two will be an even better follow up.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10


Thank you for reading our review of Loki episode six. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Read our Loki episode five review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Loki HERE.

Continue Reading

Trending