Feud: Bette and Joan Premiere Plot Summary:
FX’s new series takes on the famous distaste and drama behind two of Hollywood’s biggest legends, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis (played by Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, respectively) on the set of the hit horror film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Some feuds are legendary, but this feud is award-winning.
While many have been fascinated about the drama that happened between these two legends in the past, Ryan Murphy effortlessly answers all our questions and desires, albeit with some added drama for TV purposes, by hiring two of Hollywood’s current legends to play the two bitter broads and giving us a sense of reality to the plights of these cinema darlings.
With a script that could make any network executive’s mouth water and performances from a cast that the Academy could only dream of, Feud is another success story for Murphy, who is coming off from his award season high for his other hit show, The People v O.J. Simpson.
Murphy’s pilot episode delivers just enough action and story development for audiences to become emotionally invested and curious to tune in to see what exactly went down. While rumors may be rumors, the script for this series seems to separate fact from fiction and takes away all the glitz and glamour many were exposed to when trying to look up facts about the rivalry between the two stars.
In the performances from Sarandon and Lange, we see two very different sides to these famous actresses, showing the pain of getting older in Hollywood and the sadness that comes from fame and peaking too quickly in one’s career.
With Lange, we see a hidden sadness of trying to remain youthful in a career where all movie executives want to see is perky young tits and a pretty face, possibly mirroring Lange’s own story in Hollywood as well. Murphy may have been biased in casting Lange, as she was his golden girl in American Horror Story, but the casting could not be more perfect, as Lange perfectly captures Crawford’s own desperate attempt to cling to youth and relevancy. The grief Lange pulls off in merely her eyes alone is enough to make the award season an easy breeze for her.
Miss Lange, just know your Emmy is waiting for you once more in September.
Speaking of Emmy-winning performances, Sarandon truly struck gold in this role, possibly being the best role she has had in years.
She is a perfect Bette Davis, capturing the snark of the old Hollywood glamour days, while also showing the same capacity of sadness that Lange shows in her role as well. Sarandon is truly one of the best parts of the show, and she will surely be standing next to Lange come award season on the best of lists.
Special regards to Alfred Molina as well for providing some truly great comedic relief in scenes and holding his own next to these greats. An Emmy may be in his future as well, but that’s just my own predictions because this show deserves all the awards.
All in all, the show is truly a masterpiece, something even the great legends of Hollywood would respect. Murphy shows true respect for his characters in his script, while also providing his audience with the much needed drama we all want to see, especially between these two Hollywoods legends. Along with this, the performances are so compelling and believable, you would think you were getting an insider’s look into the actual lives of these women. The show will surely be another Emmy success story for Murphy . . . at this point a girl’s gotta ask, where is he going to fit them all?
Rating: 10 out of 10
FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN AIRS SUNDAYS AT 10 ON FX