Review of "Feud: Bette and Joan" on FX From The TV MegaSite

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Feud's Bette and Joan 

Review of "Feud: Bette and Joan" 3/22/17 by Suzanne
Airs Sundays 10/9c

This is a very good show, especially if you love Hollywood legends or old movies. Ryan Murphy shows are generally very good, but sometimes they can be hard to watch (especially "American Horror Story"). This is a very different show from any of his other shows. The show is about how Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, in the 1960's, while in their 50's and not getting many jobs, fought to get a leading role in a new movie, "Whatever Happaned to Baby Jane?" (a classic horror film)  The two women have a feud during the movie, although they're also both trying to make a comeback with the movie.

It's a very good drama and has many fine actors. If you watch AHS, you will no doubt recognize many of them.  Jessica Lange plays Joan Crawford and Susan Sarandon plays Bette Davis. Alfred Molina plays the film's director, caught between the two divas.  Stanley Tucci plays Jack Warner (head of Warner Brothers). Judy Davis plays Hedda Hopper, a gossip columnist that tried to get as much dirt on the stars as she could.

The setting of the 1960's is done very well, as is the music and the theme song. They all remind you of old movies from that time.  Although it's hard to see Lange as Crawford and Sarandon as Davis, they do great jobs acting, and the makeup does help.  You should watch this because it's very good. I really look forward to seeing more of it.

There's only one problem I have with this show. They hint that Crawford and Davis were washed up because they were old (as well as difficult and demanding). Well, here's the thing. That may have been true then (and largely true now), but the other problem is that neither Crawford nor Davis were every beautiful starlets. They were great actresses, to be sure; but they often played villains because they were definitely NOT beautiful, so that probably was part of the reason they didn't get as many parts later on and why they were in this horror movie.  It's kind of funny that Lange and Sarandon, who both were very beautiful when they were younger, are playing these "old hags" because they were way better looking than either of them ever were. They're also both just as good at acting (if not better).  Also, Catherine Zeta-Jones is way too beautiful to be playing Olivia DeHavilland, who also was no great beauty.  Thank goodness we have cable television now to give the "old broads" more juicy parts. Thank goodness for Ryan Murphy, in particular, who gives a lot of roles to older people in all of his shows.


FEUD: Bette and Joan, the first installment of the new FX anthology series from Ryan Murphy, tells the story of the legendary rivalry between Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) during their collaboration on the Academy Award®-nominated thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, and well after the cameras stopped rolling. The series explores how the two women endured ageism, sexism, and misogyny while struggling to hang on to success and fame in the twilight of their careers.

In addition to Academy Award winners Lange and Sarandon, the cast includes Alfred Molina as the film’s director Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as studio titan Jack Warner, Judy Davis as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, Jackie Hoffman as Crawford’s housekeeper Mamacita, and Alison Wright as Aldrich’s assistant Pauline.

Notable guest stars include Dominic Burgess as Crawford and Davis’ co-star Victor Buono, Catherine Zeta-Jones as film star Olivia de Havilland, Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page, Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell and Kiernan Shipka as B.D., Bette Davis’ daughter.

FEUD: Bette and Joan is created by Ryan Murphy and Jaffe Cohen & Michael Zam. Ryan Murphy serves as Executive Producer along with Executive Producers Dede Gardner of Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, Tim Minear and Alexis Martin Woodall. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.

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