Credit: Seventeen

TV review: ‘Ratched’, Ryan Murphy strikes again

2 mins read

The eight-part Netflix original from Evan Romansky and Ryan Murphy provides the backstory to the psychiatric nurse and main antagonist in the 1975 film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 45 years later, Sarah Paulson is bringing life back to the sadistic soul that is Nurse Ratched.

Like many roles played in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story before Sarah Paulson is perfect in the title role as Nurse Ratched. She brings an undeniable brilliance to the character. Enticing, chilling and completely terrifying.

After Louise Fletchers performance in the 1975 adaption of Ken Kesey’s bestselling classic, Nurse Ratched became symbolic for dehumanization and emasculation in modern society, illustrating how people suffering with mental illnesses were treated.

On the right Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched and on the left Sarah Paulson.
Image 1 credit: Getty Images. Image 2 credit: Netflix.

When done well, Murphy’s productions are spectacular. Some fail to hit the mark but Ratched is not one of them. Expect some scenes to be so gruesome and “cutting edge” they make you shudder all over, specifically in episode two. They are not for the faint-hearted but spectacular regardless.

It is not just the cast choices that are similar to Murphy’s other productions. The unsettling series of events, the extravagant sets and aesthetics that could only be created in the weird and wonderful mind of Murphy are a common theme present in Ratched.

There are always hints of a crossover between shows. Like to Murphy’s last Netflix hit show Hollywood, set similarly post-World War II. There are many striking similarities to Hollywood. The shot of Miracle on 34th Street showing at theatres and some of the aesthetics of the sets throughout. Teasing the audiences that somehow both shows could exist in the same universe.

Set years before One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the series is a chilling but brilliant tale of Nurse Ratched and the pure evil she depicts, although the audience do see some hints of humanity throughout this season that could explain Nurse Ratched’s cold exterior.

A second season has already been confirmed.

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Film Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Editor in Chief at Brig Newspaper. Edinburgh / Stirling

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