King of the small screen, Ryan Murphy, is back with talented, American Horror Story regular, Sarah Paulson as the feared Nurse Ratched from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The series serves as a prequel to the Nurse’s appearance in this famous film that starred Jack Nicholson back in 1975.
For the love of Ryan Murphy
I am a sucker for anything with the Ryan Murphy name on it. Over the years, I have watched every single season of American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Scream Queens, Glee, The Politician – to name just a few. I love his unique way of storytelling, his unsubtle approach, love of the macabre, and his willingness to address issues that most shy away from.
Murphy’s transition to Netflix from Fox is rumoured to be a $300 million deal where he has a hand in nearly 15 projects at any given time. Except for Ratched, 2020 also saw the release of Hollywood, the second season of The Politician, and the third instalment of American Crime Story (which will revolve around the Monica Lewinski scandal), The Boys in the Band and The Prom still upcoming.
Welcome back, Nurse Ratched
Ratched has a very distinct American Horror Story feel, in fact, I’ve seen the series being referred to online as American Horror Story: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. The franchise has been wildly successful, with a bit of a cult following and to me Ratched is very reminiscent of the second season, Asylum, which also happens to be my favourite season.
The show creators lean heavily on Hitchcockian horror which is built around subtle light plays, definite colour palettes, and of course, loads of mirrors and illusions. Although Ratched is everything but subtle, these old school homages to earlier horror work not only as an aid to the storyline, but also in conjunction with the set, costumes and characters.
The production value on Murphy’s sets are always of the highest standard and Ratched is no exception. The costumes are breathtaking, no matter how evil Nurse Ratched is, I have serious outfit envy. She also drives this gorgeous light green Ford that plays a pivotal part in the colour aesthetic of the entire series. It is all very well put together.
So, is it worth a watch? I found the storyline at times to be disjointed, not quite sure what it needs to be. Entertainment-wise, it is a thrilling ride guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. But I’m afraid this caters more to Murphy fans than horror fans or even One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest fans. As always, Sarah Paulson gives a stellar performance and fans of her work will be delighted to see her take on the infamous Nurse Ratched.