07th Oct2020

‘Ratched: Season 1’ Review (Netflix)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Judy Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Sharon Stone, Sophie Okonedo | Created by Ryan Murphy

When Ratched was announced, I’m sure I was not the only one that looked at the cast and the fact that it was Ryan Murphy’s work and thought of American Horror Story straight away. Now that Netflix have released the first season, the connection to his previous show sticks, but for all the right reasons.

One important thing to note is that Ratched is best enjoyed going in with zero knowledge, so I’m going to do this review without spoilers where possible. The most important thing to know though, is that this is seen as the origin story of Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson) and how she became one of the most infamous nurses in Hollywood history.

If you area a fan of Hitchcock, this is a show you will feel very much at home with. There are definite homages to Psycho throughout the entire season, as well as the use of music from North by Northwest, other Hitchcock movies, and also Cape Fear just to add to the dramatic feeling of the show. Although Cape Fear may not be a Hitchcock movie it definitely fits the feel of Ratched.

The interesting thing about Ratched though is exactly where it fits in with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and the answer right now is still a mystery. There is the mental hospital setting of course, and the themes of mental health, but other than that this is a Ratched that feels very different. Saying that though, does not mean that this is a totally different Mildred Ratched, and by the end of the show as a whole we will no doubt see the connection between the classic movie and the story that is building up. What we are presented with though is a character who has an interesting history, many personal issues that make Mildred a very interesting person, and a whole plethora of other characters that are truly dark and for the most part fascinating.

I don’t want to go into these characters too deeply, as discovering these through the story is one of the most important parts of the show. With feels of Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal (the TV show), Cape Fear and so many other shows and movies, Ratched takes inspiration from the best and creates something truly special.

Sarah Paulson shines as Ratched, and that is to be expected. She is an actor who has worked with Murphy on many of the American Horror Story seasons and this show really does feel like a return to form for the two. This season could fit well in the American Horror Story timeline, and is better than many of the seasons of that show itself. The cast as a whole for Ratched though is very good, praise much be given to actors such as Finn Wittrock, Judy Davis, Cynthia Nixon, and Sharon Stone for their characters. Sophie Okonedo though has to be highlighted as a showstealer though, as her performance of Charlotte Wells.

Fans who wanted a good dose of horror in Ratched, will find themselves happy with what they find in season one. The finale sets up the next segment of the story well, and will leave fans wanting more. American Horror Story may be past it’s best, but if Ratched was the successor, then it is a mighty role to have, and a successful one.

***** 5/5

Ratched is available on Netflix now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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