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Talk TV: ‘Ratched’ and ‘Filthy Rich’ soaps are bubbling up



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Actress Sarah Paulson starred in writer / producer Ryan Murphy’s “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” and several seasons of “American Horror Story”, revealing herself to be her MVP, a streak she continues in Murphy’s “Ratched,” streaming Friday on Netflix.

A prequel to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” – both the 1962 Ken Kesey novel and the 1975 film – “Ratched” begins in 1947 after the murder of several priests by Edmund Tolleson (Finn Wittrock, another regular by Murphy).

In a seemingly disconnected story – until the end of the premiere – Paulson’s Mildred Ratched goes to Lucia State Mental Hospital in California, where she claims to have a job interview.

Ratched models her wardrobe after movie stars and demonstrates a steadfast determination to land a job with Dr. Hanover (Jon Jon Biones from Murphy’s “Versace: American Crime Story”) and alongside her majordomo, Nurse Bucket (Judy Davis of Murphy’s “Feud: Bette and Joan”), who is at “Ratched” as Nurse Ratched was at “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

Written by Evan Romansky and directed by Murphy, the pilot looks amazing, from the vividly colored cabinets to the lighting effects and a Hitchcockian soundtrack (lots of violins). “Ratched” draws viewers in the second hour, featuring multiple scenes of patients receiving lobotomies, and challenges viewers to keep watching.

At first, Mildred Ratched appears to be a cold sociopath, getting involved in several murders during the first four episodes of the series. But at the end of the season, his character underwent a size change, taking out the Madmen.

Oddly, Mildred looks more like Nurse Ratched from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at the start of the season than at the end. Presumably, the character will switch the other way around in a second season that has already been ordered.

“Ratched” suffers from the same affliction that many Murphy’s shows have: inconsistency. The astonishing lighting evaporates in the second half of the season, which points to “Hannibal” territory and gives off an “everything but the kitchen sink” vibe as Murphy plays a theme also found in “Feud” – women of a certain age who start out as rivals but respect each other.

Throughout Paulson’s performances, Davis, Cynthia Nixon (as Paulson’s potential lover) and Sophie Okonedo (as a mental hospital patient) keep “Ratched” observable even as the quality drops under the weight of too much. of melodrama.

‘Filthy Rich’

Fox’s latest prime-time soap opera, “Filthy Rich,” won’t be mistaken for great TV, but its pilot episode is a hoot. Future payments turn out to be unequal.

Written and directed by Tate Taylor (“Ma”, “The Help”), the pilot of “Filthy Rich” (9 p.m. Monday, WPGH-TV) features the Monreaux, a mega-wealthy New Orleans family who created 25 years ago a Christian Television Network. As they are about to launch what is essentially a Christian, Patriarch Eugene (Gerald McRaney) boards a crashing plane and he is presumed dead, leaving the wife behind. in mourning Margaret (scene thief Kim Cattrall, having fun).

It turns out that Eugene fathered three children out of wedlock who are recognized in his will, which infuriates Margaret and disappoints the legitimate children Rose (Aubrey Dollar) and Eric, who is played by Music Theater graduate Corey Cott of the ‘Carnegie Mellon University in 2012, making his series in prime time. regular debut years after her younger CMU graduate brother Casey Cott landed a regular role on The CW’s “Riverdale”. (Watch a video interview with Corey Cott embedded in the online version of this story on

“I’ve dealt with a lot of bastards,” Margaret says of Eugene’s newly discovered now adult children, “these three won’t be different. Margaret de Cattrall is the glue that holds this show together; whenever she’s on screen, “Filthy Rich” is at her best. Vivid dialogue (“People of faith are not so fickle,” says Margaret in episode two, “that’s the beauty of faith”), a flippant score and a relentless pace moving forward – a plot that could last an entire season is sidelined in the pilot – positions “Filthy Rich” as Fox’s heir to “Empire”, albeit an “Empire” without Shakespearean overtones. And “Filthy Rich” makes it easier for viewers to laugh with him.

But like “Empire,” whose quality waned after its first season, there is cause for concern. Taylor didn’t write episodes two and three and the zingers are less and less spaced, although episode three features an entertaining and animated live-on television showdown between Margaret and new-daughter Ginger (Melia Kreiling) , a cam girl who runs a sexually explicit website.

‘Challenger: the last flight’

There are few revelations that justify the four-hour runtime of the now-streaming Netflix documentary series about the 1986 Space Shuttle Explosion.

Viewers get a feel for the crew members through interviews with family members – teacher sister Christa McAuliffe is interviewed; McAuliffe’s children and widower, who have long avoided the spotlight, are not – while interviews with engineers and NASA administrators who cleared the launch despite knowing the risks are illuminating and infuriating. The fourth hour is the strongest, showing how members of the commission of inquiry used “bureaucratic jujitsu” to thwart efforts to protect NASA’s image.

Kept / Canceled / Reactivated

HBO Max has renewed “Doom Patrol” for a third season.

Adult Swim canceled “Venture Brothers” after seven seasons spread over 17 years.

Writer Kourtney Kang, who studied at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University Graduate School, will produce under “Doogie Kamealoha, MD”, a Hawaiian reinvention of “Doogie Howser, MD” for Disney +.

John Cena and Nicole Byer (“Nailed It!”) Will host TBS’s cover of ABC’s “Wipeout”.

Netflix has ordered an animated “Good Times” reboot from the original show’s creator, Norman Lear.

The zapping

Renee Wallace, veteran WPXI-TV reporter, retired from news broadcasts at the end of July after 25 years with Channel 11. She will be dividing her time between Pittsburgh and Beaufort, SC, where she hopes to teach reporting. televised at the college level and / or go on dolphin tours. … The 53rd season premiere of CBS’s “60 Minutes” (Sunday at 7:30 p.m.) includes a report on Pennsylvania’s new mail-in voting system. … WQED-TV is now available via live broadcast on (or on the PBS app) which simulates what is on the linear channel of Channel 13. It is only available in the broadcast area of ​​WQED. … PBS Kids’ “Odd Squad” from Pittsburgh-based Fred Rogers Productions has landed a new sponsor, the Adventure Academy digital learning website, which will have a 15-second spot at the start of each episode through December. 2021. “Odd Squad” is currently in production on 13 additional episodes beyond the original order of 20 episodes for the show’s third season (15 episodes of season three have aired so far). … In early 2021, CBS All Access will be renamed Paramount + with plans for a limited and scripted series on the making of “The Godfather”. … Comedy Central’s “South Park” will broadcast a special pandemic-themed hour next week (8pm Wednesday). … HBO’s “Watchmen” was the winner of the Television Critics Association Awards 2020, winning trophies for New Program, Program of the Year, Best Mini-Series and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama (Regina King). Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek” won the Comedy Award, HBO’s “Succession” was named Best Drama, and PBS Kids’ “Molly of Denali” won Best Children’s Show. Alex Trebek (“Jeopardy!”) Received the TCA Career Achievement Award.

TV Writer Rob Owen: [email protected] Follow @RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.

You can contact TV screenwriter Rob Owen at [email protected] or via Twitter or Facebook.

AandE | Talk TV with Rob Owen

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