Is Ratched good?
Even though Ratched comes from Ryan Murphy, it’s no American Horror Story or Scream Queens.
Ryan Murphy is one of the creators of American Horror Story and Scream Queens. American Horror Story fans will recognize AHS alum Sarah Paulson, who now stars in the title role of Murphy’s new Netflix original series, Ratched. But how does it compare to his other creations?
Well, it doesn’t. Like Scream Queens and American Horror Story, Ratched is dark and can be considered a horror-drama, but it’s not horror-comedy like Scream Queens or pure horror like American Horror Story. Ratched is its own beast, so it’s hard to draw a comparison.
Although, fans of Murphy’s work will definitely see similar stylings, like character development, the way the episodes unfold, set and costume design and the use of music. It’s all trademark Murphy.
Also, while there are men in the series, the women dominate with impressive performances not only from Paulson, but also Cythina Nixon, Judy Davis, Amanda Plummer and Sharon Stone.
Who is Mildred Ratched?
Mildred is based on a character in Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was made into a movie in 1975 starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, who played the antagonist Nurse Ratched.
Why was she so cruel? Will Ratched give us a clue?
Possibly. We get to see her before she became the battleax Randle Patrick McMurphy (who Nicholson played in the movie) had to contend with.
But will we get to know the real Ratched? Is that even her name? Is she even really a nurse?
She did work as one during World War II (or so she claims, but flashbacks do seem to verify that), but was she ever truly properly trained as a nurse?
Or, like how she manipulated her way into the job at the psychiatric hospital, did she finagle her way into combat nursing?
Who is Edmund Tolleson from Ratched?
Ratched opens with Edmund Tolleson (played by Finn Wittrock, who has also worked with Murphy and Paulson on American Horror Story) killing four priests.
For a while, we have no idea what that has to do with Mildred or her desire to worm her way into a job at the psychiatric hospital, where Edmund finds himself. However, we soon learn Edmund is her brother and she’s trying to help him.
Edmund was not a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (Either the book or the movie.) He’s an entirely new creation just for this series, and he’s perhaps central to understanding who Mildred Ratched eventually becomes.
Especially because at the end of season 1 Mildred and Edmund become rivals bent on destroying each other, and by “destroy” I do mean “murder.”
Mildred is unscrupulous, persistent, cold, but also at times oddly compassionate. She’s repressed and probably in need of receiving mental help as much as she’s desperate to administer it.
Making enemies comes easier to her than does making friends, which is why it’ll be interesting to see where season 2 goes…if there is a season 2. It hasn’t been announced yet, but it definitely warrants a second season.
Basically, if you like Ryan Murphy and his other shows like American Horror Story and Scream Queens, you’re likely to like Ratched too.