The year 2020 has been particularly good for Ryan Murphy. After his excellent Hollywood last spring, the television mogul today launches one of his best career offerings with Ratched , his pre-episode to the famous Flight over a Cuckoo's Nest .
The new Hollywood fad? Take a close look at the past of its most famous antagonists.
In movies, Michael Myers and Leatherface are just two examples of bogeymen who have seen their origins dissected on the big screen. On the television ? The names of Hannibal and Norman Bates immediately spring to mind.
But attacking monuments like this can be particularly dangerous. Because by focusing on the humanity of these vile characters, we run the risk of unraveling the mystery and, ultimately, of reducing their hold on us.
In short, some cases work better than others.
This is – fortunately – the case of Ratched , who today looks back at the years leading up to the events of the classic Flight Over a Cuckoo's Nest (or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , in its original version) , more precisely the past of Mildred Ratched, the naughty nurse who made life difficult for the character of Jack Nicholson in the film of 1975.
And what does this past consist of? Without giving too much away from the plot details, let's say lobotomy, abuse, and questionable work ethics are commonplace in all nine episodes of Ratched dropped on Netflix on Friday.
Sublime Sarah Paulson
If this new project signed Ryan Murphy ( American Horror Story ) works so well, it is first and foremost thanks to its distribution. The sorely underappreciated Sarah Paulson shines particularly brightly in the title role which, we hope, will bring her as much recognition as Louise Fletcher, Oscar winner for her work of 1975. Cynthia Nixon is just as sparkling, signing here one of his greatest performances.
And if the finale leaves you hungry, rest assured: a second season is already planned.
► The first season of Ratched is available on Netflix.