Review: Ratched (2020)

Ratched feels like a spin off from American Horror Story with similar tone, style and cast. This is a big compliment to the show, although was to be expected with the team up from AHS creator Ryan Murphy and its star Sarah Paulson.

PLOT AND STORY

Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson) begins working as a nurse at a leading psychiatric hospital, but beneath her stylish exterior lurks a growing darkness. We follow Mildred in her journey never quite knowing what her intentions are and if we can really trust her. Paulson is brilliant at playing this type of role bringing class, sophistication and style to pleasant character on the outside who underneath is capable of anything.

This 8 episode series does a great job in building the plot through every episode leaving the audience guessing what’s going to happen till the very end. New characters are introduced regularly with certain characters getting specific episodes to flesh out their back story. 

Every episode has key moments which build towards a later event and the twists and turns come a plenty. This has a serious psychological thriller tone but due to the AHS comparisons I was always expecting a supernatural turn which never came. 

Show creator Ryan Murphy best known for creating American Horror Story built a talented and experienced writing team in Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) Ian Brennan (Scream Queens, Glee) Jennifer Salt (American Horror Story, Eat Pray Love) with newcomer Evan Romansky.

PRODUCTION AND DIRECTION 

It’s very difficult to not simply compare this series to American Horror Show because it has so many similarities. The enclosed setting of a psychiatric hospital, the one on one dialogue scenes between characters, the eerie score which helps build the suspense while keeping you on your toes for the next shift in pace. Overall the production is faultless, it looks like an incredibly stylish 1940’s drama with a sharp modern feel to it.

Ryan Murphy directed 2 episodes and called on former American Horror Story colleagues Michael Uppendahl (The Walking Dead, Mad Men) Nelson Cragg (Homeland, Breaking Bad) Jennifer Lynch (Daredevil, Agents of Shield) as well as Daniel Minahan (Game of Thrones, House of Cards) and Jessica Yu (Billions, 13 Reasons Why).

CAST

Leading lady Sarah Paulson is a Golden Globe and Emmy winning actress and proves once again why she can be relied on to lead a series. Ratched has an all star supporting cast in Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) Judy Davis (The Dressmaker) Jon Jon Briones (American Horror Story) Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct) Vincent D’Onofio (Daredevil) Corey Stoll (Ant Man) Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story) all who are cast perfectly and add class to the show.

FINAL THOUGHTS

A series which very much feels like a new series of American Horror Story and made little attempt to hide its production connections. With this in mind I found Ratched to be hugely enjoyable and a well made show but it failed to create its own identity. If you’re a fan of AHS then I’m positive you will enjoy this, if you have never seen AHS then you may enjoy this even more.

I watched this via Netflix and received no incentive to review this series.

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