(This Review Contains Spoilers)
Hulu is making Netflix users everywhere cry with longing for its new series “The Act.”
It is no secret that for a long time Netflix has dominated the game of original shows. This is the first Hulu original show that has started an enormous outcry of Netflix users wishing they could watch it.
There are two Hulu plans available. One is a $5.99 per month option. This option includes “minimal commercials.” The second option is $11.99 per month and claims to provide “ad-free” entertainment. This compares to Netflix, which offers three ad-free plans ranging from $8.99 to $12.99.
Each episode of “The Act” is 50+ minutes long and when using the “minimal commercial” Hulu plan contained four commercial breaks of at least 30 seconds. The series creator is Nick Antosca and it is rated TV-MA. Unlike Netflix, which often releases an entire series at once, Hulu releases one episode every Wednesday. On the day this newspaper is published, the fifth episode will air. This makes it very difficult to binge watch a series, as many young adults who watch Netflix like to do.
However, facts and ratings are not what convince people to go watch a movie. The quality of acting and entertainment are what would convince someone to sit down and watch this series.
“The Act” is a very intriguing drama that follows the true crime story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, played by Joey King, and her single mother, Dee Dee, played by Patricia Arquette. Their story has been floating around for a while. Its fame originated from a very popular Buzzfeed article and so far two documentaries have been made about the story. It is safe to say most people sit down to watch this series with a pretty good idea of the real story.
Gypsy Rose is a wheelchair user, and Dee Dee claims she has many different diseases, including leukemia, muscular dystrophy, and a severe allergy to sugar. As the show progresses it becomes obvious that Dee Dee is faking or dramatically exaggerating the extent of Gypsy Rose’s diseases. Once Gypsy discovers the extent of her mother’s lies, which include Gypsy’s age, medical history, and father, Gypsy, with the help of an online boyfriend, murders her mom and runs away. The series goes on to follow Gypsy’s court case; none of these episodes are out yet.
The show jumps between the police discovering Dee Dee’s body to a progression of their life starting six years earlier. Some people may find the nonsequential order of these events a little choppy, but the series does a good job of differentiating between the time periods with words on the screen and the appearance of many characters.
Within the “Six years earlier” time period, it can sometimes be hard to tell how much time has passed. For example, in one scene, Gypsy finds out she is not really allergic to sugar and begins sneaking out of bed at night to sneak sugary snacks. In the next scene, her teeth are rotting from what she assumes is too much sugar consumption and there is no clear indicator of how much time has passed between these scenes.
In addition, there is no explanation of some things Gypsy knows about herself. The series shows Gypsy learning she is not allergic to sugar but in one scene she gets up and walks around with no trouble and no explanation is given to how or when Gypsy learned she could walk and did not require the wheelchair her mother forces her to use.
These are small things but noticing just one of them can draw you out of the action of the show and break the connection you are forming with the characters.
The series does a terrific job of showing Gypsy as a doll that Dee Dee plays with. She dresses her up and does her hair. They even live in a pretty, pink dollhouse. All the colors are very bright, which provides a very creepy atmosphere. Watching all these horrible things done in a very girly and cute house and atmosphere made a pit form in my stomach. The series also shows very graphic medical procedures, including Gypsy being fed through a feeding tube, the replacement of a feeding tube, and tooth extractions.
Overall the series is very well done. The acting is phenomenal and although there are a few problems with the production aspects, it is definitely worth seeing. If Hulu keeps producing content like this, it will give Netflix a run for their money.