Created by Ryan Murphy and Evan Romansky, Ratched serves as a prequel to Ken Kesey‘s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, following the titular character, Nurse Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson). Airing on Netflix in September 2020, the series begins in 1947 when Mildred arrives in Northern California to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital, where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. On a clandestine mission, Mildred presents herself as the perfect image of what a dedicated nurse should be, but as she begins to infiltrate the mental health care system and those within it, Mildred’s stylish exterior belies a growing darkness that has long been smouldering within.
With a beautiful colour palette and a legendary cast, Ratched isn’t the gruesome, twisted horror-edged drama that I was expecting it to be, but it gives an interesting insight into what happened in mental facilities in these times.
With Ryan Murphy developing the series and Sarah Paulson in the lead, there is obviously a feeling of American Horror Story to it, especially with the mental asylum setting and murderous characters. It wasn’t quite as sinister as I thought it was going to be, though, but there are certainly some nice surprises along the way.
I have a slight woman crush on Sarah Paulson so I still loved it anyway, and there are so many other great actors in this, including great performances from Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon, Judy Davis, Sharon Stone, Jon Jon Briones, Corey Stoll, Alice Englert, and Charlie Carver. Most of all, I loved seeing Brandon Flynn‘s inclusion as I haven’t seen him in anything outside of Thirteen Reasons Why, so I thought he was great.
While Ratched undoubtedly misses some bigger opportunities, I enjoyed the characters and will definitely come back to see what they get up to next.