Ratched: Season 1 – Review

Ratched premieres September 18 on Netflix.

By Ariba Bhuvad

I am a huge Ryan Murphy fan, like huge. So anytime a show, old or new, with his name attached to it premieres, I’m all over it. Such was the case with his upcoming Netflix series, Ratched, starring his go-to favorite, Sarah Paulson.

For those that may not know, Ratched is based on the villain from Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and its subsequent film adaptation. At its core, this Ryan Murphy series pays homage to the source material by sticking to the idea of authorities maintaining control over others through questionable, subtle, and forced methods. From that perspective, it was very spot-on.

As for the rest of the series, I’m not convinced it was Murphy’s best work. And I say this because it didn’t feel very unique. The characters were great, the performances were great–but it didn’t feel any different from some of his other shows.

In fact, I think it could be passed off as just another season of American Horror Story, especially given it stars both Paulson and Finn Wittrock, another staple in Murphy’s growing universe of shows. I admire that he keeps his favorite actors around but when it comes to new shows it prevents you from immersing into the world. This is especially true for Ratched which has the quintessential Murphy touch to it – the strange blood, gore, quirky characters, and an ominous feeling hovering over you the entire time.

I was drawn into the bizarre story of Nurse Ratched and her twisted intentions, but I couldn’t quite connect with the fact that we were dealing with a new show. If there was ever any advice I’d have for Murphy, it’d be this: try to make your horror/suspense/thriller shows a bit different from one another. He definitely has a roster of shows that don’t fall under this genre, but more often than not, the repetitive use of the same actors pulls you out of the new world he’s trying to create.

If that is not an impediment for you in watching Ratched, I think everything else aside, it is a pretty interesting watch, and definitely takes you through some wild twists and turns as we get to the core of the wicked Nurse Ratched.

I give Ratched a C.

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