Feud - Bette & Joan [FX]

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Gabriel Maxwell, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Gabriel Maxwell

    Gabriel Maxwell Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Being a big fan of 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' I'm very curious about the new 8-episode Ryan Murphy drama FEUD, which will be an anthology series whose season 1 focus is the infamous rivalry between screen legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford while making the movie.

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    FX has just confirmed the premiere date - Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 10 PM. Here are reports from the FEUD panel at the TCA press tour:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/...-davis-susan-sarandon-jessica-lange/96493246/

    http://deadline.com/2017/01/ryan-mu...-lange-susan-sarandon-feud-fx-tca-1201884078/

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/feud-ryan-murphy-future-seasons-963844

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  2. Alexis
    Thinking

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    I'm very excited for this! It's just such perfect casting.
     
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  3. KayLloyd

    KayLloyd Soap Chat Active Member

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    Ooh thank you for the heads up GM! Looks really interesting. Will defiantely watch.
     
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  4. Jessie

    Jessie Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I can't wait to see it, I'm a big fan of both Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange.
     
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  5. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Addict

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    This is like the gayest event of the year.

    Looking forward to it!
     
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  6. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    New promos:



     
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  7. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Addict

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    Ok I doubted it (based on looks) but Susan nailed Bette with "I barely touched her" :D
     
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  8. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    First (and spoiler-free) review of the first half of "Feud": :crazy:

    Ryan Murphy's latest FX anthology will thrust stars Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, who play Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, respectively, into awards conversations for the next year.

    In his latest attempt to anthologize the totality of America's cultural history, Ryan Murphy has transitioned from the shared 1990s experience of the Trial of the Century to the Hollywood mythology of the 1960s. If People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story felt like unexpected terrain for Murphy to mine, FX's Feud: Bette and Joan is a perhaps more predictable fascination. The diva devotee's undeniable passion for the material, plus a cast of almost gratuitous distinction, helps cover for a narrative that's sometimes more juicy than weighty.

    Opening with a Saul Bass-inspired credit sequence that still fills me with cinema-loving giddiness after over a dozen viewings, Feud was extrapolated from Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam's script Best Actress by Murphy, with Tim Minear as his most frequent writing collaborator.

    Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) has become unemployable due to Hollywood's ageism, misogyny and the myopia of an industry trying desperately to lure young viewers away from the vapid scourge of television. When she gets the script for a pulpy adaptation of the novel What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Crawford sees the opportunity for a comeback, but only if she can recruit fellow Oscar-winning titan-in-decline Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon). The two stars have never worked together, but they have a simmering rivalry that goes back decades. It's up to journeyman director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to keep them from killing each other, though a peaceful collaboration may not be in the best interests of headline-craving studio chief Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) or notorious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis), who is willing to take sides for whichever actress will give her the tawdriest scoops.

    Just five years from Bonnie and Clyde, this is Hollywood on the edge of a cliff, an industry desperately trying to hold onto its faded Golden Age glamour and in Davis and Crawford, Murphy has the perfect ambassadors, former matinee idols scraping and clawing to remain desirable in a business that would prefer they be maternal or entirely invisible.

    The combination of Davis and Crawford, both eternal camp icons, the production of a movie that is beloved as a camp classic and Murphy, no stranger to camp embrace, suggests only a piece of what Feud is going for. Surely there is humor in the largesse, but there's every bit as much sadness to what both women must go through to avoid sliding into the has-been abyss. Murphy and his leads have too much respect for these legends to let their conflicts become Dynasty-style catfights, balancing the fun of behind-the-scenes shenanigans with the desperation the women were feeling, using individual episodes to focus on Davis and Crawford as mothers and wives or lovers, showing the power their femininity affords them and its limitations as they woo Aldrich and the camera's affections.

    The show's own affections go back and forth between Davis and Crawford and the five episodes sent to critics are a swinging pendulum of sympathies for their characters and awards sentiment for Sarandon and Lange, who will surely be butting heads for a year of trophy-striving. The first episode seems balanced toward Lange, whose exaggerated beauty regiments and lack of polite filter dominate, but just as I'd etched Lange's name on the hypothetical Emmy, Sarandon slipped in and, with the quiet yearning of those well-cast Bette Davis eyes, dominated the second episode. Lange's is the bigger performance, Sarandon's the more calculating. Murphy and the other directors, including Gwyneth Horder-Payton and Liza Johnson for the third and fourth episodes, respectively, aren't playing favorites.

    Feud doesn't have a distracting "What show do you think you're in?" or "Why don't you look or sound anything like the real person?" performance like John Travolta or Cuba Gooding Jr. in People v. O.J.. The cast, from the biggest of Oscar winners to a handful of lesser-knowns, is tremendous. Catherine Zeta-Jones delivers glamor from another era as Olivia de Havilland, while Kathy Bates is a cackling, dirt-spilling treat as Joan Blondell. Tucci noshes on scenery with vulgar abandon and Davis oozes cunning poison and if they're overplaying Warner or Hopper, I have no idea. As perhaps the most developed of the male characters, Molina sometimes makes Aldrich seem like a button-pushing buffoon, but Feud finds empathy in his thwarted aspirations to be seen as more than just an artless hack.

    Going down the cast list, praise is due to Kiernan Shipka, charmingly awkward as Davis' daughter, and Alison Wright, differently calculating as an assistant with greater aspirations. Also, watch out for veteran character comic Jackie Hoffman, stealing scenes with deadpan deviousness as Crawford's German maid and confidante Mamacita.

    Thematically, Feud works almost as an eight-episode extension of the tremendous "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" episode of People v. O.J., exploring the machine that marginalizes women of a certain age and the challenges of fighting that machine and maintaining dignity, only occasionally letting that focus wander. Played with uncanny precision by Dominic Burgess, Baby Jane co-star Victor Buono lets Feud give a nod to the plight of closeted actors in Hollywood at that moment and also to smartly weave in Davis' treasured ties to the gay community.

    "This isn't real life, this is Hollywood," Bette instructs Hopper and, indeed, if a strength of People v. O.J. was regularly finding ways to use a contained story to speak to nearly every facet of American life, Feud is often restricting itself to the trifling problems and precariousness of this pocket of privilege, not real life. You can even feel Murphy straining to figure out exactly how much story he has here. Baby Jane, which presents as the series' backbone, has already been released by the wheel-spinning fourth episode, drawn out because Murphy wanted to give the 1963 Oscars an episode of their own.

    It happens that that episode, written and directed by Murphy, is a cinema nerd's delight, with cameo impressions — Gregory Peck! Patty Duke! David Lean! Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page! — a killer extended one-shot (with a single masked cut) of Crawford navigating backstage at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and the rivalry's coup de grâce, which I won't spoil for non-obsessives. With some awareness of what's left, an episode this good runs the risk of making the last three episodes feel like a lot of post-script. We'll see.

    How much knowledge is really required to enjoy Feud? None, but some background helps. You don't need to have seen What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? to understand what Aldrich, Crawford and Davis are up to, but familiarity helps you enjoy how accurate a lot of the reproductions are when it comes to the movie's sets and also to Sarandon and Lange's performance nuances. Karina Longworth did a full series on Crawford in her fantastic You Must Remember This podcast, including a great episode on Baby Jane, and having that as context is invaluable if not essential. Even when you can tell that Longworth and the Feud writers did some of the same research and the actors have been presented with dry biographical monologues, Sarandon and Lange are canny enough to transcend a Wikipedia entry.

    The nostalgia for a 50-year-old company town kerfuffle might not be as great as for a trial watched by millions every day for months and a lot of Feud is tailored for fanatics, for the sort of person who gets wonky joy from shifting aspect ratios and color saturation levels or can appreciate a good off-hand reference to Franchot Tone or already awaits the silver sparkle of Crawford's Oscar gown. Fortunately, production designer Judy Becker and Lou Eyrich's costumes flawless period evocation can be appreciated without a PhD in film studies and the ample pleasures of watching four Oscar-winning actresses and a slew of other stars backstab, conspire and strive for excellence should make Feud: Bette and Joan another success for Ryan Murphy. I'm already eager to see what discord is on-tap for the second season.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/feud-bette-joan-review-975556

    Less than one month left for this!!! :danc::dance:
     
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  9. Gabriel Maxwell

    Gabriel Maxwell Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone seen the first episode which aired last night? Thoughts?
     
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

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    Of course, two women can't just be selfish, narcissistic bitches. Their rivalry has to be blamed on the patriarchy turning them against one another. So no woman is ever culpable for her own behavior.

    Make me gag, Susan.

    PS: Lange can be a good actress, but it looks like she misses the Crawford boat on this.
     
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  11. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Everybody who watched it must be changing their stock of hangers from wire to wood...

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Alexis
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    I just watched the first instalment and I really enjoyed it. I do find it hard to see Jessica Lange as Crawford. She seems to be playing her too cynical. I mean Joan to me is Phoney Joanie. I don't envision her being so nasty and craggy all the time. I'd have liked to have seen Lange play her a bit more as she comes across in old interviews. The voice is off, not the sound or tone of her voice but the way in which Joan speaks publicly. That very fake and mannered way of speaking. Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia de Havilland has the way of speaking down well. Sarandon is better as Davis I think. The moment she walks out her trailer in her Baby Jane look is wonderful. Though I still think the acting of both leads is great and they aren't really doing impersonations they are telling a story.

    Sometimes Lange makes me think it's AHS and then Kathy Bates appeared too as Joan Blondell. I believe more of the AHS cast are going to pop up too. Sarah Paulson can only be a good thing. The supporting cast are all good too, Stanley Tucci as Jack Warner is great especially in his rant about Bette Davis ruining the contract system and I liked Alfred Molina as Robert Aldrich. The sets are all a treat to look at, Joan Crawford's fancy furniture all covered in plastic covering is quite funny to see. I think they really got the look right for this one. The hair/makeup and styling is great as well as the wardrobe. It really feels right to me.

    Over all I thought it was very good and cant wait to see the rest of it. Now if only I could binge watch it all and not have to do it week by week.
     
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  13. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    I've watched Feud: Bette and Joan since its first episode. (Well, there's only two that's aired thus far, so it isn't like I've watched a multitude.) I honestly didn't know what to expect from it when I first heard of it, and I must say I had misgivings about Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange as Davis and Crawford, respectively. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far, and I am only hoping it's going to get better and better! I hope they do more with Kathy Bates and Cahterine Zeta-Jones than they have so far, too.
     
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  14. Angela Channing

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    I've also seen both episodes so far and think is excellent. I don't know how much they've spent on this series but it must be a fortune because it looks lavish and it's stocked with high profile stars.
     
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  15. SueEllenRules!

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    ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’ is FX’s most watched new program premiere since ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’
    FX announced Friday that the debut episode of “Feud: Bette and Joan” was their most-watched new program premiere since “The People v. O.J. Simpson” last February.
    • Starring Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, the limited series from Ryan Murphy delivered 5.17 million total viewers on Sunday. Something tells us Bette and Joan would be smiling ear to ear knowing they’re still bringing in audiences.
    • That number includes Live+3 of the premiere telecast as well as the two encore showings throughout the week. The premiere of “Feud” last Sunday even out-paced fellow FX dramas “Legion” by 16% (3.27 million total viewers) and “Taboo” by 11% (3.43 million total viewers). But none of those are anywhere near the whopping 12 million total viewers earned by “The People v. O.J. Simpson” for its premiere and two encores.
    • In terms of critical reviews, “Feud” currently has a 91% score at Rotten Tomatoes and an 81 rating on Metacritic.
    • All of this bodes well for “Feud’s” chances at the Emmy Awards, where it hopes to follow in the footsteps of “The People v. O.J. Simpson” which won trophies for Best Limited Series, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Writing. “Feud” already has major contenders in all four acting categories.
    https://www.google.com/amp/www.gold...-joan-ratings-fx-the-people-v-oj-simpson/amp/
     
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  16. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Addict

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    GOD DAMN IT.

    Susan and Jessica are murdering it like Bette and Joan! They are amazing.
     
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  17. Snarky's Ghost

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    Poor Farney and Alfred.
     
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  18. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Addict

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    Be nice
     
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  19. Snarky's Ghost

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    Bette's daughter now claims her mother practiced witchcraft:

     
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  20. Alexis
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    I think Christina and BD are mostly full of shit to be honest.
     
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