Bitches Battle (Television Thoughts, Feud, F/X)

feudI cop to all the gay stereotypes – Divas, Fashion, Theater – but one thing that I don’t quite get is the gay fascination with mid-century women’s movies – the Douglas Sirk melodramas. I get them, and like them enough, but never find myself reaching for them. When I was young, I met this older gay man who was fascinated by them, and used to collect videotapes of all these movies. He tried to school me about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, and I listened, but the information never stuck with me. I just wasn’t into it. So it was only with mild interest that I checked out ‘Feud,” Ryan Murphy’s new anthology series, with the first installment focusing on Davis and Crawford, specifically that time they were filming the movie ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?’ (Yet another movie I fail to get obsessed over)

It stars Jessica Lange as Crawford, and Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis. They are both well cast, and both have great instincts to turn both characters into caricatures, but it’s Lange who runs away with the show. Her Crawford is a lot more three-dimensional, and we see a full woman in her, while Sarandon seems like Sarandon playing dress-up. Both have moments, to be sure, but you get to know Crawford more, and I think that’s because of Lange.

The show itself is a juicy soap. I learned a lot about how the film is made, as well as how the studios came to develop that iconic movie. It kept my interest, and by the second episode, I found myself drawn more and more into the show. But here is the weird thing, though – I still do not find myself waiting for this how. Every week, I still forget it is on. Maybe I just don’t have the gay gene that caters to this. Maybe…

 

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