I have just finished the last episodes of F/X’s Feud, and I cannot believe how touched I was by the series. This has always been the story of two women, separately, who once was together, but spent a lot of both their lifetime coasting on their feud. It is also a story of how we put people on a pedestal, only for us to tear them down once we have no more use for them. But what really touched me more is how gay men figure prominently in the lives of both Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. It seems that gay men have devotion and loyalty t their idols, and it may stem from their seemingly lonely lives. men who have come to idolize these two women come from a generation when they cannot really be out, and these women were the ones they turned to for identification, for company, for comfort. Look at that scene wherein a young gay man asks for Crawford to autograph her book and tells her “you’re a survivor!’ In his eyes, she is someone he looks up to – because he probably thinks of himself as one as well, escaping his small town, ending up in New York City to be himself.
And Jessica Lange’s Joan is a real, three dimensional human being. It is a carefully constructed performance but it’s most touching, and elegant, with grace and control. I know she has won the Emmy, but please start engraving her next one for here. Sarandon’s Davis is uneven – I still see Sarandon there instead of the character, but it’s not all bad. I sometimess see glimpses of brilliamce but it just falls short especially next to Lange’s.
This is a series I will follow. Apparently, the second season will focus on Charles and Diana. While I have high hopes for that one, it would be hard to top this feud.