“The Act” is taking “Mommy Dearest” to a whole new level.
Streaming on Hulu, with a new episode released every Wednesday,
“The Act” tells the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King), a young girl who was subjected to a life of illness and torture by her mother.
All her life, Gypsy was in a wheelchair. She believed she had leukemia, muscular dystrophy, asthma, seizures and hearing and vision impairments. She also had to use a feeding tube and suffered the removal of her teeth and salivary glands.
In 2015, the news story of the murder of Claudine “Dee Dee” Blanchard (Patricia Arquette), Gypsy’s mother and caretaker, broke as people scrambled to find out what had happened to Gypsy.
One day later, during a raid of her then boyfriend’s, Nick Godejohn (Calum Worthy), house, Gypsy was found and it was revealed that she could walk and, in fact, was not sick at all.
Her mother had faked everything.
For a while, Gypsy said she believed almost all of her mother’s lies, except the ones that said she couldn’t walk or eat with her mouth.
When the public caught wind of the lies and fraud, many of them turned against Gypsy during her trial despite what she was forced to endure. Especially after she and her mother were given free trips, housing and had surgeries and medications paid for by public donations.
Eventually, Gypsy and Godejohn’s trials concluded and they were given their sentences, ten years and life, respectively.
If you’re looking for an unsettling thriller, then this is the one for you. There isn’t much I don’t like about this show. Every aspect of it is incredibly well done.
However, the acting is what truly blew me away.
To be completely honest, I have never been too fond of King. I will be the first to admit I didn’t think I was going to enjoy “The Act” simply because she was the star. But after seeing her as Gypsy Rose, I take it back. I even began wondering why she wasted her time on a movie like “The Kissing Booth.”
King exhibits the same mannerisms as the real Gypsy Rose did and even sounds almost exactly like her. The way her character grows from the first episode to the most recent is not written in the script but in the way she portrays the character. I can’t think of anyone who would play the character better.
King and Arquette’s mother/daughter chemistry is fantastic. You can see the love that Dee Dee has for Gypsy as well as the possessiveness and control she desires. Arquette is chilling and, frankly, a bit terrifying in her role.
But one of the most uncomfortable things to watch is the relationship between King and Worthy.
Not because it’s awkward, but because I don’t like witnessing a Disney Channel star have phone sex with his girlfriend that he will soon commit murder with. But that’s just a personal preference.
However, the uncomfortable aspect adds to how wrong and malicious the whole situation actually is. I find myself on the edge of my seat just waiting for something to go wrong after the suspense has been built.
And yet, I just can’t wait for a new episode to come out.
If you’re in the marketplace for a new weekly TV show, definitely give this one a try.