Ratched Review


Image credit: Netfllix

Grace Scheller and Chiara Ocasio

WARNING: Ratched on Netflix is rated R.  As Halloween rolls around, the blood and gore is bound to follow. This series is not for the faint of heart. We do not recommend the show to any immature audience. We are not trying to push people to watch the show; we simply want to give our review.

The series Ratched takes place in 1947 within a small town in California. The series begins with the murder of three priests and their killer, Edmund Tolleson (Finn Wittrock). We then cut to the main protagonist, Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson), who is on her way to Lucia State Hospital to become the newest nurse. The events following her employment are truly disturbing.  

If you know anything about American Horror Story and its creators Ryan Murphy and Evan Romansky, you can probably gather enough information about their newest spectacle, Ratched. The creators did not hesitate to carry their love for gore and horror into the series, nor did they fail to transfer their snappy style of writing. Although the new series is on the opposite end of the spectrum as Murphy’s other works, such as Glee or The Politician, it still includes various specific elements, some more than others. Ratched has its fair share of gore and is definitely not for those with a weak stomach. It contains the similar tinge of glamorous yet unwelcoming atmosphere to that of previous series, the mid-century period piece, Hollywood. Other similarities include the body horror in the operating room of his production, Nip/Tuck. The creators also cast some of the same actors, as the series stars Sarah Paulson as the main character in Ratched, who is also featured in American Horror Story

The series is based off of the famous Ken Kesey novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and features the haunting head nurse, Mildred Ratched. But besides the nurse and her employment in the psychiatric ward, the similarities between the novel and the Netflix series conclude there. The series focuses completely on the inner-workings and past trauma of the once two-dimensional character that we knew in the novel. Surprisingly, however, the series portrays Nurse Ratched as one of the most sympathetic nurses in the hospital. As she develops the title of “Angel of Mercy,” the once cold and debatably evil character that is Mildred Ratched is seen in quite a new light. 

The newest work of Murphy and Romansky includes a long lineup of controversial topics, such as racial discrimination, mental health, homosexuality, and capital punishment. It portrays how poorly people who were considered “mentally ill” were treated in the relatively ignorant time of the 1940s. Full frontal lobotomies are performed within the series, boiling hot “hydrotherapy” is used, and hypnotherapy is included. Gay people are institutionalized and people are not treated for their illnesses properly. They use actual therapies that have been studied and tested in the early stages of psychology. It also contains suspenseful scenes and many plot twists.

Overall, the series is going to be a new fall favorite this Halloween season. The blended attempt to bring the storyline together and give the audience their fair share of gore makes for a great seasonal experience that is definitely worth the watch.