the act

Stars: 4/5

“The Act” is the newest show in Hulu’s lineup of original programming. It is a true crime series based on the bizarre murder case involving Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother Dee Dee. Actress Joey King plays Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Patricia Arquette plays her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard.

“The Act” is based on a case that is complicated and confusing. On June 14, 2015, Dee Dee Blanchard was found stabbed to death inside her home, and one of the people behind her murder ended up being her “sick” daughter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard. For years, Dee Dee tricked her daughter into believing that she had several illnesses and disabilities, even going as far as making her daughter sit in a wheelchair in public. When she found out the truth, Gypsy and her boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn plotted to kill her mother.

The crime gained public interest after a Buzzfeed investigative article written by Michelle Dean was published. Dean is now a writer and executive producer for season one of the show. There has also been a HBO documentary

created about the case.

The show begins when Gypsy and Dee Dee move into their new home in Missouri. They are welcomed with open arms by their new neighbors, Mel and her daughter Lacey, played by Chloe Sevigny and AnnaSophia Rob respectively. However, the audience starts to see that Gypsy and Dee Dee aren’t as innocent as they seem on the outside.

In the beginning, Gypsy is totally trustful of her mother. At one point she even calls her mom her best friend. However, as Gypsy starts realizing the lies her mother has been telling her all these years she starts to lose trust. Dee Dee tells Gypsy ridiculous things, like that Gypsy is allergic to sugar and needs to use a feeding tube. She also lies to Gypsy about her age, telling her that she’s 15 years old when in reality she’s 19 years old. It also makes you wonder how Gypsy was unable to figure out how old she actually was.

Gypsy isn’t the only one starting to catch onto Dee Dee’s lies. Her doctor, played by Poorna Jagannathan, starts to look into Gypsy’s past and starts to realize that her mom has been faking medical records. Dee Dee used Hurricane Katrina as an excuse as to why none of the medical records were available. When she tries to confront Gypsy about her mother’s lies, Gypsy ignores her to spare her mother's feelings.

This series is so crazy and interesting to watch because of how outrageous the story is. Most people would never in a million years think about making their child sick, and going so far as to fake medical records to make it happen. The audience isn’t just watching the show, they are also thinking to themselves how on earth could someone do that to their own child.

Joey King does a fantastic job as Gypsy, perfectly portraying the character and her transition into realizing that her world isn’t what it seems. Patricia Arquette does a great performance as Dee Dee, showing the audience how weird she can be and how well she plays the character.

“The Act” is available for streaming on Hulu with new episodes premiering every Wednesday.

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