Delivering several slices of satirical delight, “Ratched” highlights the actions of one woman who won't no for an answer, bending the world to her will in the cleverest of ways.
Played by powerhouse actress Sarah Paulson, Nurse Mildred Ratched strategically places herself in the hospital that killer Edmund Tolleson, played by Finn Wittrock, is currently being held. Locked up for murdering several priests in the span of one night, Tolleson is awaiting the judgement of lead mental physician Dr. Richard Hanover, played by Jon Jon Briones, whose evaluation would determine whether Tolleson is mentally fit to stand trial.
An advanced orchestrator of manipulation, Ratched is continuously left with the upper hand, from coaxing a patient to commit suicide to obtaining the position of head nurse in an unprecedented amount of time. Using the advantages to her favor, she gets closer to achieving her ultimate goal of freeing Tolleson, who is later revealed as her adopted brother.
Entranced from the very first episode, “Ratched” is that suspenseful show that keeps its audience on the edge of their seats. While the acting is phenomenal, it was the fashion first for me. The pinnacle of style in that time, Ratched steals the screen with her impeccably tailored ensembles, paired with an immovable swag.
Accompanied with unmatched intellect, Ratched’s extensive vocabulary adds to both the sarcasm and blunt truth that she wields without warning, frequently offering a verbal lashing to anyone that challenges her.
While the story line is incredibly well-developed, what is also impactful within the story are the historical references, particularly on how mental health was inadequately viewed in this time period. Set in the late 1940s, “Ratched” satirizes the thought process of mental health, highlighting the lobotomy as a pivotal procedure to cure people of impure thoughts or other impulses while also depicting lesbianism and daydreaming as illnesses.
Another one of my favorite aspects of this show is the semblance of female empowerment and the belief in being exactly who you are. Within “Ratched”, the men with the most power were either douchebags or substance abusing doctors that couldn’t keep it together, further highlighting the strength of the women.
A definite recommendation for anyone that loves good TV, I’m impatiently waiting for the evolution of Ratched’s character and Paulson’s meticulous approach to it. Scheduled for the release of season two in 2021, the main question is, will Ratched’s street smarts and intellect keep her ahead of Tolleson?