Hollywood: the Netflix mini TV series by Ryan Murphy streaming from May 1st
Pretty Woman called her “the land of dreams” and she was right. Ryan Murphy, the King Midas of TV, who dedicated his debut on Netflix to Hollywood must have thought so too miniseries which borrows the name of the Mecca of cinema arrives in Italy on May 1st promising a binge-watching to say the least patinated.
The “dad” of Nip / Tuck, Glee and Pose (just to mention three of his serial hits) tells – indeed rewrites – forties star system imagining him more tolerant. We move from the rights of women to those of homosexuals and ethnic minorities in an era – artfully recreated – in which the twinkle of the camera discovered sound and color.
The Olympus of the Dives
This factory of hopes and illusions comes to life in eight episodes in the era of Judy Garland and Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, and Rita Hayworth in the aftermath of the Second World War. But it does not tell celebrities at the height of success, but a group of penniless but talented young people who try to climb to success. There is the aspiring handsome but the somewhat woody actor (Jack, aka David Corenswet), there is the obstinate and visionary budding director (Raymond aka Darren Criss) and there is also the talented but unknown color screenwriter (Archie, played by Jeremy Pope).
None of them have the slightest experience, but they manage to team up in a daring and unexpected way thanks to a series of fortuitous circumstances. In addition to financial help obtained by working at a petrol station. But how do these guys collect this substantial sum of money? Let’s just say that they offer a “complete service” to the selected clientele. Just say the magic word, Dreamland, and all the doors open, but in particular those of the bedroom.
Around this group of sexy and promising young people revolve the key figures of the studios’ power, including the agent who seduces customers before signing them a contract (Henry, to whom Jim Parsons, Sheldon of The Big Bang lends his face. Theory), the chief’s daughter with artistic ambitions (Claire, played by Samara Weaving) and the declining actor recycled as a businessman (Ernie, aka Dylan McDermott).
Dare a Little
All the protagonists, in one way or another, feel repeated that they are not up to par and must compromise with their integrity to put a foot on the sacred ground of Hollywood. None of them fall within the standards of perfection or homologation required, yet they do not give up. And the results are what Ryan Murphy and all dreamers would have hoped for. As Quentin Tarantino also demonstrated in Once upon a time … in Hollywood, you can manipulate the story to send a message of hope and that’s exactly what happens in the series. “Equality and progress”, they call it in a scene.
All the protagonists throw their hearts over the obstacle and are rewarded, as an ideally meritocratic society should do. Does it only happen on TV? Maybe, but in this period a dose of optimism is not bad.
Except for the first episode, which in some moments seems to go a little empty, the story proceeds at a certain pace. The characters are pleasant, the costumes delightful, the lively settings and the brilliant dialogues. A dive into the full-blown past, which has a doubly nostalgic flavor, considering the current closure of cinemas. The sparkles of Hollywood continue to exercise a certain charm, even when the dark side of the seventh art is put in the spotlight.