This first season of The Act tells the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard (Joey King). Gypsy lives with her overprotective and abusive mother Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette) which drives Gypsy to formulate a plan to kill her mother.
Cast: Patricia Arquette, Joey King, Calum Worthy, Chloe Sevigny, AnnaSophia Robb
TV Rating: MA
Fun Fact: Joey King shaved her head for the 4th time for this role.
I’ve never been the one to be interested in investing time into a television series. To me it just takes too much time and work to keep up with. I’ve always been a film guy as it tells a story in two hours and I’m satisfied with that.
The first season of The Act caught me off guard. Maybe it’s because it’s an anthology type show (I’m a sucker for those) or the fact it only has eight episodes and I started it with the first season that just aired. I will tell you it was the first new show I sat down and binged watched it all and didn’t want it to stop.
The acting from the cast is phenomenal. The chemistry of Patricia Arquette and Joey King is off the charts. They play off each other well and you get invested that it is a mother and daughter relationship that has a dark side to it. Arquette shows us someone breaking down and not wanting to lose control while King makes us decide if she’s a victim or we should make her into a villain. That’s what good acting should be like. King delivers her lines perfectly and some of them haunted me. For example there is a scene when Gypsy is at a police station getting questioned about her mother. At the end she asks if she will be able to see the new Star Wars movie coming out. The delivery of the line just made it haunting and it stuck with me. Calum Worthy is just as great as you can he put some real research into his role. I watched an interview with the real Nick Godejohn and Worthy got his speech patterns down to a tee. He made the role as realistic as possible.
While we get fantastic acting, we also get fantastic production values as well. The music that was written for the film fit perfectly as it brought tension where it was needed. Sometimes the scenes that didn’t have music were even better. Silence is also an effective tension tool and it worked through the episodes. The Act also stands out with well written scripts and direction. While it’s based off of true events with dramatic elements to them, you have to give your directors a well written script to work with. Some of the lines are so well written that I keep thinking about them. The various directors got the performances they needed through these scripts and it shows.
Overall the first season of The Act has gotten me excited. It has fantastic acting between Arquette, King, and Worthy. Those three carry the show to the level that it needed to be at. The writing and direction give the viewer what they want, and that’s good television. While it maybe hard for some to watch, I suggest those that are interested to give it a shot on HULU.