Skip to content

Review: Feud (FX) – “They hated each other, and we loved them for it”

By on March 6, 2017

Feud

Feud

Ryan Murphy is back with yet another anthology series. Though coming off of the high from American Crime Story, Feud is slightly disappointing. Now, that doesn’t mean that Feud is a bad series, it is still miles ahead of many other shows, but it is just missing that certain something that made American Crime Story so great.

Feud revolves around the greatest feuds of all time. Season one chronicles how the aging Hollywood stars Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange, American Horror Story) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon, Thelma & Louise) had to work together, despite their disdain of each other, to salvage their careers.

In the 1930s and 40s, both actresses had built a great movie career, but in the late 50s, the movie studios felt their expiration date had passed and they were not being offered many roles anymore. Despite existing animosity between them, Crawford felt she had no choice but to ask Davis as her co-star in the movie she was working on; What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

 

 

A regular face in a Ryan Murphy project, Jessica Lange is, as always, great as Joan Crawford. Susan Sarandon is also pulling her weight as Bette Davis, and the historical setting in the early 1960s make the first season of Feud an interesting period piece.

What is slightly less great about Feud is the writing. First of all there is the too heavy reliance on exposition, with the show being framed by a fictional 1970s Oscars interview with Joan Blondell and Olivia de Havilland (Kathy Bates and Catherine Zeta-Jones in heavily underused roles). Furthermore, the show is summing up a lot of facts about the lives of its two main characters and everything that surrounds them in an almost Wikipedia-like manner, which is undermining the show’s otherwise great leads.

All in all, a lot of good intentions have gone into Feud. Casting is spot-on, all the props are in perfectly mint condition and take you right back to the 1960s (even if you never lived them), and there is a lot of material in the Davis/Crawford story. However, subpar writing makes that this (still very watchable) show misses a certain spark that would make it great.

Feud airs on Sundays at 10/9c on FX.