It’s been a long time since we really desired to binge something on Netflix, but “Hollywood” is bound to break the dry spell.
|Created By||Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan|
|Directed By||Ryan Murphy|
|Written By||Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Young Adult, LGBT|
|Introduced This Episode|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Jack is a military veteran who was raised to believe all he had was his looks. However, there is only so much a farm town in Missouri can offer someone, and with being basically told he was dumb, Jack wanted to make something of himself. He wanted to prove he was somebody, and he should be taken note of. So, alongside his wife Henrietta, they went to Los Angeles and, it has been a struggle.
However, Jack isn’t alone in the struggle. An eventual friend of his, Archie, who wishes to be a screenwriter, finds himself also struggling in Hollywood. For if it isn’t being Black, it is being queer and trying to find a job that can pay the bills. Which, with the difficulty that comes from trying that, he ends up hooking.
Leading to how the two meet up for, as Jack is doing sex work for a man named Ernie, he encounters gay clients. Leading to Archie being perfect since, cheating on his wife is one thing, but having sex with a guy? That’s taking it too far.
Plus, as much as Jack is making connections, like with a woman named Avis and a casting director, he isn’t so desperate to become an actor he’d intimately touch a man. Even if he makes around $50 or more each time he takes a date.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- Jack isn’t the only actor we meet this episode. There is also Roy Fitzgerald, who is queer like Archie, but down low.
Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs
“Make me feel like I matter, even if it is a lie.”
It Seems Bingeable
For a little while now, we have struggled to get into a Netflix series to the point of trying to consume hours upon hours of content over a weekend, or a week. We’ve often written this off as fatigue, lack of interest, or that the show wasn’t written to be binged but follow the traditional weekly rollout. “Hollywood,” on the other hand, while built like any other weekly series, there is this desire to consume another episode.
And mind you, while Patti LuPone and Dylan McDermott were in episode 1, they haven’t pulled out the big guns yet in terms of Darren Criss, Samara Weaving, or Jim Parsons. So the fact the show can hook you without even bringing about its up and coming stars, that says something.
Nearly Everyone Has A Backstory
With the exception of Henrietta, roughly everyone was given a backstory and something to connect to. Mind you, the majority of them were veterans, or from the Midwest, all who had dreams of making it, as is the story of Hollywood. Yet, despite the repetition, each actor took the blueprint and made it personal and unique. Thus further driving this need to follow their journey and wonder, as they take people to Dreamland, will they find their own dreams realized or be stuck outside the gates, wondering if, or when, they’ll be chosen?
While Archie does have aspirations to be a pioneer, you have to love that he knows his history and knows Oscar Micheaux and Langston Hughes. Oscar Micheaux, especially for while Langston Hughes is a household name, Micheaux’s is not. And then when you add on his sexuality not defining him, but being part of who he is, and him not being bridled to a civil rights storyline, and you get this refreshing take of a Black man in his time period. For while he struggles in certain areas, it isn’t in the way which has become commonplace when you go too far back into the past.
On The Fence
So, Are We Going To Learn About Henrietta?
Being that Avis is played by Patti LuPone, to dare think she’d have a bit part is ridiculous. She is legendary in entertainment and a goddess of Broadway. However, there is a need to ask, when it comes to the other women we’ll meet of this show, will they be given the same oomph as her, or be more so like Henrietta? Someone who comes off like an accessory to Jack’s character more than a living, breathing, blood pumping, human being.
Continue To Watch? – Binge
First Impression: Optimistic
This year, I feel we haven’t binged watched new series as we have before. There was “The Stranger” in January, “I Am Not Okay With This” in February, and “Unorthodox” in April. Which, considering Netflix releases two to three new shows a week, then there is Hulu, which, with some shows, drops entire seasons, that isn’t a lot. But, I think we’ve honestly come to the point where, just because it exists, it doesn’t mean we can, will, or sometimes are able to consume it all. Be it in a gluttonous way or with holding our nose and avoiding how irksome it is to try to get through a show that seems like it’s season was dumped to cut marketing cost.
But, in the case of “Hollywood,” there is hope. Mind you, I’m not saying this is the best thing Netflix, or any streaming platform, has ever released. However, I will say that it has that energy, it has the characters, it has the story needed for those who feel fatigued by the idea of 4 to 12 hours of content. So here is hoping it lives up to its first impression.