Creators – Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan
Netflix’s Hollywood TV series is a bizarre comedy that imagines a fanciful universe in which a homosexual, black guy could stroll hand-in-hand with his movie star partner in public in the 1940s; a woman could run a major studio, and an actor of a minority race might be cast as the lead in the year’s biggest film. All of this happened when neither women nor black people in America had much independence. Of course, there’s a case to be made — and one that creator Ryan Murphy would almost certainly make — that offering a fictional account of Hollywood’s Golden Age is sort of the idea.
However, by incorporating historical personalities and downplaying the very real prejudice that both women and minorities suffered in the business at the time, the show, which follows a group of young men and women whose paths cross in the City of Dreams, comes out as incredibly insignificant. Sure, it is fun like most Ryan Murphy shows, but it’s also unmistakably flawed.
This is Ryan Murphy’s journey in “Hollywood,” which he co-created with Ian Brennan and serves as Murphy’s Netflix contract debut.
The stage is enticingly dressed in Hollywood, and all of our leading players are promptly presented to us. As promising actor Jack Castello, there’s David Corenswet (River Barkley in Murphy’s debut Netflix production, The Politician). Maude Apatow stars as Jack’s girlfriend, Henrietta, who doesn’t support his dream of becoming an actor.
Hollywood TV Series Plots
The miniseries follows a group of young performers and filmmakers during the post-World War II Hollywood Golden Age as they struggle to realize their goals. Critics gave the show mixed reviews, praising the acting and production values but criticizing the tone, narrative, and artistic license taken.
Hollywood TV Series Review
The program’s only actual opponent — a horrible, terrible man played by Jim Parsons — is depicted not as the sexual predator but as a loveable oddball with a history of abusive behavior that the production is almost too willing to dismiss.
It’s tough to root for folks who appear to have no hurdles to jump over or difficulties to overcome after a while. Several times, they are granted what they desire: leading roles in popular films, ladies when they’re lonely and moral support when they’re desperately in need. Characters that no longer serve a plot function or obstruct the progress of another (more significant) character are quickly removed.
For a show that appears to be motivated by a single-minded desire to rewrite history in reverse, it borders on self-parody in the second half. The show’s final episode is so bizarre that it should be moved from the ’emotional’ part of Netflix to the ‘fantasy’ section. When the risks start to pay off, the other world constructed in the early episodes is so flimsily defined that none of it feels genuine.
The series’ alternate history plot and genuine, uplifting positivity made it a pleasant surprise. It was, nevertheless, a very welcome surprise, especially given the status of the globe at the time of writing. If you haven’t watched it, all seven episodes are available on Netflix.