Hollywood is a very sleek and stylized look at the unfair practices studios engaged in during the Golden Age of film. This latest creation from the mind of Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan is ambitious, attempting to address a myriad of issues but does it in a way that’s far from balanced. At different moments during the seven-episode series, Murphy’s narrative is attempting to make a point about gender inequality and racial/sexual discrimination. It does so in an odd and almost forceful manner. If your storyline doesn’t flow properly, everything begins to blend together stripping moments of their meaning. While I understand that Murphy is supposed to be edgy and that’s well and good when done effectively, this series, however, missed the mark.
The series is centered around rising actors and filmmakers post World War 2 and how they navigate unfamiliar territory in their rise to the top. Hollywood stars David Corenswet as Jack, Darren Criss as Raymond, Jeremy Pope as Archie, Laura Harrier as Camille, Samara Weaving as Claire, Dylan McDermott as Ernie, Holland Taylor as Ellen Kincaid, Patti LuPone as Avis, Jim Parsons as Henry Willson, Jake Picking as Rock Hudson, Joe Mantello as Dick, and Maude
Apatow as Henrietta. If anyone is on the fence about checking out the series, Jim Parsons and Patti LuPone’s performances are more than enough reason to check it out. LuPone dominated every moment she was on the screen while Parsons’s character allowed him to show a darker side.
Hollywood is Ryan Murphy’s dream for equality in the entertainment industry, but he went about it the wrong way. Had he built this series around Raymond (Darren Criss) or Rock Hudson (Jake Picking), we might be having a different discussion. Hollywood certainly was at its peak when it dealt with the negativity surrounding homosexuality during the late ’40s. When show began splintering in different directions, it lost me. Why would anyone pivot from what was working?
The series is undoubtedly shot beautifully, and the attention to detail in the production and costume design was outstanding. Expect a few surprises during the series, but nothing that will blow anyone’s mind.Overall, Hollywood was beautiful enough, but nothing that will blow anyone away. Discussing these hot button issues is fine, but we also want to be entertained.