Don’t worry, I won’t go into too much detail since there isn’t much to be said.
Mildred Ratched, played by Sarah Paulson, finds her way into a new town where she forces herself into the role of a nurse at a North Carolina psychiatric hospital. The show’s premise when you search it on Google states, “A young nurse at a mental institution becomes jaded and bitter before turning into a full-fledged monster to her patients,” which seems a bit off seeing as how that’s how she starts out the job as well. The pilot isn’t this slow, gradual build. Mildred has a straight up suspicious vibe about her from the get-go.
Between the 1940s color block set design, the dialogue, and even the occasional jarring green lighting, it all feels like different shows slapped together trying to be something edgy. Nothing about this premiere feels cohesive. With this observation, I think it's also fair to note that while it's not a season of American Horror Story, it does in fact feel like a poor one. With Sarah Paulson cast for a second time as an outsider entering a mental institution for professional purposes, Ryan Murphy and Co. need you to know it is the complete opposite of AHSS2: Asylum. It's set in a glamorous hospital that looks like the lobby of a lavish hotel, much unlike dull and dingy Briarcliff. When Mildred goes to the front desk, a nurse assumes she’s a journalist to which Mildred firmly states she’s not. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sarah. I think she’s a great actress, but they really set her up for disaster here.
There's also something really off about the red pop in every frame. Whether it’s someone’s lipstick or a tiny accessory, it looked oversaturated and quite distracting on my television. Color pops like that aren’t supposed to feel blinding.
By the end of the episode, we see Mildred unite with someone she knows in the hospital and you kinda think, “Oh maybe that’s what this is about,” but from what has been presented to me so far right before this, maybe also not. But to be frank, I honestly don’t even care. This episode felt so lifeless and flat. Just like last year’s AHS 1984, the show’s creators care more about the aesthetics rather than substance. If you’re not as bitter as Mildred and I are, you can catch Ratched streaming now on Netflix.