Ryan Murphy’s series about the origins of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s Nurse Ratched has officially dropped today and is available for viewing on Netflix right now. We’ve made our thoughts on Ratched more than explicit in our review, but if you need a reminder: “Ratched is lurid nonsense.” You can read the rest of our review to find out why we think that, but for now, the one nice thing we’ll say about the series is that it’s truly stunning to look at, due in no small part to the efforts of costume designers Lou Eyrich and Rebecca Guzzi. Pulling from Dior’s New Look, as well as the classic films of Alfred Hitchcock and Douglas Sirk, Eyrich and Guzzi create a world of heightened reality. The colors pop just a little too much; the construction and fit on every character is almost unsettlingly perfect (which was a Hitchcock hallmark). And while there are times when the costume design and art direction threaten to overwhelm the show, that’s only because the script is so weak. If anything, the costume design is one of the few parts of the show aside from the acting that can be called uniformly excellent and capable of elevating the material. Yes, the show is lurid nonsense, but remember: “lurid” doesn’t just mean shocking, violent or sexually explicit. It also refers to colors so vivid they can appear harshly overwhelming if not downright unnatural. Ratched‘s costumes are beautiful, memorable, sometimes outrageously colorful and vaguely unsettling in the cartoon-hued perfection.
[Photo Credit: Netflix]