A feelgood joy for the current times! In revisiting Hollywood circa 1948, creator Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) looks to the ‘what if?’ question. What if a woman (Broadway star Patti Lupone) inherits the running of a studio? What if the first script by a young gay black writer (Jeremy Pope – The Ranger), the public boyfriend of new-to-Hollywood Rock Hudson (Jake Picking – Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Patriot’s Day), gets greenlit? What if the lead of that same film – Meg – is an emerging black actress (Laura Harrier – Spiderman: Homecoming, BlakKklansman)?

Hold on to your hats – it’s a seven episode fun ride with its unabashed theatricality and heartfelt compassion for outsiders. OK – so it (more than) glosses over the social issues of 1940s America (much of which has not changed). But that’s not Ryan’s oeuvre. This is mostly candy-coloured, high camp fantasy with a few real-life characters (Rock Hudson, Vivienne Leigh, agent Henry Willson et al) to anchor the narrative.

A Netflix original.

Rating: 80%


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