Ryan Murphy's headline-making deal with Netflix has already brought us the likes of The Politician and Hollywood in the past year, introducing his unique brand of content to a whole new audience, but now we have what may just be the most anticipated of them all: Ratched.
A prequel series created by Evan Romansky, this one is essentially an origin story for the infamous antagonist of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. It stars Murphy's muse Sarah Paulson as the no-nonsense nurse that has gone on to become one of Hollywood's biggest icons, documenting how - or, more specifically, why - she ended up the way that she did.
Like many of Murphy's past offerings, Ratched is a stylistic blend of quality and quantity all rolled into one. It's gratuitous in many of its aspects but not to such an extent that the drama suffers and it's all held together by another absolutely stunning performance from Paulson in a career that is already full of them. Does it meander? Yes. But it isn't quite as guilty of that as previous installments, and whenever the focus remains on Paulson's Mildred Ratched, it thrives.
All in all, Ratched is a very good TV series that doesn't need to directly connect to its source material to shine, but this vivid experience could be a lot stronger if a number of familiar issues were ironed out.
First, the negatives...