Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood Reimagines Golden Age Struggles For Roles, Respect, & Representation
Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series Hollywood takes Laura Harrier, David Corenswet, Jeremy Pope, Darren Criss, Jim Parsons, Dylan McDermott, & Patti Lupone behind the scenes of a fantasy Golden Age Hollywood with a struggle for roles, respect, & representation that’s ahead of time.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
ABTV Loves Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood
This new mini-series on Netflix tells the story of the behind the scenes scenarios that create Hollywood magic and it does so with grace, style, a bit of flair and a plethora of relatable experiences. Nearly every episode made me literally LOL , cry big tears, and cheer on the good guys every step of the way. In a time in history where inclusion and diversity were definitely not the buzz words we so frequently use today, the struggle. Was. Real! The trailer was a bit misleading, in that it seemed to focus only on Dreamland, a fictional gas station that serviced your car and your libido with the simple request to “go to dreamland”. Though that storyline was titillating and it became a central focus that was eventually heartfelt, the show did more than create a racy narrative. It expertly laid out the struggles in making a movie as well as being cast in one.
The drama revolves around a group of four guys and a woman desperately aspiring to be acknowledged as performers, Screenwriters and Directors while studio heads played a dance of who has the most power and how they will wield it. The guys meet when they are all employed at the Dreamland gas station which is run by Ernie, a kind of mentor of sorts and also one of the male prostitutes. Dylan McDermott gives a dazzling performance as Ernie and the guys soon learn that they have essentially become gigolos for both men and women. It should also be noted that the class of people frequenting Dreamland come for the high end “service” with maximum discretion and a substantial price tag. Jack, played by David Corenswet is phenomenal as an aspiring actor in a loveless marriage who uses the sometimes uncomfortable “sessions” to make ends meet and afford him the time to plead for a screentest on the Ace movie lot. Archie, played by Jeremy Pope gave a stellar performance of an aspiring screenwriter who is also a black gay man struggling to be true to himself while having to decide daily what parts of himself he is able to expose to the world for judgement.
One of the most recognizable names in the show is Rock Hudson, played by Jake Picking. I learned that despite making it to stardom, Rock appears to have been shy and introverted until the time arrives for his voice to be heard and he roars in the scene opposite the multifaceted Jim Parsons who is phenomenal as the seedy, manipulative Casting Director, Henry. Then there is Raymond, who is played by Darren Criss, a half white and half Filipino man, able to pass in the white world. He is the valiant Director with his secret disclosed to only his “crew” with a genuine desire to create real stories about people like himself. Raymond is married to Camille played by Laura Harrier who literally shines with #blackgirlmagic. Camille eventually refuses to diminish her talents for mediocre, stereotypical parts and expertly steps into her role as the black lead that few could visualize in that space. The other three actors that round out this group of trailblazers are Emmy award winning Ellen Kincaid as Holland, the unconquerable PattiLuPone as Avis and Emmy nominee Joe Mantello as Dick.
I initially found the story line slow and considered abandoning it after two episodes, but I am so grateful that I hung in there. Sticking around meant that I was able to see it play out in a glorious example of what it means to take a chance in the oversaturated, narcissistic fantasyland called Hollywood. This series commendably examines the taboo subjects of race, gender equality, homosexuality and classism by exposing the hypocricy and closed minded opinions of the masses without dwelling on them long enough to appear preachy. Elanor Roosevelt even makes an appearance, where she implores Avis to re-think her fear to cast a black woman as the lead despite everyone agreeing that she is the most qualified choice. As a black woman in America, I literally felt as though I was being lifted from my seat on the couch. I frantically applauded her, and I felt my heart burst with pride as I watched a white woman, whom I’ve not seen in any time in history on any platform PREACH about the injustices that minority groups have consistently fought for in order for our country to move forward as a whole. Needless to say, I found this show to be moving, creatively shot, expertly accurate for the time period and steeped with stellar performances. It also helped restore my faith in the process, knowing that my strength lies in my hustle and my talent, and not in my race or gender…Hollywood hooray!
Kittie KaBoom is a VO Actor, On-Air Host, and Radio Personality in Los Angeles. She currently hosts for AfterBuzz TV, as well as having hosted her own show for years on BET as the Virtual Reality character, CITA. Over the years, she has also voiced characters for The Boondocks, The Proud Family and most recently Lazor Wulf on Adult Swim.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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