Ryan Murphy Is Developing A Nurse Ratched Origin Series Starring Sarah Paulson

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Expensive television cosplay enthusiast Ryan Murphy must have found some kind of drug or coffee that makes you extra-productive during the day. Because not only is he working on the second season of Feud (focusing on Charles and Diana), putting the finishing opulent gold-plated touches on American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, trying to figure out what to do with American Crime Story: Katrina, and dodging bitchy voicemail messages from a pissed-off Olivia de Havilland, he’s now working on an origin series about Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. And of course it will star his main girl Sarah Paulson.

Deadline says Netflix won a bidding deal for a two-season, 18-episodes per season series about the devil cold-hearted sister in white leather clinic shoes. The show will be called Ratched, and will begin production sometime in mid-2018. Ryan Murphy will direct the first episode, and will executive produce the series along with Michael Douglas, who produced the 1975 film.

Ratched will reportedly begin in 1947 and track Nurse Ratched’s “murderous progression through the mental health care system.” Shoot, she’s been murdering for that many years? Someone contact their local bus bench lawyer, I think we’ve got the basis for a serious medical malpractice suit.

Nurse Ratched was played in OFOTCN by Louise Fletcher, who went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for the role. Sarah Paulson seems to get nominated (and sometimes win) an Emmy every time Ryan Murphy puts her in a busted wig, so Sarah could probably just go ahead and start clearing some room in her trophy case now.

As for how Nurse Ratched becomes the dead-eyed Nurse Ratched we all know, Deadline doesn’t say. They have no information on the story. But I’d be willing to guess it has something to do with the constant uncomfortable scalp jabbing from all the pins in that hairstyle, or years of hospital paperwork. Wrapping up a double shift and realizing you can’t go home until you’ve filled out a double shift’s worth of forms is enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity.

Pics: United Artists, Wenn.com

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‘You’re The Worst’ Just Put Out The Best Episode Of The Series

Spoilers. Like clearly spoilers.

Dude, Stephen Falk knows his way around a break up. Last night’s two episode premiere caught us up on what Jimmy and Gretchen have been doing in the three months since Jimmy abandoned Gretchen on a hillside after his proposal (hiding out in a senior trailer park community and living in Lindsay’s studio apartment occasionally doing crack respectively). And given the bias I’ve already shown regarding who is to blame for this break up, it should surprise no one that I am firmly on Team Gretchen, crack and all.

Her episode is by far the more enjoyable one to watch. It’s got Lindsay! And Edgar! And both of them behaving like grown-ups! Lindsay even got a job! Even if she’s not completely clear on the concept of «communal fridge»! Oh, and also, as a minor development: Lindsay and Edgar finally boned down. Which I am minimizing not because I believe it’s unimportant, but because the show itself seems to be taking this in another direction. They aren’t in love, and this doesn’t appear to be anything more than a solid physical connection yet. Maybe that’s misdirection on the show’s part, maybe not. Honestly, if we can convince them to continue their impressions of Jimmy and Gretchen, I don’t care.

Most importantly, Gretchen’s episode also has Gretchen. Gretchen in full borderline break down magnificence. Gretchen. Crushes. It. Quick aside, I had a boyfriend in college who ghosted me over the summer. When I got back to school, I found out that not only had he ghosted me, but also another woman with whom we both worked for a third non-work related lady. And the three of us (me, girlfriend #2 and our ex-boyfriend) all had to continue working together. This happened because I used to date very stupid men. But there was a very brief window between learning that I/we had been cheated on and before the working with the ex actually started. Gretchen sobbing «But if I go outside, I might see him and then I’ll die» is the epitome of those four days.

God bless her, it’s all just right there at the surface. Too stiff of a breeze will rip open whatever little stability she has on her situation. And I’m genuinely concerned about where she got all that crack from. What kind of a drug dealer actually window delivers? I’m sure I should be a little angry with her for nearly sabotaging Lindsay’s career and neglecting her own, but I can’t. Girl, Jack FM doesn’t care, and neither do I. It has been one week.

I say all of this about my love for Gretchen and her episode knowing full well an unfortunate truth: it wasn’t the better episode. Fucking Jimmy’s was. That prick. His plot and emotional response to everything are significantly smaller than Gretchen’s, but somehow contain a novella’s worth of story. The basic plot is «young guy running from his past meets old guy who’s successfully run from his past.» But it’s not just that.

Jimmy’s problem always has been, and always will be, that’s he’s a Writer. Not a writer as in one who makes their living through the printed word (most of whom are lovely people except for Seth), but a capital «W» Writer. When his father mistreated him, it was because Jimmy was too smart for his plebeian family. When Becca refused his proposal, it was because she couldn’t see how special and talented he was. And, I’m suspecting, when Gretchen did accept his proposal, he had to run away because she just didn’t understand how tortured and different he is. Because he’s a Writer. Or it’s because he’s a fucking asshole.

That second point was made by Jimmy’s neighbor and only friend (sort of) Burt. For all of his blustering about freedom and privacy and independence, it turned out Burt was alone not because that’s how he believes people should live nor because he was too good for the people around him. He was alone because he’s a dick who’s only had one (boy?)friend his entire life, and that guy died. So before Jimmy can go full on Burt, he heads back to L.A., and tries to reconnect with Gretchen. The literal minute she finally decides to get over him.

Because always remember, beautiful episode or not, Jimmy is the fucking worst.

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All the TV Series Renewals in August, So Far

Round-Up! Rejoice, grouse, and shrug your shoulders accordingly:

Stranger Things for season three, before the second season has aired.

Transparent season five, before the fourth season has aired.

Last Chance U for season three.

— The Duplass Brothers Room 104 on HBO, for season two.

Get Shorty for season two on Epix (I hadn’t realized season 1 had begun airing)

Fear Factor for season 2 on MTV (MTV is airing Fear Factor now? Jesus)

Ozark and Friends from College for season 2 on Netflix.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars has been renewed on VH1.

Snowfall for season two on FX.

I’m Sorry for a second season on TruTV (Yes!)

Queen of the South for a season three on USA Network.

Anne with an E for season two on Netflix (really? Did anyone watch the first season, and for those who did, did anyone actually like it?)

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11 Must-Read Book Series If You Love Game of Thrones

Even though it feels like season seven of Game of Thrones just started, the truth is the long Winter without the Starks, Lannisters, and Daenerys is upon us once again. Just because it’s almost time to say farewell to the characters until next year doesn’t mean there’s no way for you to get your fix of political intrigue, dragons, and flawed characters struggling to survive in war-torn worlds.

There are plenty of fantasy book series out there just waiting to fill the Game of Thrones void in your life. Of course, one of those series is A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, the books on which Game of Thrones is based. But you’ve already read those, right? Right? We’re going to assume you have and offer up recommendations for a new batch of fantasy epics that will make your upcoming exile from Westeros so much easier to bear.

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The Series Finale of «Depressing Beaches of England»

America’s Got Talent on NBC at 8:00pm ET.

The F Word with Gordon Ramsey on Fox at 9:00pm ET. First season finale.

Marlon on NBC at 9:00pm ET. Series premiere. New sitcom about Marlon Wayans as a juvenile single father who has to co-parent with his «mature and very put-together ex-wife.» But «family always comes first.» Awww. You get two episodes a night for three weeks, which definitely makes this sound like a series that NBC is interested in keeping on the air as long as they can! It is absolutely not just a stop-gap to fill the month before real TV comes back!

Broadchurch on BBCA at 10:00pm ET. Series finale. Last chance to see former Doctor Who and upcoming Doctor Who in the same place.

Snowfall on FX at 10:00pm ET.

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A Channel You’ve Never Heard of Has a Series Based on a Movie You’ve Mostly Forgotten

Inside Windsor Castle on Smithsonian Channel at 8:00pm ET. This is a series about the history of Windsor castle specifically, which is currently the oldest and largest continually inhabited castle in the world.

Claws on TNT at 9:00pm ET. First season finale.

Game of Thrones on HBO at 9:00pm ET. Only three episodes left in the season, including tonight. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so definitely be ready for more plot-backed episodes that seem a little shaky on logistics and character consistency.

Get Shorty on Epix at 10:00pm ET. Series premiere. I guess when that Be Cool movie that was supposed to be the sequel to the original Get Shorty film failed 12 years ago, it really got the wheels turning that maybe they just needed to wait LONGER and find a way to tell the exact same story of scummy criminals becoming scummy entertainment executives in a series format! Good news, though, they changed the name of the main character from Chili Palmer to Miles Daly. That’ll make all the difference. At least it will if anyone figures out what channel «Epix» is.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO at 11:00pm ET.

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USA Network’s Jessica Biel Series ‘Sinner’ Is Not What We Thought, Or Is It?

I’m checking in on USA Network’s Sinner again after the second episode, because after the first episode, I was left with the impression that it’s a devil-possession horror series while several people in our comment section suggested it was simply a show about a woman suffering from PTSD.

After two episodes, I’m still not entirely sure, but so far, Sinner is working the opposite way of how Ryan suggests the best television series do: I don’t really care about the characters yet, but I remain intrigued about the plot (Ryan is correct, however, to assume that the plot over character formula cannot sustain itself for too long).

I don’t really even want to say that it’s the plot driving Sinner, either. It’s the mystery. I don’t give a damn about any of the characters, but I really want to know what the hell is going on. It’s like Lost, if all the characters were boring tropes.

Is it PTSD?

Maybe. There’s evidence to suggest as much. Cora Tannetti killed a man while he was aggressively making out with a woman on the beach. Turns out, Cora knew that man, and from what we think we know so far, he had a one-night stand with Cora (that definitely involved drugs) that left her pregnant. Because the guy, Frankie, used a fake name, however, Cora was unable to track him down and tell him about the pregnancy. She also couldn’t abort because she’s Catholic. Eventually, in a bout of despair, Cora threw herself in front of a car, leading to an injury that ended the pregnancy.

Cora also is clearly suffering from some sort of religiously-driven guilt. Her Mom was abusive, and whenever Cora’s ailing sister felt ill, Cora’s mother blamed it on Cora’s «sins,» even ones as small as eating chocolate without permission.

Is It Possession?

I’m still hung up on the fact that it seems like Cora’s mother bargained with the devil to save Cora’s sister’s life. Cora’s mom believes she made a deal with God, but I don’t think that God would make Cora follow his every command in order to protect her sister up to and including murder. There are also Cora’s visions to consider. And the fact that Cora was acting very weird even before she murdered Frankie.

Is It Mental Illness?

Maybe. Cora was taking pills, seemingly to reduce the visions. In her prison cell, she also had a freak out and demanded her medication. The fact that she apparently threw herself in front of a car may also suggest mental illness.

Is She Brainwashed?

She is clearly triggered by a certain song (when she heard the song, she murdered Frankie and later, when she heard the same song, she attacked Detective Ambrose) and she attacked both men with the same pattern of seven knife stabs or blows to the body. Is she a Bourne-like spy or trained assassin who is triggered to kill by a song? Maybe, but that doesn’t make sense if the killing isn’t random — and it clearly isn’t, because she knew the guy, and he seemed to recognize her before he died.

I am flummoxed, but again, I’m also captivated. I am desperate for answers and, for now at least, my curiosity is overriding my need for better, more interesting characters. It remains to be seen if that curiosity can keep me invested for eight episodes.

(Note: I know the movie is based on a novel, but I don’t want to ruin the fun by looking it up. Please be similarly respectful in the comments if you have read it.

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Nice One, Peak TV: The Coen Brothers Are Bringing a Series to Netflix

When she premiered Top of the Lake, Oscar and Palme D’Or winner Jane Campion said, ‘Television is the new frontier. Film is conservative. I’m sick of it.’ In her footsteps, many major film directors have followed: David Lynch came back to TV, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s coming to Netflix, someone let Woody fucking Allen make an Amazon series, and now even the Coen Brothers are getting in on the act. Hey, Fargo worked out pretty well and that wasn’t even their gig, so why not join in?

The dynamic duo’s planned anthology series The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will officially be heading to Netflix in 2018. Produced by Annapurna, who are also getting into the TV game, the show will feature six tales of the American frontier as imagined through the oft-imitated scope of the Coens. Think True Grit but with Tim Blake Nelson in the lead.

Some directors have expressed skepticism in the Netflix streaming model, but that holds no mystique for the Coens, who said in the press release, ‘We are streaming motherfuckers!’

The brothers’ most recent film was 2016’s Hail, Caesar!, although they also hold writing credits on George Clooney’s upcoming drama Suburbicon.

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8 Disturbing Bombshells From Leah Remini’s Scientology Documentary Series

Image Source: Getty / Noam Galai

When you think of Scientology, a few people probably come to mind: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Leah Remini. While Cruise and Travolta are partly known for their unwavering devotion to the «church,» Remini publicly split from Scientology in 2013. After having doubts about things the church was doing and questioning the church’s leader, David Miscavige (which is apparently a big no-no), about the unknown whereabouts of his wife, the actress had had enough.

In addition to speaking out about her experiences with interviews and a book, Remini decided to dive even further into uncovering the church’s corrupt reality with her A&E documentary series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. On the show, she travels around the country with Mike Rinder, Scientology’s former senior executive and one of Miscavige’s right-hand men, to talk to former church members about the horrors they allegedly endured over the years (the church denies all claims made in the show). See the biggest bombshells below, which include forced abortion and physical abuse. And you can look forward to more, since the show was renewed for a second season.

  1. The church’s leader, David Miscavige, reportedly beats his staff. Several former church members have spoken out on the show about the physical abuse they endured at the hands of Miscavige (he’s 5’1″, by the way). All of the situations they described include the church leader’s attitude changing at the drop of a hat and him punching, shoving, and choking them in front of other Scientology staff members. Whenever someone even looked like they were about to fight back, a group of Miscavige’s men would swoop in and immediately remove that person from the building. One former church member, Jeff Hawkins, recalled that Miscavige looked at him after physically assaulting him and said, «Do you know why I did that? To remind you who’s boss.»

  1. Women in the Sea Org are reportedly forced to have abortions if they get pregnant. In the show’s fifth episode, Remini sits down with Marc Headley, a former event coordinator and video producer for Scientology, and his wife, Claire, a former Sea Org member. While working in the Sea Org, a now-land-based organization of the church’s most dedicated members that control management operations, and living at the church’s international headquarters in Hemet, CA, Claire became pregnant with their first child. But since Claire alleges that Scientology thinks women in the Sea Org who get pregnant actively want to leave, she was forced to get an abortion. «If a woman got pregnant, she would instantly be scheduled to go and get an abortion,» she said. «If she refused in any manner, she would be segregated, not allowed to speak with her husband, put under security watch, put on heavy manual labor, and interrogated for her crimes.» Marc and Claire managed to narrowly escape the church (he says he was run off the road by church members in an SUV; she says she snuck out of Walmart and hopped on a bus), but that will never take away their pain. «I can go, ‘Well, now I have three beautiful children who are my life,'» she continued. «But it doesn’t make me feel better about not being strong enough to tell them to go f*ck themselves.»

Image Source: Getty / Pierre-Philippe Marcou

  1. Despite escaping the church, some people are reportedly still tracked down and brought back. Claire and Marc also went into detail about the heavy security that Sea Org members are reportedly under when they live at the base in Hemet. In addition to security cameras being everywhere, their outgoing mail is always read before being sent, they are on strict meal schedules, and the fence that surrounds the property has large spikes on both sides, which prevents anyone from entering or leaving. Claire revealed that when her friend tried to escape, she fell in a ditch outside the property and was brought right back in by church members and put on heavy labor duty. She also said she knew one member who fled all the way to South Africa, where he was tracked down and brought back.
  2. Private investigators reportedly hired by Scientology followed Remini during the filming of the show. In the fifth episode of the show, Remini and Rinder are driving when they notice a suspicious-looking car close by. After signaling to the car several times that he can pass, he refuses. When they pull up next to him and ask him who he is, he says he works for TMZ, but suspiciously doesn’t have a camera and quickly drives away. When they then pull into their hotel, two men are sitting in the lobby with their phones pointed at Remini’s car. The hotel manager asks if they are guests, and they both quickly get up to leave. Rinder confronts them, they act like they don’t know anything, and Remini later reveals that one of the men is a private investigator (oh, and the TMZ guy was driving the PI’s wife’s car).

  1. Church members will spend thousands of dollars trying to reach the highest level of spirituality in Scientology. Scientology was founded by a man named L. Ron Hubbard, who believed that you need to clear yourself of your «reactive mind» in order to advance up «the Bridge of Total Freedom.» People do this through auditing sessions, where a Scientology auditor asks the person a series of questions while they hold two metal cans attached to a machine. The machine tells the auditor if the person is telling the truth, and in order to continue to grow spiritually, church members have to pay for expensive courses in order to improve. It also should be noted that Hubbard holds the Guinness World Record for most published works by one author (and they’re mostly science fiction) . . .
  2. If you leave the church, you will most likely lose your entire family. If a member of the church speaks out against Scientology or decides to leave, they will be labeled a «suppressive person» (watch Tom Cruise talk about it at the 4:29 mark). If the rest of that person’s family is still in the church, they will be pressured to disconnect from that person, which means cutting off all communication and essentially never seeing them again.
  3. David Miscavige reportedly told private investigators to let his father die. David’s father, Ron, was the one who got his son involved in Scientology when he was a young boy. But after years in the church and being heavily monitored while living at the base in Hemet, Ron and his wife, Becky, decided to plan their escape. In episode four of the show, Ron told Remini that he knew he needed to get out after he walked by his son one day and decided to say hello. «Dave looked at me and I knew that I had done the wrong thing,» he said. «By calling him Dave,» Remini clarified, to which he replied, «Yes.» After Ron and Becky finally escaped, his son hired private investigators to follow him, one of whom was brought in for questioning by police and revealed everything. According to Ron, the investigator told police that when they saw Ron have what appeared to be a heart attack (he was simply holding his cell phone in place in his chest pocket), they called David to see if they should intervene, but David replied, «If it’s my father’s time to die, let him die.»
  4. Scientologists believe they have the cure for mental illness. In the show’s season finale, Leah sat down with Brandon Reisdorf, a former church member who suffers from bipolar disorder. At the time of their interview, Brandon was in psychiatric care but his family agreed to let him tell his story. While Brandon said he’s doing much better now that he’s in the care of actual doctors, he detailed his horrific time in the church. After one of his mental breakdowns, the church decided to give him an «introspection rundown,» or what they think is the cure for mental illness. It involves locking the person in a room until their «episode» passes, which they think means their body is rid of the illness for good. Scientologists are also well-known for hating psychology and thinking you can treat mental illness with vitamins and intense auditing sessions (as seen in this infamous Tom Cruise interview with Matt Lauer).

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Episode One of the Duplass Brothers HBO Series ‘Room 104’ : ‘Ralphie’

I went in not knowing much about Room 104. I knew that Mark and Jay Duplass (Creep) were writing and producing the anthology series for HBO. I also knew that James Van Der Beek would appear in an episode and that this was a horror/thriller series.

I decided to watch the first episode of the series, entitled Ralphie. The basic premise is that a sitter named Meg (Melonie Diaz) arrives at Room 104 to babysit Ralph (Ethan Kent) while his father (Ross Partridge) leaves for a probable date. Meg is told that Ralph is a quiet kid with a big imagination and that he is in the bathroom. Ralph’s father calls to Ralph a couple of times, with no response, before rushing out the door without even checking the references of the sitter.

What follows is a well-worn trope of innocence vs. innocence as you watch the calm Meg valiantly attempt to figure out the soft-spoken Ralph and his insistence that a dangerous Ralphie is lurking in the bathroom. The viewer watches the interactions of the two, wondering which one will turn out to be the twist. Or if the father, illustrated in his actions and his son’s words as a sort of cad, will burst in with an axe.

I must say that director Sarah Adina Smith did a fantastic job with the small space of a motel room. The bathroom allegedly housing Ralphie is never fully explored. The room is made to feel claustrophobic in some sequences, cozy in others, and somewhat alien through most of the episode.

I’m not sure how I felt about Ralphie, but I know that I’m interested to see more of Room 104.

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