The official trailer for Ryan Murphy’s newest FX anthology series, FEUD, has arrived and it’s full of drama, deception, and dynamite stars.
Like another one of his anthologies, American Crime Story, this series focuses on true life, but rather than courtroom drama or natural disasters (the next season is about Hurricane Katrina) being at the forefront, it’s famous rivalries that are on full display for audiences to enjoy. This first season, sub-titled Bette and Joan, showcases the epic battle between Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) during production of the 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.
The film received critical success for the most part upon its release, with Davis and Crawford’s rivalry at the center of it (as seen in the trailer, which reveals their rivalry was also egged-on by outside parties). Their pairing elicited more mixed reviews from people, but it was hard to ignore the antagonistic sparks between them. The lives of celebrities have long been a fascinating subject for the public, even before gossip magazines lined the shelves of grocery stores, mostly thanks to gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis). This series gets at that, along with a star-studded cast. Besides Sarandon and Lange, the series’ cast also consists of Stanley Tucci, Jackie Hoffman, Alfred Molina, and Alison Wright.
The minute and a half trailer builds with tension as a string-based, non-diegetic score play beautifully and frantically against the scenes. There’s plenty of yelling, paparazzi, and even a shot of Davis kicking Crawford in the head. But she “barely touched her,” in a defensive manner, complete in her character’s overly white makeup. Not to mention the production quality is already promising.
Murphy loyalists are sure to tune in, but there’s also appeal in Feud for audiences beyond that of Murphy’s more genre-heavy fare like American Horror Story or the high-school series Glee, and it could draw in the fans of The People v. O.J. Simpson as well. Despite the disparaging comments audiences might make about Hollywood, there’s no denying the way we can’t look away from it as well.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor