Hollywood Review

This week, Netflix unveils Ryan Murphy’s newest series Hollywood, but is it worth the price of admission?

In Hollywood, it’s post-World War II and we are introduced to Jack Castello (David Corenswet, The Politician), a guy who has returned with a dream of becoming an star, and his wife Henrietta (Maude Apatow, Euphoria), when he’s approached by Ernie (Dylan McDermott, American Horror Story), who offers him an opportunity for a job to pump gas. But this isn’t a regular service station, and Jack is thrown into a world he never expected.

 

Also taking centre stage here is Raymond Ainsley (Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versarce), an up-and-coming director fresh out of film school, attempting to get his film green lit by Ace Productions. Raymond meets up with budding screenwriter of colour Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope, The Ranger), who has developed a script on a Hollywood tragedy and trying to get his foot in the door.

 

All three of these individual stories will intersect as the series progresses, but there’s a tone of other stories to unpack in this limited series, which comprises of 7 episodes. Throughout the series, we also follow Claire Wood (Samara Weaving, Home and Away), an actress who wants a fair shot at stardom; Roy Fitzgerald/Rock Hudson (Jack Picking), an actor who wants to hide his sexuality; and Camille Washington (Laura Harrier), an actress who wants to make her mark in the industry.

The dream team cast is also fleshed out with Pattie Lapone, Jim Parsons and Joe Mantello. There’s a lot of star power here, but it’s Corenswet, Picking, Criss and Pope who shine and sparkles, with zero bad performances to be seen.

Hollywood asks what’s the cost of chasing your dreams, and there’s a lot to love in this series. Penned by Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Janet Mock and Rielly Smith, there’s a mix of real life and fictional characters to explore the premise of the series: what if things were different back then, and race and sexuality were no longer a huge impact? It’s an interesting premise with a captivating story.

Ryan Murphy once again delivers, with this possibly his best and most ambitious series to date.

4.5 Stars

Hollywood premiers on Netflix on Friday.