The Act

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  • TV-MA
  • 2019
  • 1 Season
  • 7.9  (37,705)

The Act is a gripping and disturbing true-crime drama series that premiered in March 2019 on Hulu. The show follows the story of Gypsy Blanchard (played by Joey King) and her mother Dee Dee (played by Patricia Arquette), who have been living a life filled with secrets and lies. Gypsy Blanchard is a young girl who has been diagnosed with various diseases and disabilities, leaving her confined to a wheelchair and entirely dependent on her mother, Dee Dee. But as the series unfolds, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems, and the truth behind their relationship is far darker and more complicated than anyone could have imagined.

The series takes inspiration from the true-life story of Gypsy Blanchard, who was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. Dee Dee had been keeping Gypsy sick and disabled through medication and abuse, leading Gypsy to believe that she was more ill than she was. The show largely explores the psychological and emotional maze that Dee Dee and Gypsy's relationship was and how the secrets they kept built on top of each other.

Patricia Arquette plays Dee Dee Blanchard, a meticulously controlling and abusive mother who has convinced everyone in their small Missouri town to believe that her daughter is gravely ill. Arquette's portrayal of Dee Dee is eerie and unsettling, and she does an excellent job of bringing out the manipulative, dominant, and psychologically toxic nature of Dee Dee's character. Joey King's portrayal of Gypsy is also particularly impressive, as she effectively plays a character who is at once both innocent and manipulative due to the trauma she had faced.

Chloe Sevigny plays Mel, a neighbor who has become suspicious of Dee Dee's manipulation and attempts to intervene in Gypsy's life. Mel is one of the few people in the town that are willing to question Dee Dee's story about Gypsy, taking the role of the show's moral center in many ways, making decisions that are in the best interest of Gypsy.

AnnaSophia Robb plays Lacey, a teenage friend of Gypsy who is also a fellow Disney princess enthusiast. She has a critical role in the series, as she begins to learn the truth about Gypsy's life with Dee Dee and the secrets they've been keeping, making her own decisions about how to support her friend.

Calum Worthy plays Nick, Gypsy's online boyfriend, and an important figure in the events that lead to the climax of the story. Despite his limited screen time, Worthy provides an exceptional performance, successfully portraying Nick's complexity and wavering morality.

The showrunner Michelle Dean and her writing team did some great work in translating the Blanchard's twisting, haunting story into an engrossing series. They capture both the twistedness of Dee Dee's character and the treachery of Gypsy's, as well as the tragedy of the situation in which they find themselves. The show has some excellent cinematography, with each scene shot in detail, captured from different angles, and employing a mixture of wide-shots, close-ups, and mid-shots to make the show more immersive.

In conclusion, The Act is a haunting and fascinating series that dives into the dark world of abuse, manipulation, and murder. Both Patricia Arquette and Joey King deliver outstanding performances that capture the complexity of both the perpetrator and victim of their circumstances. The series is confronting, emotionally intense and takes on the challenge of dramatising a shocking true-story with great sensitivity whilst maintaining high quality story-telling.

The Act is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (8 episodes). The series first aired on March 20, 2019.

The Act
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Episode 8
8. Episode 8
May 1, 2019
Gypsy fights for her life by defending her actions, while Mel & Lacey realize that behind closed doors things were not always as they seemed.
Episode 7
7. Episode 7
April 24, 2019
Gypsy is excited to start over with Nick in Wisconsin, but their new life doesn't match the happily-ever-after she imagined, and her anxiety worsens as past transgressions begin to catch up with them.
Episode 6
6. Episode 6
April 17, 2019
While Gypsy and Nick are on the run, flashbacks to a much younger Dee Dee reveal how trauma with her own mother set her up for conflict with Gypsy.
Plan B
5. Plan B
April 10, 2019
Gypsy and Nick scheme to meet in person and hope to win Dee Dee’s approval, but when their plan goes disastrously wrong, they’ll be pushed to make an extreme choice in order to be together.
The Tower
4. The Tower
April 3, 2019
Gypsy’s getting older and Dee Dee is forced to new legal maneuvers to keep control of her “little girl.” But Dee Dee’s limited by her own health problems, and Gypsy goes to greater lengths than ever to connect with men and experience a sexual awakening.
Two Wolverines
3. Two Wolverines
March 27, 2019
Dee Dee makes Gypsy dress up for a costume convention, where they each attract charming men who could dangerously complicate their insular relationship. Gypsy is starting to question the lies her mother tells her, especially about how old she really is.
The Body
2. The Body
March 20, 2019
Dee Dee is on a high since Gypsy will be given the "Child of the Year Award," which makes Dee Dee feel like Mother of the Year. But before the big event, Gypsy has a dental emergency that gets the attention of a skeptical doctor who could expose Dee Dee's secrets.
La Maison du Bon Reve
1. La Maison du Bon Reve
March 20, 2019
Doting mother Dee Dee Blanchard and her sweet daughter Gypsy arrive in a new neighborhood, where Gypsy feels lonely due to a barrage of medical issues and eager to make friends. But their new neighbors can be nosy, and Dee Dee and Gypsy have secrets to hide.
Where to Watch The Act
The Act is available for streaming on the Hulu website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Act on demand at Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    March 20, 2019
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (37,705)