Feud: Bette and Joan Review

Image Source and Credit: E! Online 

(Warning: Spoiler Alert!)

I remember flipping through channels and coming across this FX series, Feud: Bette and Joan. Initially, I had no interest in watching this program, but quickly changed my mind once I saw my favorite actor, Stanley Tucci, playing the role of Jack Warner. Afterwards, I became hooked and applauded the ending of this short season.

Feud is a program generated by Glee’s creator Ryan Murphy. Each season focuses on a real-life feuds that occurred through out history. Season one focuses on the rivalry between aging celebrities: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, during and after the production of their 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. 

The season begins with Joan Crawford, played by the phenomenal Jessica Lange, wanting to get back into acting but struggles to find roles appropriate for her age. Since the opportunities are not coming in, she decides to create her own film and seeks the help of B-list director, Robert Aldrich, played by Alfred Molina, and fellow actress, Bette Davis, played by the amazing Susan Sarandon. Unfortunately, Bette’s stubborn personality clashes with Joan’s diva persona and a feud emerges between the two women. Through out the season, we witness these women engaging in a battles over attention, awards, and admiration. From Joan stealing the Academy Award for Best Actress from Bette, to Bette becoming executive producer and making Joan’s life a living hell on set.

I had a difficult time deciding who side I was on. Initially, I was #TeamBette when I learned about Joan’s plan to steal Bette’s Oscar. As the series progressed, I sympathize with Joan and became #TeamJoan. However, by the last episode, I was #TeamBestFriends:BetteandJoan. The last episode made me care about these actress and wonder why Hollywood has forgotten about them. As Bette said after the death of Joan, “50 years in the industry and they only give her 2 seconds [of recognition at the Oscars].” Both women on the list for “Best Actresses of all Time,” and are left to be forgotten. I am glad this series was able to remember these women as dedicating and fearless.

There are various laugh out loud moments over the course of the season, but no moment is more prominent than Joan last reflection before her death on the season finale.

Even after creating a successful film that placed both actress back on the map, the feud continue to even after Joan’s death. What absolutely BROKE my heart, was Joan’s secret desire to become friends with Bette and never revealing her true feelings to Bette. (I have a difficult time talking about this moment without bursting out into tears, but here I go anyway.) There infamous scene where Joan Crawford, who lost her spark and is facing certain death, hears laughter coming from her living area. She walks out to find Hedda Hopper (who at this point in time already died) and Jack Warner, enjoying each others company. A pale Joan with long, gray hair, walks towards them and is suddenly is transferred back into the glamorous Joan Crawford we knew. During this epiphany, Joan reveals her deepest secret of feeling lost in her diva person she created to uncover her true self: a loveless, financially poor, girl. Joan goes on to say that both Hedda and Jack made her life a living hell and a friendship with Bette impossible. Suddenly, they are greeted with Bette’s presence and forcefully joins the party. There is a moment when both Jack and Hedda leave and instead of tearing into each other, both women have a sensible discussion.

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Image Credit: Suzanne Tenner/FX (Source: Vulure)

Joan revels to Bette that she always wished for a friendship with Bette and fantasizes about having late night talks with Bette about their director, Robert Aldrich. A serious moment and revealing moment occur between these two woman, when suddenly the audience remembers, it’s just a illusion created by Joan’s deteriorating brain. As Joan’s servant, “Mamacita” (Jackie Hoffman) takes a disorientated Joan back to bed, the audience learns that Joan died five days later without the women amending their feud. This scene runs though my mind everyday and can’t stop thinking about it.

Oh, how I yearn for some closure between the women, but I never received any. Both women died and the audience is left with what could have been: a mutual understanding.

I want to end this post by admiring Jessica Lange’s performance as Joan Crawford and encouraging you to watch this series. It will make you cry and call your “frenemy.”

Let’s Talk About “The Office” and Romance

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Image Provide by Britain vs. America (image source:https://britainvsamerica.wordpress.com/ )

The Office, will forever be known as one of the best comedy programs of the 21st century. Originally aired on NBC from 2005-2013, The Office has proven once again that great television programs are still alive. For those who don’t known, The Office is based off a British television program with the same name. The U.K. version (2001-2003), stars the hilarious British comic, Ricky Gervais (you either love him or hate him) and co-written by the charming comedian Stephen Merchant, who I absolutely adore!

Both series adapt the romance that occurs between a salesman and a receptionist. In the U.K they are known as Tim Canterbury and Dawn Tinsley, but in the U.S. version, you might known these characters as Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly.

Watching The Office, U.S. series, the audience immediately becomes enamored with Jim and Pam’s friendship and we so badly desire them to be romantically involve with each other. However, once I watch the U.K. version and witness the romance between Tim and Dawn, I found it to be more believable and the conclusion of their love story actually made me cry. I once thought that Jim and Pam love was stronger than any other story I’ve seen before on television, but after watch the U.K. series, I now understand the heartache and beauty caused by love.

I felt that the romance between Jim and Pam dragged on significantly before meeting its demises in the last season. We witness romance unfold on Television, Film and Books and it makes the audience hopeful in finding a loving relationship or examples of what a loving relationship should be. Since the series became popular and the network ordered more seasons, it felt as thought the writers realized they were in for the long-haul and completely destroyed every women’s fantasy of a “perfect romance” by having the couple at the verge of a divorce.

The conclusion of Tim and Dawn’s love story was so satisfying in The Office (U.K.). With the long suffering Tim finally getting the woman he so desired at the end of the series and Dawn visiting after moving to Florida with her fiancée and finally realizing that it was Tim all along. The reunion with both characters is the perfect conclusion in a story between two star crossed lovers. In terms of the U.S. version, I would have liked it if the series ended with Jim and Pam finally getting married and the reunion with having a child. Instead the writers rushed the conception of a child before the marriage the audience so longed for. By doing this, the writers took away the spark that I once felt about this relationship. Jim and Pam were no longer the “it” romance-model, aspirational, couple, they were just like every other couple.

Lastly, I want to address something that I am seeing but hopefully readers of this post could explain to me. What is so special about Pam? A flaw with jumping in the story without known why Jim liked Pam in the first place and only her, is that the audience is not being able to understand why Jim was fighting for her. I would like to know what distinguish Pam from other female characters. I know I am overthinking it, but I did not ponder this while watching the U.K version. Was this the first woman Jim met in his entire life that complimented his comedic personality? There are lots of women that have great sense of humors, but Pam never once made a joke or funny. Think about it, Pam is the only character in the series that has not never made a hilarious (laugh out loud) comment. If Pam was a character that made funny remarks, talkative, and consist of an animated personality, then I would understand what makes her unique, because there is not other person like Pam. Pam is easily a replaceable person.

What makes Jim special? He has a hilarious, unique sense of humor and style of performing it. He makes silly faces, remarks, pranks, and is lovable. He is a not boring, plain character with no charisma. If Karen (Jim’s ex-girlfriend) would have been a receptionist and not Pam, she would be the “apple of Jim’s eye.” Anyway, I rant.

Let me know what your thoughts are. Which relationship do you think is best?