Feud: Bette and Joan

amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
Did anybody watch this last night, or planning on catching up?

With Ryan Murphy in charge it was always going to be an utter camp fest, and I enjoyed the first episode for what it was, but it's going to take a little while for me to get used to Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Though Sarandon does bare quite a resemblance, both actresses are much older than the actual stars were at the time, probably by about 15 years each.

I'm definitely going to keep watching though!



  • JaimieTJaimieT Houston
    I want to see this. I'd rather wait and watch them all at once, though. We'll see how long I can hold out. I feel like a broken record... but God, there hasn't been much good TV lately. I remember 2-3 years ago there was loads of stuff.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    edited March 7
    Cecily and I are going to be watching it.  She watched "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" over the weekend to prep for it.  I'm going in totally blind.

    Also, @JaimieT, have you tried The Expanse?
  • MichelleMichelle California
    I was on the fence about this.  I love old classic Hollywood, and Ryan Murphy turns out some good tv, but I was iffy about Jessica Lange as Bette Davis.  I get that she's a staple in Ryan Murphy's casting, but I don't know if she was the best choice for this role. @amyja89 how was the first episode?
    "Scorch the damn earth before you." - Liz Taylor, AHS
  • April_May_JuneApril_May_June California
    I am dieing to see this!
    My husband and I "cut the cord" a while ago, and this is the first time I've felt like I'm missing out. (Don't know what we're going to do when Better Call Saul comes out!)
    We have Amazon Prime, but it's not there. I signed up for HULU's free trial, to see if I could find it there, but no luck.
    Hope I'm not being inappropriate by asking this, but does anyone know where I can watch/stream this? I'm not trying to pirate, I'm looking for legit ways. Thank you!

  • ceburaskaceburaska London, England, United Kingdom, European Union (but not for long)
    Can it be as good as the Psychobitches episode with Mark Gatiss and Frances Barber? I doubt it, but would love to hear that it is.
  • cdrivecdrive Screwston, TX
    I watched it and liked it.  Love Jessica Lange. Love "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane."

    Also, thanks to the BM Insidious commission, I recently got deep down a rabbit hole of the Psycho-Biddy genre.  Because some folks just didn't find the old woman terrifying, and for me, I've been terrified by old women in horror movies ever since The Shining Room 237 Bathroom Scene completely traumatized me.  

    Not to go too far off on a tangent but I was trying to put together which of all the horror genres Insidious sort of mashed up:  Haunted House, Poltergeist, Possession, Psycho-Biddy/ Hagsploitation/Hag Horror/Grand Dame Guignol...

    I was looking at Top Movie lists of Psycho-Biddy...."Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?" is almost always #1, as it should be. That movie was completely unhinged.  But then looking at some of the other hits, looking at their movie posters...it makes me wonder if Psycho-Biddy is misogynist?  Or the reverse of that, a social commentary on the patriarchy of the mid century?  I can already tell: Feud is going to make me rewatch WHTBJ and then I'll start getting into these Pscyho-Biddy cult classics like Lady in a Cage and Strait Jacket. 

  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    edited March 7
    @Michelle The first episode was enjoyable if not slightly *too* campy for my personal taste, but that's what you get with Ryan Murphy!

    Lange is actually playing Joan Crawford, not Bette Davis. Susan Sarandon is Davis and though she literally just sounds like Susan Sarandon, her physical performance is pretty great, I never registered how alike they look.

    Lange as Crawford is less impressive to me, like I said in my first post, both actresses are about 15 years older than Davis and Crawford were at the time, and it's most noticeable with Lange who really looks her age. I might have a biased view on that because I've been pretty much in love with peak era Joan Crawford since seeing Mildred Pierce when I was a kid!

    She was an absolutely savage bitch, a terrible mother (whether you choose to believe the extent of Mommie Dearest or not), big drinker and she slept with every willing man and woman in Hollywood (including Marilyn Monroe, according to Monroe herself!), but on pure face value I think she was one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the big screen.


  • MichelleMichelle California
    Oh wow, I totally got the casting backward. So this makes me question it even more because to me, Lange looks nothing like Crawford. Sarandon would have been better as Crawford if she used a dialect and speech coach.
    "Scorch the damn earth before you." - Liz Taylor, AHS
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    @Michelle It's a tricky one because (judging by the first episode) Lange gives the better performance, she kind of captures the essence of Crawford, but at the moment I can't get past the lack of resemblance.

    Sarandon has the look of Davis down, but not the rest. So far, anyway.



  • aberry89aberry89 California
    Does anyone know if the first episdode is free somewhere? I know a lot of streaming platform do that now...i wanna watch this sooo bad!
    “No time to squabble Troy, for Greendale on THREE! One, two- Jeff, every second counts. For Greendale on TWO! One-"
  • ceburaskaceburaska London, England, United Kingdom, European Union (but not for long)
    @amyja89 where are you watching this in the UK? Or is it unmentionable?
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    edited March 9
    @ceburaska Gotta admit to torrenting on this one!
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    We're watching this and it's just OK to me. It's not my scene though. I'm not a classic film fan or a Ryan Murphy fan or a fan of portaying women as glamorous monsters.

    I don't know enough about the actresses to know whether they're doing a good job portraying them but Susan Sarandon's performance seems somehow more fitting with the time, IDK. Jessica Lange's plastic surgery is distracting to me.
    Be a human, not a machine.

    Angie Kritenbrink
    akritenbrink on most social media

  • MichelleMichelle California
    I finally caught up with the first episode over the weekend, and I thought it was pretty good.  Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis is somewhat believable, but I'm still not on board with Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford.  For one, her face isn't shaped the same way.  Second, her eyebrows aren't made up as heavily.  She just doesn't have SRBC (scary resting bitch face) the way Crawford did.   I did like Alfred Molina as Bob, though.   I'll catch the second episode soon, 'cause now I'm interested in how this is going to play out.
    "Scorch the damn earth before you." - Liz Taylor, AHS
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    Just caught up with episode two, and my thoughts are pretty much in alignment with most of Ryan Murphy's work, it's fine for what it is but I'm not overly impressed.

    I think my love of the subject matter is pushing me through, and it will keep me in until the end, but I can't help thinking that there could be a much better version of the Joan/Bette feud from a different creative mind.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    Watched the first episode and I think I'm out. It wasn't really all that interesting, and I couldn't get past Sarandon's voice. Bette had such a distinctive way of speaking and Sarandon is making no effort to sound like her.
  • amyja89amyja89 Oxford, England
    edited March 21
    Thought episode three was a little bit better, it felt a little less campy overall and I enjoyed some of the more sincere scenes between Bette and Joan, and the glimpses of Victor Buono's private life, not sure about how true Bette bailing him out of jail was though. The part about Bette's daughter being so terrible in the movie was fun for me because it's oh so true, if you watch Baby Jane she's absolutely horrible haha.

    It looks like Ryan Murphy is taking inspiration for some of Joan's plots from Mommie Dearest, but completely changing the context, for example, the scene where she ends up eating in bed with her assistant seems like it stems from this quote from her daughter:

    "The former nurse then told me that one night Mother came into her room and wanted her to have a drink. The woman said no. Mother got angry and stormed back into her own room, slamming the door behind her. A few nights later the woman was already asleep and woke up to find Mother standing next to her bed. Again, my mother asked her to join her in a drink. Mother was unsteady on her feet and must have been drinking alone half the night. Then she said that Mother invited her to come into her room and sleep with her. The woman said no to that proposition. After a few choice swear words, Mother left. From then on, the woman locked the door to her room at night. But, when Mother got drunk she'd come and pound on the door, cursing and demanding that she unlock the door immediately and let her in. The woman would say nothing and not move from her bed until finally my mother left. It didn't shock me because I already knew about my mother's lesbian proclivities and this only added to what I had already figured out for myself. "

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