Saturday, April 20, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Act' - Gypsy Hopes to Finally Get Her New Life Started with Nick in 'A Whole New World'

Hulu's The Act - Episode 1.06 "A Whole New World"

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.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's The Act.

"A Whole New World" was written by Heather Marion and directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

This hour tells the story of three generations of complicated woman. The season up to this point has told the compelling tale of Gypsy's twisted relationship with her mother, Dee Dee. The two of them have long been linked to each other. Dee Dee doesn't allow her daughter to go out of her sight. Over the years though, Gypsy has learned to question everything that her mother has told her about her life, her past and her medical condition. And now, that has led to her killing her mother. That was the conclusion the show prepared the audience to witness. The show keeps the brutal details away from the viewer though. Instead, we just hear Dee Dee's screams from afar as Nick and Gypsy make the lethal confrontation. It's fascinating to see how all of this happened in the first place as well as how Gypsy's life makes her insanely anxious when she is actually on the run with Nick. There are only a few fleeting moments where she has remorse for what she has done and fears that she will get caught. Instead, it's all about how Nick is showing her love. That defines this entire story as all members of this family have such twisted understandings of what love is and the appropriate way for people to show it. Dee Dee long believed that her own mother tried her best to love her but didn't know how. She was present when Dee Dee gave birth. From that moment, she was making her influence known. Even at that point, it was clear that Dee Dee was obsessed with caring for her daughter but her actions actually led to more harm. Sure, her mother is cruel in her own ways. She says that it was impossible to love Dee Dee because of every action she made throughout her entire life. That too is abusive in its own way. It ensures that Dee Dee makes her mother's final days pure agony for her. She loves being appreciated and called a saint for how she is caring for her sick mother and her daughter. But she has nothing but apathy for the woman who is suppose to love her unconditionally. That proves that Dee Dee has always had a problematic perspective on the world. She needed psychological help to overcome her own problems of obsessive thoughts and people's dependency on her. She believes that people should be so grateful to her for everything she has done. Instead, she just pushed her family to their breaking points where it was easier to die or kill than continue living with her. That's absolutely horrifying and shows just how brutal and wrong Dee Dee's conception of love can be. She believes she knows best regarding everything. But she doesn't know how to accept that her actions are wrong. It leads to her being murdered by her own daughter. She was so dependent on that love as well. It's through these interactions with her own mother that the audience gets to see why Dee Dee needed her daughter to be different. She long wanted the moments of laying in bed together. She say that as a pure form of love and appreciation. And so, she made it into reality. She just confined her daughter to a wheelchair in order to maintain that relationship. And now, Gypsy is all on her own. Sure, she has Nick who was more than happy to help her kill Dee Dee because of his own issues. But she is now trying to fend for herself while struggling to cope with the crippling anxiety she has about the world. She once again is lashing out at the world for not showing her the love she has long idolized and expected once her mother was gone. She saw Dee Dee as the largest and only obstacle from having that in her life. And yet, that too is pure fantasy. All of this is only going to end in more tragedy. On some level, she may expect that. She views herself as the responsible one who knows how to handle money as well as the murder weapon. But she is very frightened that all of this could be a huge mistake that will only increase the consequences. She is still willing to ignore that in favor of being in the moment with the man who promises he will do whatever she wants. She may be growing tired of their sexual connection but she still feels intimacy and trust with him. She wanted to get on with their lives together instead of relaxing into a new normal right away. She wants to keep moving forward. Her mother shared the same impulse. It's all tragic because it's clear everyone needed more help than they received. But that's the inherent irony of this entire story.