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Feud - The Other Woman - Review: "Gimme More!"

Sunday night saw the return of FX’s latest dramatic series, Feud. As with last week’s premiere, the show’s second episode did not disappoint with its incredible blend of superb cinematography, fantastic acting and delicious period pieces.

The episode introduced viewers to the possibility of an affair between Bette and director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina). There’s no evidence to suggest such an affair ever took place, though there’s an element of artistic license as, just like Crawford, Davis is rumoured to have had her fair share of lovers in the industry. I'm looking forward to any other romantic hints of the two leading ladies which may come on (or be reflected upon).

Personally, I appreciate the somewhat underdog nature of Davis in an image-obsessed Hollywood. She was far from the typical beauty of Crawford, yet there is something very attractive in her stubborn and strong persona. Whilst I feel for Crawford in the show, as still has to work against and within a misogynistic system, it is Davis whom I deeply feel most for. She’s the one willing to sacrifice vanity (and risk her reputation) for the sake of the movie, whilst Crawford is most definitely more concerned with how she looks, rather than that of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.

It may be my personal interest, and adoration, towards Davis, that draws my sympathies much more than Crawford. Using B. D. Merrill (Kiernan Shipka) as part of the Davis drama is quite factual, but equally something I didn't expect the show would focus much on. The scene this week between mother and daughter, arguing over one's fading appeal and the other's growing beauty, was entertaining but more so, heartbreaking. You have to feel bad for the teenager, I mean, her mother is jealous, which is ridiculous and not the girl's fault. However, Davis, not the typical Hollywood beauty herself, is allowed to feel insecure. Taking it out on her daughter is wrong, but I doubt anyone wants to vilify Davis for it!? Seeing your daughter become everything you once were must be a particularly complicated experience.

The two leads aren't the only fantastic thing about the show though. Although entertaining enough in the Pilot, Judy Davis came into her own this week as the delightful Hedda Hopper. Hopper is the type of columnist (and woman) you would not want to cross, yet the likes of Crawford could quite easily manipulate the ruthless lady. The dynamic and friendship between the pair is something sure to be interesting. Hopper may not be the lead but she's a character I want to see. She's certainly someone I wouldn't want to know in real life, but on TV? Gimme more!

Going into Feud I was certainly expecting Jack Warner to become the villain of sorts, and I was arguably right. As I said last week, interviews of Davis make a tension between the pair quite evident, and it's a very Ryan Murphy move to portray the head male as the 'baddie'. That's not to say Warner wasn't a bad man (he very clearly was a misogynist) but still, it was kinda inevitable for the show. That being said, for 1960s audiences (and us today) it's perhaps a good thing that Warner was so cunning; his fuelling of the feud likely did enhance the women's tension, in character, and it's going to make one hell of a show because of it!

The show is really living up to my expectations, I must say. The way it's shot and the entire cinematography is incredible. It's a vision; beautiful to watch. The costumes are to die for, and I'm sure I'm not the only fan living for the drama! The past two episodes haven't really contacted much, it's been more background and setting up the drama, but it's clear we're in for a bumpy ride. Now that the shooting of the movie is underway, the big boys of Warner Bros. have a scheme, and the two women are firmly back in competition mode, the real ride can begin. Bring on the kicks. The Oscar 'stealing' moment (which I'm dying to see by the way). BRING IT ALL!

Did you enjoy this week's Feud? Share your thoughts below. 

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