Feud: Bette and Joan Fans Lament the Meddling of Man and Publicity Machine

The second episode of Ryan Murphy's FX drama points fingers squarely at male interference for financial gain.

by | March 12, 2017 | Comments

Kenzie Dalton, Jessica Lange in Feud (FX)

The second episode of FX’s new Ryan Murphy show Feud, appropriately titled “The Other Woman,” drilled down on the feud at the heart of the drama ― or, more specifically, why it didn’t really need to happen at all.

Spoiler alert: Do not keep reading if you haven’t watched the second episode of Feud yet.

The episode begins with Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) getting her hackles up about the young, blonde actress (Kenzie Dalton) hired to play the next-door neighbor in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Part of the problem is Crawford’s insecurity about aging, but part of it is her worry about director Robert Aldrich‘s (Alfred Molina) wandering eye and penchant for blondes. He gets distracted by this PYT and suddenly the film is ruined.

Crawford enlists Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) as an ally in getting the neighbor girl re-cast and in doing so, the two begin to form a bond.

“We have to support each other, Bette,” Crawford tells her co-star. “I’m worried our director isn’t taking care of us, so we have to take care of each other.”

The fans were all in for this camaraderie.

But the studio can’t have these two famed rivals getting along, that’s not what the gossip-mongering fans want to hear. And it’s not what will open What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? on 400 screens nationwide, which was a huge opening for 1962.

This Feud fan sums up the problem:

Susan Sarandon in Feud (FX)

It’s dangerous ― for the men and the publicity machine.

Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) railroads Aldrich into fanning the feud flames and Aldrich complies, planting some vicious quotes about Crawford’s falsies in Hedda Hopper‘s (Judy Davis) column, allegedly said by Davis.

Crawford retaliates by not only going on record with some vicious quotes about Davis looking old, but giving the rebuttal to Louella Parsons, Hopper’s infamous gossip column rival.

What it all boils down to is these strong women, who really can rule the world when they work together, being pitted against each other by men.

Alfred Molina in Feud (Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

The saddest part is that both Davis and Crawford could use not only each other as friends, but Aldrich too. If he could keep it in his pants, and they weren’t so blinded by insecurity and loneliness, the trio could have been unstoppable — as friends.

Unfortunately ―

Feud - Stanley Tucci (Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

Aldrich is not acting in either woman’s interest. And don’t even get us started on Warner.

Susan Sarandon herself summed the whole thing up quite nicely:

Some observers in the media, however, grumbled about the episode being all feud, no substance.

Despite how depressing it is to think how amazing Crawford and Davis could have been as friends and colleagues if they weren’t being manipulated by the studios, the drama certainly made for an excellent episode. It explored exactly what creator Murphy set out to do: examine the way Hollywood treats actresses, especially as they age. Many viewers thought this was an even stronger offering than the premiere.

Feud: Bette and Joan airs Sundays at 10/9C on FX

Tag Cloud

Showtime robots FOX Fox News Rom-Com Red Carpet politics cats what to watch historical drama Reality GIFs TCA sports Bravo Spike Tumblr Best and Worst 2017 streaming Music period drama Mary Tyler Moore Holidays Fantasy Acorn TV Winners BBC America Tomatazos Lionsgate Amazon Awards TruTV biography Toys TV NBC Nominations ABC ITV TBS Emmys Podcast Certified Fresh Horror dramedy talk show war SundanceTV comiccon zombies TV Land DC Comics CBS Extras Star Trek Year in Review Winter TV Esquire Nickelodeon IFC Films OWN See It Skip It HBO spy thriller MTV Set visit Musicals 2016 Britbox Marvel 45 Cartoon Network adventure Sony Pictures SXSW supernatural E! unscripted IFC Comedy based on movie USA Dark Horse Comics docudrama Pixar Drama Interview AMC Comedy Central E3 festivals serial killer justice league Grammys Action 007 crossover First Look Shondaland Musical Adult Swim Animation Reality Competition Trailer crime Ghostbusters BBC A&E X-Men NYCC APB VICE Western Disney Box Office DC streaming service vampires Rock 21st Century Fox binge Kids & Family Fall TV Sundance harry potter Infographic Hulu medical drama PBS political drama golden globes Super Bowl Ellie Kemper Opinion Starz PaleyFest boxoffice Creative Arts Emmys CBS All Access Warner Bros. technology Polls and Games President Schedule Rocky Netflix YA Sneak Peek discovery CMT Thanksgiving Mindy Kaling Oscars cooking Pirates LGBTQ Premiere Dates transformers 2015 Logo Paramount Network National Geographic The Arrangement Teen dceu Valentine's Day WGN ESPN sitcom TCM romance crime drama Nat Geo Superheroe Star Wars VH1 Video Games Paramount Disney Channel Masterpiece Summer Martial Arts zombie RT History Trivia Cosplay cops aliens American Society of Cinematographers FXX Watching Series 20th Century Fox dc hist finale Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TLC Country 24 frames GoT FX TIFF TNT El Rey social media singing competition Photos CW Seed Comic Book travel Lifetime police drama Sci-Fi Marathons composers ratings Sundance Now Mystery Universal Freeform Lucasfilm History Biopics DirecTV Spring TV Superheroes cults YouTube Red Christmas BET Syfy ABC Family Food Network DC Universe Character Guide Writers Guild of America SDCC cinemax crime thriller psycho TCA 2017 CNN diversity science fiction thriller Crackle Countdown The CW MSNBC Calendar Election Pop GLAAD USA Network