News

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

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