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

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