Hulu’s the Act is Exceptional, if Disturbing

Savanna Engelmohr, Reporter

On March 20, Hulu released a new original series called The Act. This crime drama is a disturbing saga based on the real life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who was charged with the murder of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard.

Throughout eight episodes the audience explores all the peculiar details of the dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship between Gypsy and Dee Dee that ultimately led to Dee Dee’s murder in 2015.

The Blanchard’s story of abuse, fraud and murder is already very well known. Dee Dee had Munchausen syndrome by proxy which led her to claim that Gypsy was terminally ill. Gypsy allegedly suffered from various diseases like leukemia, muscular dystrophy, seizures, an allergy to sugar and brain damage, which caused her to have the mind of a 7-year-old, among many other issues.

According to Dee Dee, Gypsy was so ill that she was wheelchair-bound and needed a feeding tube. Gypsy had many unnecessary procedures and took multiple unneeded medications every day.

Everyone believed Dee Dee’s claims, and she was often described as mother of the year because of her devotion to her sickly daughter. The Blanchards were so sympathetic that they received multiple donations from numerous people, including Habitat Humanity building them a customized home in Springfield, Mo., after their previous Louisiana home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.

The twisted part was that Dee Dee made up all of Gypsy’s health issues and was so convincing in doing so that even Gypsy was unaware she was actually in perfect health.

Hulu’s take on the story is exceptionally special because, through reenactments, the audience has the opportunity to watch the story as if it was happening for the first time.

The show’s two leading actresses, Patricia Arquette and Joey King, deliver exceptionally convincing performances to show the truly codependent relationship between mother and daughter.

The first episode laid out the dynamic of the entire series as it showed Dee Dee’s murder at the very beginning then gave flash backs to show what Gypsy’s day-to-day life was like. Every episode so far has used the same tactic of flashbacks and, by doing so, the audience is able to get into Gypsy’s mind to see why she wanted her mother dead.

Overall, The Act has done a remarkable job in explaining why Gypsy made the decision to have her mother murdered. The audience is able to live through the experiences with Gypsy rather than just hearing about the details after the murder occurred.

Tune into Hulu every Wednesday to watch a new episode of The Act if you want to learn more about the Blanchards.