Ryan Murphy’s newest series for Netflix, “Hollywood,” has been on our radar for awhile now. And with its May release date approaching, it’s primed to be a top Emmy contender. The series, from Murphy and longtime collaborator Ian Brennan, “follows a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood as they try to make it in Tinseltown — no matter the cost.”
The series stars past-Murphy actors including David Corenswet of “The Politician” and “Glee” actor Darren Criss alongside Samara Weaving, Dylan McDermott, Holland Taylor, and Broadway legend Patti LuPone.
An interesting twist is that “Hollywood,” despite it’s post-World War II setting, sounds like an alternative exploration of the creation of the entertainment capital of the world. As “Pose” creator, and “Hollywood” director and writer, Janet Mock says, “With the present so fraught and the future uncertain, we turned to the past for direction, uncovering buried history to spin an aspirational tale of what ifs:
What if a band of outsiders were given a chance to tell their own story? What if the person with greenlight power was a woman? The screenwriter a black man? What if the heroine was a woman of color? The matinee idol openly gay? And what if they were all invited into the room where the decisions are made, entering fully and unapologetically themselves to leave victorious and vaunted, their place in history cemented.”
How exactly this will be employed remains to be seen but it’s a new way to tell the Hollywood ingenue story. With features like “La La Land” and “L.A. Confidential” being predominately white landscapes it’ll be different to see a story where those barriers, so commonly discussed in any Hollywood documentary, might not exist. Murphy and crew enjoy telling tweaked stories like this but never in the time period “Hollywood” takes place in.
Based on the accompanying photos, it’s fantastic to see a cast of women of color included in a time period where many played maids or foreign exotics. The costumes, credited to “American Horror Story” costumer Sarah Evelyn, look utterly beautiful and perfectly encapsulate the Old Hollywood aesthetic Murphy strives for in all of his series.
“Hollywood” streams on Netflix May 1.