Set after World War II, “Hollywood” is the story of intersecting young people trying to make it in the industry. It starts with the story of Jack Castello (David Corenswet), a young man trying to find his break but who ends up working as an escort at a gas station run by the charming Ernie (Dylan McDermott). Wives of studio heads and closeted men go to Ernie’s gas station for encounters with gorgeous young guys still waiting for their break. One of Jack’s clients is Avis Amberg (Patti LuPone), the wife of Ace Amberg (Rob Reiner), the head of a major fictional studio. And one of Jack’s co-workers ends up being Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope), a gay young writer who falls in love with one of his johns, the boy who would become Rock Hudson (Jake Picking).
Where to Watch: Netflix
Creator: Ryan Murphy
Cast: David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier
Review: Hollywood is a celluloid fairy tale, a wonderful daydream about what might have happened if the right people had been in the right place at the right time to topple the sexist, racist, homophobic monolith of studio politics nearly 8 decades ago. Leaning further in the direction of a Capra flick than the hyper-violent revenge fantasy of Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist Hollywood tale, Murphy’s miniseries is about using your power to raise up others, and taking chances to push for change from within. It’s a wholly unique story that might not land with everyone – some viewers may find it hard to accept the show’s whimsical heightened reality along with its R-rated elements, and the show’s earnestness could be mistaken for naivety. But there can be wisdom in naivety, and I found it impossible not to smile with genuine joy every time the show’s many pieces fell so perfectly into place. It’s an extremely satisfying watch with an invaluable message, whether you’re in the entertainment industry or not – use your voice to help those whose voices aren’t being heard.
Verdict: Super Worth the Popcorn