“What if you could rewrite the story?” is the tagline on the one-sheet for Netflix’s latest series HOLLYWOOD, released today, May 1. A fantastical, revisionist telling of a post-World War II, 1940’s Hollywood industry and those who are trying to make their mark in it, the series highlights the trials of both industry newbies and veterans striving to make it in a world that prohibits people from living as their authentic selves.
According to the synopsis, Hollywood and each character in the series, “…offers a unique glimpse behind the gilded curtain of Hollywood’s Golden Age, spotlighting the unfair systems and biases across race, gender and sexuality that continue to this day. Provocative and incisive, Hollywood exposes and examines decades-old power dynamics, and what the entertainment landscape might look like if they had been dismantled.”
What I most love about the series is it places the viewer in an era where people pushed through extreme discrimination to achieve goals that were barely a dream for many artists, let alone historically possible at that time as we unfortunately know.
And with a phenomenal cast that includes multi-award winner Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story), 2019 double Tony nominee Jeremy Pope (Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Choir Boy), Laura Harrier (Blackkklansman, Spider-Man: Homecoming), legendary, multi-award winner Patti LuPone (Last Christmas, American Horror Story) Jake Picking (Top Gun: Maverick, Goat) who is a Doppelgänger as a young Rock Hudson, and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory, Home) who is so far removed from any character you’ve seen him portray it’s uncanny, the show is an easy binge of seven episodes – and well worth the investment time.
Last week, I sat down via Zoom with the AAFCA family to chat with Janet Mock – one of the executive producers, writers, and directors of the show, who’s also an activist and all-around boss. She discussed everything from signing on to produce the project, to the cast, to the relevance of the story then and now, and what we can expect from the upcoming season three of the hit series POSE.
You can watch a snippet below, featuring her answers to my questions, and see the full video at The AAFCA Channel on YouTube here.
Until next thought, Thomasena