Tom Daley
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Ratched's Global Success Proves the Power of Out Queer Actresses


Ratched is riding a dose of uppers.

The Ryan Murphy show, inspired by the antagonist nurse of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, has been viewed by 48 million households in its first 28 days.

This makes Ratched the "biggest original season one of the year," reports Netflix, which means it is also the world's most viewed scripted drama.

"What absolutely mind blowing news to wake up to," Paulson wrote on Twitter. "I am so grateful to each and every one of you for your willingness to dive into the world of #Ratched, embracing Mildred, and making her yours."

The accomplishment is made all the more remarkable because Ratched stars an out actress, Sarah Paulson, who portrays Nurse Ratched as a queer character. Additionally, the season is centered on the romance between her and a woman, Gwendolyn Briggs, portrayed by another out actress, Cynthia Nixon.

Historically (and presently), Hollywood has degayed productions with the understanding that queer storylines are not marketable — especially when they are led by out actors. The success of Ratched flies in the face of that outdated logic.

Notably, the production also features many other actresses over 40, including Judy Davis as Nurse Betsy Bucket and Sharon Stone as Lenore Osgood — an age range of women that the entertainment industry infamously sidelines from central roles.

Created by Evan Romansky, Ratched is replete with queer characters as well as a queer aesthetic; the set designs, costumes, and dialogues are all referential of classic Hollywood camp. Hopefully, Tinseltown takes notes and green-lights even more stories about characters it has historically marginalized.

Tags: television

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