The Act Debuts Anthology Series


Anh Trinh, Editor

With the first season centered around the controversies of Gypsy Blanchard, the highly anticipated anthology series “The Act” starring Joey King and Patricia Arquette aired on March. 20.

Premiering with two episodes, director Nick Antosca perfectly captures both audiences who already know about the situation and those who are just tuning in.

Opening with a silent zoom through the bright pink Blanchards’ house, the first episode sets the ominous tone of the series. Tension builds as we hear a 9-1-1 call between the operator and a woman, who we soon know as Mel (Chloe Sevigny). At this point, the question of Gypsy’s location is cleverly hidden. The conversation is quickly cut by the introduction of our main characters DeeDee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette) and Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King) seven years previous.

From eating using a stomach tube to leukemia too, muscular dystrophy, it becomes clear that Gypsy’s life is dependent on her mother. DeeDee is shown to lie to others and doctors in order to obtain donations to fund her lifestyle. From a free house built by Habitat for Humanity to disability checks, the audience at this point is probably in awe of the ridiculousness of the mother and how complacent Gypsy is to her actions.

The introduction of Doctor Lakshmi Chandra (Poorna Jagannathan) gave me hope, even though I knew how the series would end. She is a glimmer of optimism for Gypsy as she starts to become suspicious of her fake diseases. I was uneasy as Chandra tries to balance investigating Gypsy’s medical history while trying not to arouse DeeDee’s suspicion.

Both King and Arquette do an amazing job in their roles. King, having to keep up with a high-pitched voice and child-like behavior perfectly depicts a teenage girl who has been blinded her whole life. Arquette’s character is a hard one to nail but she does so well. DeeDee is clearly shown as strange and the desperation she results to in order to use her child’s “diseases” to milk money from the generosity offered to them shows how skillful of a manipulator she is.

The first couple of episodes leave viewers wanting to know more. I gasped several times at the sheer shock that a human could to this to another, let alone their own child. Obviously, the story is heavily embellished but many of the story’s details are true. If you’re looking for a good true crime story, tune in every Wednesday for each episode.