‘Ratched,’ the adaptation we did not need

Beautiful cinematography, lacks depth, consistent plot

By Evelyn Solis

Developed by Ryan Murphy and starring the incredible actress, Sarah Paulson, “Ratched,” a Netflix show that was released Sept. 18, was created as a backstory for Mildred Ratched, the antagonist of the book and movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” 

Sarah Paulson’s performance was spectacular, but considering the other roles she has played, this comes as no surprise. 

While Paulson is a talented actress, her notable skills are wasted on this disappointing show. The confusing storyline ruined the chance that this show had at creating a coherent plot with character development.

Netflix tries and fails to create an accurate adaptation for the character of Nurse Ratched (Photo courtesy of IMDB)

In the movie and book, Nurse Ratched is portrayed as a cruel and inhumane character who lacks empathy for her patients and exploits her power. 

That’s the scariest part of Nurse Ratched: she doesn’t need a backstory because she is the creation of a system that can lead people to become detached from their patients or can potentially exploit their authority. 

However, in the Netflix series, her differing personalities –– one of cruelty and the other of having humanity –– creates confusion for the audience. It is unclear at the beginning of the show if she is pure evil and unfathomed by murdering people to get her way, or if she desires human connections and cares for others. 

We aren’t meant to like her, we are meant to fear her, and that’s the point of this character. The show seems useless and, to be completely honest, ruins the world of the original story.

In the episodes themselves, some scenes are unrealistic, incomprehensible and a bit cheesy. For example, having the character of Edmund Tolleson, a psychiatric patient who murdered four people, walking around with other patients unchained. Additionally, they completely switched this character’s traits for the convenience of the plot. 

Not only does the show have unrealistic scenes, but the number of dramatic deaths that occur becomes annoying and frustrating. At one point the show completely drops the main problem and gives the audience an odd plot twist that is meant to leave the show on a cliff hanger but completely defers the original storyline of Nurse Ratched.

Apart from the weak plot, the lack of diversity in the cast is also a let down. 

Like most television remakes, the adaptation of the original work is never as good as the first book or movie. Unfortunately, this show does fall into this category. Along with the odd, unnecessary take on Nurse Ratched’s character, the series fails to be an accurate adaptation.”

Yes, the actor who plays the doctor of the hospital is of Filipino descent. However, there is a maximum of three actors of color who play important roles and every other role is played by a white person. Some of these characters feel like they were added just to give the show a sprinkle of diversity. 

After all of the protests and demand for more diverse casting in productions, Hollywood still has yet to demonstrate progression. 

Honestly, I really wanted this series to work because it’s a Ryan Murphy project and I am a huge fan of Sarah Paulson but the actual execution of the show is underwhelming.

From a confusing character development, to unrealistic scenes and an unstable plot, it seems like the writers scrambled to find a useful plot and quickly whipped up a script. 

Like most television remakes, the adaptation of the original work is never as good as the first book or movie. Unfortunately, this show does fall into this category. Along with the odd, unnecessary take on Nurse Ratched’s character, the series fails to be an accurate adaptation.  

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