Hulu’s The Act is binge-worthy


The Act, a Hulu original series, is an edge-of-your-seat drama.

Emily Morales, Staff Reporter

A terminally ill girl whose life is a nightmare for reasons that no one ever expected.

A woman with a desperate need to be wanted.

A series based on a story that seems stranger than fiction.

Hulu’s original series, The Act, revolves around the life story of the mother-daughter pair: Dee Dee and Gypsy-Rose Blanchard. At the surface, Dee Dee seems like the perfect mother, placing her own life on hold to be the caretaker of her daughter that suffers from a number of illnesses, including cancer, muscular dystrophy, acid reflux, a potentially deadly sugar allergy, seizures, and more.  However, the reality of the story is much darker than that. Dee Dee suffered from a psychological disorder — Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This mental illness causes a guardian of a healthy child to claim that their child has serious health issues to receive glory for taking care of them; many times in this situation, guardians will fake the symptoms of the sicknesses in their children.

So, to the world, Gypsy-Rose was a young, sick girl with the mental capacity of a seven-year-old who would be dependent on a wheelchair and a feeding tube her entire life. In reality, Gypsy was a healthy child who was forced by an abusive mother to use a wheelchair and to live with an unneeded feeding tube. Another one of the traumas that Gypsy Rose had to live through that The Act touches on is having her saliva glands removed, because her mother claimed that Gypsy’s acid reflux was too much to manage.

Dee Dee lied about more than her daughter’s illnesses, even lying about her daughter’s age. Gypsy’s mother often claimed that her daughter was years younger than her actual age because Dee Dee loved the concept of having a young, dependent child. Dee Dee needed her daughter to always be her baby. She was so controlling that she made Gypsy act like a child and made sure Gypsy remained interested in the kinds of things younger children would be interested in, like Disney Princesses and stuffed animals.

Dee Dee’s lies weren’t just to the world. Part of her started to believe that her daughter needs all of these medications to survive. Dee Dee begins to believe that Gypsy needs her to live.

All that Gypsy went through is documented and explained in The Act, but there’s more to this case than Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The abuse grew too much for Gypsy-Rose, and eventually, she made plans with her boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, to kill Dee Dee.

Hulu’s series explains the details of this case by showing scenes from before and after the murder. The scenes before the murder are normally happier, with Gypsy seeming oblivious to her mother’s abuse and taking her medications, believing that everything her mother does is for Gypsy’s own good.

The Act brings this story to life in a suspenseful manner that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. The main actors, Joey King (Gypsy-Rose) and Patricia Arquette (Dee Dee), show layered emotions in their portrayal of these characters that add to the series’ dramatic feel. This story grows in intrigue with each episode. Though only five episodes have been released so far, much of the story has already been told. This helps the audience feel more attached to the characters, and make you empathize with Gypsy-Rose, despite some of her more questionable decisions.

Hulu’s The Act, is an exciting series that will have you anxiously waiting for the next twist, and should be the next thing you binge-watch, especially if you have an interest in true crime.