All posts by Scott Coblio - Special Contributor

bette-joan-feud

Feud: Bette and Joan — “Hagsploitation”

Okay, any episode that opens with an axe-wielding Jessica Lange reenacting scenes from Strait Jacket (Joan Crawford’s 1964 B-movie campfest) gets my vote for best installment of any show ever. There’s something indescribably sublime about seeing talented actors painstakingly recreate sheer crap (albeit wildly entertaining crap). And when Feud reconstructs, they get it right, down to the wallpaper.

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feud: bette and joan promo art

Feud: Bette and Joan –“And the Winner Is… (The Oscars of 1963)”

Up until now, the fireworks have all been of the “may have” and “was rumored to” variety, but it’s really, really true that—snubbed by the Academy for an Oscar nomination (Bette and Joan had shared lead billing in Baby Jane, making both eligible for the “Best Actress” honor)—Joan campaigned not only to be a presenter, but to accept the award for any Best Actress nominee who could not attend. Touché!

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Promo art for Feud: Bette an Joan

Feud: Bette and Joan — “The Other Woman”

The second installment of FX’s Feud continues the writer’s (seeming) purpose to clarify that the famous feud with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford was at least in part, the result of the actresses having been pitted against one another, not just on the Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? set, but through the decades, by various parties, and for various seedy purposes. This may come as a disappointment to some and a relief to others, depending on whether one prefers Bette and Joan as complex women or straight-up Disney witches.

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feud: bette and joan promo art

Feud: Bette and Joan — “Pilot”

Over the years, writers have devoted much ink to this legend. As the demand for more dirt grew, more and more people started coming out of the woodwork “remembering” things… until finally, it had become impossible to know what was real and what was fiction. Did these two women really despise each other? Or is it all the wet dream of bloodthirsty hyenas? Feud—an eight-part miniseries attempts to break it down for us.

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