Parents' Guide to

Ratched

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Lots of gory medical horror in so-so Ryan Murphy show.

TV Netflix Drama 2020
Ratched Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 18+

Explicit torture scene, explicit sex.

This is NOT a show for teens under 18. There are many very explicit and disturbing sex scene, like too many Netflix production, the level of explicit is another level and at 30+ years old I am myself very disturbed. Not only the sex content is explicit but the violence too. We are talking about a nurse with psychopathic tendencies, trying to help her even more psychopathic brother in a psychiatric hospital in the 60's when lobotomies and other form of torture were used. We can see explicit scenes of lobotomy and tortures to patients. The violence is also very disturbing. This is a horror/thriller serie. I recommend for adults only, interested in understanding psychopathy, and with a taste for high quality direction, but definitely not an under age audience.
age 12+

Great show

its an amazing show! Ryan did a great job casting and directing the show. I think if your kids are 12 and mature, its a great show to watch together!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (15 ):

Sarah Paulson is always compelling and magnetic, and the vibrant period costumes and settings look like a million bucks, but the muddled plot and characterizations doom this series to "meh" status. The first problem is in Ratched's conception. The brilliance of Fletcher's Oscar-winning performance in the original Cuckoo's Nest was that her character was hardly human at all: She was a cog in an inhuman machine that ground its patients down, and she was as merciless as the machine itself. Giving her a backstory to make her more sympathetic is not only beside the point, it's counter to it. Then, too, this version of Nurse Ratched's story is too goofy to make logical sense: We don't understand who this character is and why she does what she does. She's sympathetic and maternal one moment, an uptight scold in another, robotically calculating at other times. Paulson is good enough to make her character ring true in each individual scene, but her motivation doesn't make sense, so she's tough to root for.

There are other over-the-top and yet nonsensical characters hanging around: Finn Wittrock's deranged murderer, Judy Davis as Ratched's rival Nurse Bucket, Sharon Stone swanning around with a monkey on her shoulder, Cynthia Nixon as a political operative who attempts a romance with Ratched. What a great cast! And in their sherbert-hued suits, minty-green medical uniforms, and matching hats for every ensemble, they all look great. So does the California coast where the show's central mental hospital is located, while the hospital itself looks more like an elegant old hotel than any type of facility. There are effective moments of horror, like one awful scene in which four patients are given lobotomies in front of a crowd of onlookers; viewers aware that this particular scene is not too far from literal truth will enjoy its spooky chill. But though Ratched comes alive in some scenes, it ultimately fails to hang together and make either logical or emotional sense, so the impact is less than the sum of its parts.

TV Details

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