Parents' Guide to

The Act

By Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dark, toxic mother-daughter tale is based on a true story.

TV Hulu Drama 2019
The Act Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 15+


Some cringeworthy scenes

This title has:

Too much sex
age 18+

very hard

there are scenes with masturbation, some dialogues about necrophilia and lot of sex scenes.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (30):

Was this series truly needed, given how ubiquitous the Blanchards' story has been in the media landscape of late? Maybe not, but standout performances by the always-solid Patricia Arquette as Dee Dee, and a mesmerizing Joey King as Gypsy make it a compulsively watchable guilty pleasure. The Act might not have a whole lot to say about the case that hasn't already been covered in the (multiple) documentaries or articles, but what it lacks in analytic substance, it makes up for in emotional truth.

Arquette's Dee Dee is a pathetic, deeply disturbed woman desperate to hold on to her daughter by any means necessary -- both because of the pity and adulation it brings her and the sense of security Gypsy's "condition" gives her. It's in her best interest for Gypsy to remain ill, as this ensures an ongoing influx of cash donations and compliments, and the contrast between Dee Dee's public persona as a self-sacrificing caregiver and the emotionally manipulative sicko she is behind closed doors is truly discomfiting. King's helium-voiced performance, however, is the biggest surprise here. The former teen star is shockingly great at showing the stages Gypsy goes through, from vulnerable naïf trapped under her mom's oppressive, abusive thumb to vengeful internet flirt using whatever connections she can to get out of a truly impossible situation. It's an acutely odd story, and one that will keep you absorbed despite already knowing how things wrap up.

TV Details

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