Ryan Murphy, who in my estimation produces at the very least 90 percent of television, has a new show, Hollywood, out in May. It reimagines with glamour what the movie industry in its golden era could have been had marginalized voices not been relegated to the sidelines or off-screen entirely.
The show follows a group of actors, writers, and filmmakers in 1940s Hollywood and their struggles for success in a racist, sexist, and biased industry. But the show and its trailer seem to give way to an alternate history of this period where black actresses are cast as leading ladies and gay actors live openly. And the cast is stacked: Patti LuPone, Queen Latifah, Holland Taylor, and Murphy-favorite Darren Criss, among others.
“With the present so fraught and the future uncertain, we turned to the past for direction, uncovering buried history to spin an aspirational tale of what ifs,” Janet Mock, an executive producer and director on the series, told The Hollywood Reporter. “What if a band of outsiders were given a chance to tell their own story? What if the person with greenlight power was a woman? The screenwriter a black man? What if the heroine was a woman of color? The matinee idol openly gay?”
Hollywood premieres May 1 on Netflix.