By Johanna Calderon
Hulu released a powerful and interesting mini-series called “The Act,” which tells the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, played by Joey King, and her manipulative mother Dee Dee Blanchard, played by Patricia Arquette.
In the beginning of the series, we see a very ill Gypsy Blanchard surviving day-to-day by taking various medications for the diseases her mother says she has and completing visits to the doctor.
This may give the audience a sense of sadness but as the story unfolds that feeling begins to disapper.
Viewers soon learn that Gypsy’s mom uses her disabilities to scam the system to gain money.
Dee Dee is able to do this by manipulating Gypsy and making her believe that she is ill and needs her mother to take care of her.
She even goes as far as hiding Gypsy’s birth certificate from her. She is able to do this because she says all of Gypsy’s medical records were lost during hurricane Katrina.
Dee Dee had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental health problem where a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury to a person under his or her care.
Throughout the series, the audience can see the type of pain Gypsy endures, both physically and mentally.
Some of these examples include Dee Dee shaving her head for no reason, Gypsy getting fed through a feeding tube, even though she can eat normally, and Dee Dee saying she is allergic to sugar.
There is a scene in episode two where Gypsy’s teeth are hurting because she had been sneaking to the kitchen to eat sweets and drink soda.
Her mother told her that she’s allergic to sugar but after a visit to the doctor, Gypsy realizes that she actually isn’t allergic to sugar.
Her teeth then begin to rot because of all of the late-night sugar runs.
The mother decides to get back at her by taking her to the dentist to get her teeth extracted.
When Gypsy finally realized what was about to happen, she started to cry and tell her mother to stop the doctor.
After the procedure, Gypsy feels embarrassed but viewers can see the happiness and evil in Dee Dee’s eyes. This is just one of the various ways that Dee Dee manages to get revenge on Gypsy for attempting to go against her word.
There are points in the series where Gypsy tries to communicate with people other than her mother but fails.
On her 18th birthday, Dee Dee tries to get Gypsy to sign over her medical rights.
The fact that they were able to include details like this show just how evil Dee Dee was.
The camera angles used gave viewers a good idea of the setting and a better feel of the rural location they lived in.
Throughout the series, Dee Dee is so manipulative that even other people begin to believe her and her wicked ways.
The audience is able to see how far Dee Dee went to get money by using the sympathy of others.
Not only does she steal and manipulate, but also manages to teach her daughter how to do so.
King portrays Gypsy perfectly. She looks and sounds like the real Gypsy Blanchard, which adds a natural feel to the story.
She even had a replica of the glasses that Gypsy used in real life. King studied well for the role and in an interview mentions that she was nervous to audition for the part.
The people in charge of the set did a great job at making the house from the show look like the house that was really given to Dee Dee and Gypsy.
Arquette did an excellent job of portraying Dee Dee. Her acting was so believable because the audience is able to see her true intentions and how persuasive she is.
“The Act” gives viewers a closer look at the true story of Gypsy and Dee Dee Blanchard.
There are other portrayals of the story, but this seems to be the most accurate both visually and story wise.
Everyone involved did a great job at bringing this show and story to light. There are a total of eight episodes and all are available to watch on Hulu.