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As Halloween soon approaches, thrill seekers are on the prowl for the darkest and most suspenseful shows that will keep them on their toes for the rest of October. If you count yourself into this category of people, then Ratched is the show that you have been looking for.

The Ratched Netflix series is based on the villain in Ken Kesey’s novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. The villain, Nurse Ratched, was so maniacal and manipulative that she would enjoy the torture of her patients held in a psychiatric facility. To make things more interesting, Nurse Ratched was based on a real nurse Kesey had met while working at a psychiatric facility in Oregon. Fortunately, the character’s violent nature was exaggerated for theatrical effect. This novel was later made into the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which is now available on Netflix if you are looking for information on the character before or after you watch the series.

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This eight-episode first season attempts to give background behind why Nurse Ratched is so cruel. Was it her childhood? Is she cruel because she has never had a chance to love? Was she always a heartless person? All of these questions begin to be answered by producer Ian Brennan and Ryan Murphy. Murphy has also produced American Horror Story. The fascination for horror from Murphy’s work in AHS is now being transferred into the setting of the mentally ill. 

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Proceed with caution. This series is not for the faint of heart. The show does not dance around what led Nurse Ratched to become so dark as a villain. In fact, you will be front and center to some very graphic representations of inhumane surgeries and treatments of patients.

In Ratched, there are some very obvious color schemes playing a character all their own. The use of the colors is very telling of the story and is what sets this show apart from others. The series is covered in greens, blues, oranges, and reds. Greens were used to suggest several overarching themes: violence, oppression, lust, greed, envy. Reds pop up during times where there is a loss of control or violence. These colors are very telling of what’s to come as the series continues.

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As Season 1 closes there are many questions left unanswered. Fear not. Season 2 is just around the corner. What is to come? It will be interesting to see just how deep Nurse Ratched’s wounds lie. It is hard to imagine what could have amounted to the deep-rooted villain she becomes in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. 


Delaney is a journalism major with a certificate in sustainability at the University of Iowa. Her dream career is to become a Marine Biologist and advocate for the environment through research and writing. In her free time, she enjoys music, friends, and the occasional ice cream venture (Okay, maybe not so occasional).
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