Ratched Season 1 Primer: Everything to know before you watch


Ryan Murphy’s latest project Ratched season 1 debuts tomorrow on Netflix. Here’s everything you need to know before diving into the show!

From the wicked minds of Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan comes the suspenseful new drama series Ratched season 1, starring long-time Murphy collaborator Sarah Paulson in the titular role of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched. If that name sounds familiar, it should; the show functions as a prequel series to the iconic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Set in 1947, Mildred starts her new job at a psychiatric hospital in Northern California, where disturbing experiments conducted on patients is the norm. At first, Mildred seems like the ideal nurse, but it soon becomes apparent that she has a dark, underlying motivation for being at that hospital.

Ratched season 1: What should you watch or read before the show begins?

Since Ratched is a prequel series, you don’t need to watch or read anything beforehand, but if you are inclined to learn more about the unforgettable, villainous Nurse Ratched, you could watch the classic 1975 film starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher (the original Ratched). Netflix is conveniently streaming One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest right now! The film is based on the novel of the same name by Ken Kesey if you’re interested in checking that out.

Ratched season 1: A list of cast members and who they play

  • Sarah Paulson​ ​plays​ Mildred Ratched
  • Judy Davis ​plays​ Betsy Bucket
  • JonJon Briones plays​ Dr. Richard Hanover
  • Cynthia Nixon ​plays​ Gwendolyn Briggs
  • Finn Wittrock​ p​lays​ Edmund Tolleson
  • Sharon Stone ​plays​ Lenore Osgood
  • Brandon Flynn​ plays Henry Osgood
  • Charlie Carver​ ​plays H​uck Finnegan
  • Alice Englert ​p​lays​ Dolly
  • Vincent D’Onofrio​​ plays​ Gov. George Wilburn
  • Corey Stoll ​plays​ Charles Wainwright
  • Amanda Plummer​​ plays​ Louise
  • Sophie Okonedo​ ​plays​ Charlotte Wells

Ratched season 1: How many episodes? What is the runtime?

Ratched consists of eight 60-minute episodes in total. Some episodes are likely a little shorter/a few minutes longer.

The episodes are as follows:

  • Episode 1 – “Pilot”
  • Episode 2 – “Ice Pick”
  • Episode 3 – “Angel of Mercy”
  • Episode 4 – “Angel of Mercy: Part Two:
  • Episode 5 – “The Dance”
  • Episode 6 – “Got No Strings”
  • Episode 7 – “The Bucket List”
  • Episode  8 –  “Mildred and Edmund”

Ratched season 1: What are critics saying?

Ratched is not being reviewed favorably by critics. Thus far, critics have labeled it “wretched,” “a stylistic mishmash,” and “a crazy misfire.” Yikes.

It’s not exactly being bestowed with the typical critical acclaim Murphy’s used to with his previous projects American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud, or Pose. That said, at least there is one thing we can always anticipate from a Murphy show — style, gorgeous visuals, excellent performances, and lots of camp.

Odds are, if you’ve enjoyed his previous shows, you’ll find something to like here even if it doesn’t become your favorite new series. Plus, as October inches closer, many of us are just itching for something new and spooky — especially since we still have a few weeks before The Haunting of Bly Manor releases.

Also, I will note that not all of the reviews are bad. Dread Central favorably compared Murphy’s work in Ratched to director Alfred Hitchcock and TV Guide wrote that the show “works very well as a moody, sensual thriller.”

The reviewer for the Observer added that while Ratched “feels disconnected and disjointed from its own source material,” it “serves up enough salacious appetizers to whet the appetite for more.”

Will Ratched return for season 2?

Yes! Netflix ordered two seasons when they picked up the series to order. Assuming season 1 doesn’t bomb and the pandemic doesn’t cause Netflix to un-renew the show, fans should anticipate a new season down the line.

According to What’s On Netflix, Murphy has said he foresees the storyline of Ratched lasting for up to four seasons with Mildred facing off against a new enemy in each one and the final season blending into the story of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

dark. Next. Away Season 2: Plot details, release date, and more

All eight episodes of Ratched season 1 will stream on Netflix beginning on Sept. 18, at 12:01 a.m. PST.