Nurse Ratched, of course, is one of the nastiest characters in cinema history, iconically played by Louise Fletcher in 1975 classic One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. A twisted, mean-spirited tyrant,
she exercises near-absolute power over the mental patients’ access to medications, privileges, and basic necessities such as food and toiletries. She capriciously revokes these privileges whenever a patient displeases her. Her superiors turn a blind eye because she maintains order, keeping the patients from acting out, either through antipsychotic drugs or her own brand of psychotherapy, which consists mostly of humiliating patients into doing her bidding.
Over the years, “being a Nurse Ratched” has become a popular metaphor for the corrupting influence of authority in bureaucracies such as the mental institution in which the novel is set.
But why was she such a stone-cold bitch? The movie (and book) never really explains. She merely exists to thwart the patients at every turn.
Now Ryan Murphy (collective groan) (and biiiiiiig red flag) has decided to give her a backstory. Sarah Paulson (who else?) will star as the nasty nurse in the new Netflix series, Ratched. It will trace her origin story starting in 1947 from nurse to full-fledged monster. The series will track her murderous progression through the mental health care system. Two seasons (eighteen episodes) have already been ordered and production begins next year. Michael Douglas (who produced the original movie, remember) is executive producing. Which is vaguely promising.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) September 6, 2017
Will you be watching?
(Top photo: Pacific Coast News; Nurse Ratched description via Wikipedia)