After six seasons of the ever-popular American Horror Story and a highly praised, critically acclaimed first season of American Crime Story, Ryan Murphy‘s latest FX project, Feud: Bette and Joan, debuted Sunday.
This dramatization of the famed rivalry between silver screen legends Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) has looked like a visual feast in the previews and fans were duly excited.
— Bob's Clutch (@BobsClutch1) March 6, 2017
I saw All About Eve in the theaters today and now watching Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. All ready for tonight's Feud. #FeudFX
— Liam_Padraic (@GGMcClanahan) March 6, 2017
Like, seriously excited.
— Vanessa Clark (@FoxxyGlamKitty) March 6, 2017
— Ashley Daniels (@AshleyDaniels) March 6, 2017
— Jill Grunenwald (@Jill_Grun) March 6, 2017
in what world does catherine zeta-jones look like olivia de havilland #FeudFX
— em (@yrdreamgrrrl) March 6, 2017
Very puzzled by the Catholivia deZetaJonesilland accent. #FeudFX
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) March 6, 2017
Apparently casting Catherine Zeta-Jones to play Olivia de Havilland was comic relief. #FeudFX
— Laurie Crosswell 🌞 (@lauriecrosswell) March 6, 2017
But viewers were over the moon for co-leads Lange and Sarandon.
— Kelli Asherman (@mssweet666) March 6, 2017
— Chris Nicoletti (@ChristoferNic) March 6, 2017
— Angie E. Morris (@TheMBAMoms) March 6, 2017
Susan Sarandon as Bette is perfect casting #FeudFX
— Jennifer Ann (@Paper_Heart_Jen) March 6, 2017
— Nicole Bennett (@910nikkimo) March 6, 2017
Kathy Bates made me think Blondell is still alive. #FeudFX
— Harold Itzkowitz (@HaroldItz) March 6, 2017
— ㅤ (@blutjeans) March 6, 2017
The shade thrown between Crawford and Davis was especially delicious. They were not ones to mince words and neither are Murphy and FX.
The fact that Bette keeps calling Joan by her birth name, Lucille, is abundant shade. #FeudFX (and it's tacky) lol
— Shar Jones (@SharSaysSo) March 6, 2017
— Jalen F. Chapman (@ThatsSooJalen) March 6, 2017
"Who is it?"
"You're fucking kidding me."
I'm in love.#FeudFX
— Draper Harlow (@Drapervich) March 6, 2017
— JSun (@JessHSun) March 6, 2017
In fact, the swearing was one of the most tweeted-about topics during the premiere.
— Alexa Branco (@alexa_branco) March 6, 2017
To this day, the c-word is the only word unable to be mentioned on the BBC. Everything else is a go. #FeudFX
— vbspurs (@vbspurs) March 6, 2017
— Shannon (@Shanny2875) March 6, 2017
It was hard to tell what fans liked more, the F-bombs or the fashion.
The set design is amazing. As is wardrobe. #FeudFX
— Lisa Lisa💃🏻🌈 (@gspmona) March 6, 2017
— Tom + Lorenzo® (@tomandlorenzo) March 6, 2017
— Head Over Feels (@HeadOverFeels) March 6, 2017
The costumes alone have already won 6 Emmys #FeudFX
— Kiana (@MissKianaO) March 6, 2017
— Joey Moser (@JoeyMoser83) March 6, 2017
— Cyn (@Cyn190) March 6, 2017
But the writing and visuals aside, Murphy, Lange, and Sarandon have all said that the sexism and ageism in Feud is still alive and well in Hollywood, and that’s what the show is really about.
“What happened when the beauty is no longer viable?” Lange posited to the TCA winter press tour in January. “What we’ve tried to do [in Feud] is not see just the overall milieu of Hollywood, but what happens to women when they become less than important.”
That running theme was not lost on viewers.
These conversations are still being had in Hollywood today, in the exact same way #FeudFX
— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) March 6, 2017
#FeudFX shows dichotomy of women needing each other & also being tempted to tear each other down given the limited space allowed to them.
— amanda burfiend (@amandaafarensis) March 6, 2017
That's the thing, guys: take away the vitriol, and you are left with two women who admired the hell outta each other's craft. #FeudFX
— vbspurs (@vbspurs) March 6, 2017
— Joy Puder (@JoyPuder) March 6, 2017
— Camp FEUD: A TV show (@campfeud) March 6, 2017
This feud is more tragic than it is anything else. Women v Women. Pitted against each other due to a lack of role availability. #FeudFX
— sundayzed (@SunbearSmith) March 6, 2017
Oh my God, they're seriously trying to make the story about the younger women? 🙄 #FeudFX
— hannah (@cathlintons) March 6, 2017
Overall, the reactions were largely positive. It sounds like there are a lot of tweeters ready to take up the mantle for Team Bette or Team Joan every week.
Wow #FeudFX is actually good, wasn't expecting this
— Ⓜ️ickey (@HeyItsMickey14) March 6, 2017
— Jenn (@JLyn2331) March 6, 2017
— traceyhermann (@tmkemps) March 6, 2017
They’re even predicting a real-life “feud” over who is going to win the Emmy for the show.
— Whoria Trevi (@sexidance) March 6, 2017
Someone want to go ahead and engrave Jessica Lange's name on an Emmy ward ? It will save some time later. #FeudFX
— gene vestal (@cleangene3) March 6, 2017
Can't wait for the feud between Sarandon and Lange over who wins the Emmy next year. So far: Sarandon. @FeudFX
— LarryvilleLife (@larryvillelife) March 6, 2017
Feud: Bette and Joan airs Sundays at 10/9C on FX