"The Act" is the latest true crime anthology series to take the Internet by storm. The Hulu series tells the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother Dee Dee Blanchard. Dee Dee suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychiatric disorder that caused her to convince her daughter, Gypsy, that she had severe and debilitating illnesses and disabilities.
The series toggle back and forth between Dee Dee and Gypsy moving after Hurricane Katrina to finding Dee Dee stabbed to death in her own bed in 2015.
Joey King takes on the role of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and is the first reason why I believe this is one of the best true crime stories ever made. If Joey King needed anything to prove her serious acting capabilities, this was it.
Dee Dee convinced many people (including Gypsy) that in addition to being physically handicapped, Gypsy also had the intellect of a seven-year-old. This was another one of Dee Dee's fabricated lies used to deceive Gypsy and keep her dependent.
Joey King mastered this role and Gypsy's true intellect beautifully, In just the first three episodes, you can see the character develop and begin discovering that what she thought was reality may all be a lie.
Another aspect of this series that I believe sets apart "The Act" from other true crime documentaries is the story itself. Most true crime stories are victim-centered or perpetrator-centered. "The Act" combines these two. You get to see the development of Dee Dee and her mindset while committing these crimes and you also get to see Gypsy's transformation from the docile young child she was forced to be into a young girl yearning to be an independent adult.
The third reason that I believe "The Act" surpasses other true crime anthologies is the subtle horror of the story itself. The majority of the series does not feature murder, gore or jump scares. The most horrifying part of the story is the fact that her own mother is the reason she had to endure this immense amount of torture. Everything Gypsy knew as reality had been fabricated and manipulated by her own mother.
All of these elements combine to create one of the greatest true crime stories to come out of the growing genre. I personally cannot wait for the rest of the series to air.