Hulu's new series, The Act, tells the shocking true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, who is currently serving out a 10-year prison sentence for the 2015 stabbing death of her mother, Dee Dee. The nature of the crime — and all that led to it — lends itself to many questions, but you might also be curious about the title. Why is The Act called the act, exactly? Gypsy's story may be the first of many the show will explore.
According to Deadline, The Act is "a seasonal anthology series that tells startling, stranger-than-fiction true crime stories." It's created by Nick Antosca and Michelle Dean, and Season 1 is based on Dean's 2016 BuzzFeed article, "Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered," which introduced Gypsy's story to a wide audience. The "act" in Season 1 is likely referring to Dee Dee's death, which was orchestrated by Gypsy and carried out by her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn, who who was convicted for the murder in November and sentenced to life in prison in February.
The case has been given the documentary treatment before — both with HBO's Mommy Dead And Dearest and Investigation Discovery's Gypsy's Revenge — but the Hulu show is a dramatized take. If successful, The Act will have the chance to explore other true crime stories on-screen.
The focus of a second season — or if there even will be a second season — has not yet been announced, but there's no shortage of material for The Act to draw from. Perhaps Antosca and Dean will return to the well of HBO true crime documentaries and dramatize Beware The Slenderman or There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane. Maybe they'll take on the story of Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, as chronicled in Netflix's 2018 docuseries Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist, or perhaps they'll take on the truly stranger than fiction tale of Jan Broberg's kidnapping seen in Abducted In Plain Sight. Considering how inundated the TV and film industry has been with true crime, not to mention the regular stream of news stories, there are basically infinite possibilities.
Whatever they land on next, The Act is in capable hands. Dean is an established journalist who's written for The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other outlets, while horror fans may recognize Antosca's name from his time writing on the short-lived and much-beloved NBC series Hannibal. He also worked on the frightening SyFy original series Channel Zero, which brought internet-based horror stories to life with some of television's most terrifying imagery. So while Dean knows how to weave together a compelling, fact-based narrative, Antosca knows how to tell a scary story on-screen — the perfect team for a series focused on dramatizing true crime tales.
We likely won't know if The Act will return for Season 2 until after its premiere, or what a second season will be about until some time after that, but its ambiguous name leaves the door wide open for new material.