Roush Review: 'The Act' Is Riveting, Twisted & As Sick As It Sounds

Matt Roush
Review Brownie Harris / Hulu

Don't be shocked if Patricia Arquette competes against herself at the Emmys in a face-off of two memorably dowdy and ultimately pathetic villains: deceptive prison employee Tilly Mitchell from Showtime's Escape at Dannemora and now demented mommy ogre Dee Dee Blanchard in Hulu's new true-crime anthology The Act.

The riveting and increasingly twisted scenario plays like What Ever Happened to Baby Gypsy? as overbearing Dee Dee infantalizes her teenage daughter Gypsy (a remarkable Joey King), falsely presenting her to the public as a disabled, needy Disney princess.

'The Act': Patricia Arquette & Joey King 'Get at All the Emotions' in Hulu's True-Crime Anthology

'The Act': Patricia Arquette & Joey King 'Get at All the Emotions' in Hulu's True-Crime Anthology

The true-crime anthology tells the story of an unhinged mother and daughter.

What the desperately clingy Dee Dee doesn't count on is Gypsy's own restless and deceptive nature, which leads her to reach out secretly online for sexual connection with another damaged soul (Calum Worthy as born loser Nick) — one who would do anything, maybe even murder, to be with her.

Yes, it's all as sick as it sounds. 

The Act, Series Premiere, Wednesday, March 20, Hulu