[As the headline of this article would suggest, we are going to be discussing the ending of Netflix’s Hollywood. If you haven’t watched the ending, you should probably exit this post because there are SPOILERS! AHEAD!]
If you’ve been hanging indoors this weekend, watching Netflix’s Hollywood instead of interacting with other people, welcome to the club. As you probably know by now, the show follows a group of aspiring Hollywood people as they try to make it in an industry that is often unkind to basically everyone. The show is a fun ride, with amazing costumes, really pretty people, and lots of drama to keep you busy. It’s also one of those “rewrite history” narratives, and we’re here to explain exactly what happened with the ending, in case you’re confused.
A quick plot synopsis
The seven episodes follow all the characters as they work together to create a movie like no one’s ever seen before. The film is financed by a female studio head, features a Black actress in the lead role, the director is half Filipino, the script comes from a gay Black man, I could keep going. It pretty much breaks every backwards rule society had at the time, and the end result is amazing. It’s crazy how when you put diverse voices into a project, the final product is better! Who would have thought?!Related StoryThe Problem With ‘Hollywood’s’ Fantasy
The actual ending
The season concludes with the characters attending the Oscars, where they’ve been nominated for like… basically everything. They sweep almost every category they’re nominated in, and they are the stars of the show. For some of them, the ceremony means claiming their place in Hollywood. Camille, for example, asserts her right to be in a predominantly white space by attending the ceremony in the first place, and Rock and Archie walk the red carpet as an openly gay couple. It’s crazy, and inspiring!Related Story‘Hollywood’ Only Tells Part of Rock Hudson’s Story
So… what does it all mean?
At first, when I was watching the finale, I thought I was watching a dream sequence. I mean, how is it possible that in 1940s Hollywood, a movie like that would actually get the recognition it deserves when that still doesn’t happen today? But the show is supposed to make you think about representation in film, and what Hollywood would be like now if society had broken down some of its barriers earlier on. How many voices would we see on our screens now that never could have been there before? It makes you grieve for all the people who should have had a chance to tell their story and didn’t. This is how creator Ryan Murphy described it in the press materials for the show:
We learn life lessons from what we see on the screen. We learn how to act, how to fall in love, how to forge friendships, make enemies. It gets into our permeable membranes. Hollywood has always been a great, great teacher for me, and I think this show offers a world we need to be reminded of — a place where the good guys win and a new day is dawning. At its core, that’s what this show is about: happy ending.
And Janet Mock, and executive producer on the show, put it this way:
Because today, we’re still grappling with an industry where there are far too few people of color on screen, far too few LGBTQ people and women in power. We wanted to show what Hollywood could be today if, back in the 1940s, a movie like Meg had been made and rewarded. It would have reverberated and pushed culture forward in the same way that Black Panther and Moonlight have. But still, even now, we deal with two steps forward, five steps back.