Ever since Ryan Murphy tossed his hat into the streaming ring, he’s garnered a fair amount of success on Netflix. His latest creation, titled Hollywood, takes on the golden era of Tinseltown and the sometimes-naive wannabe stars and starlets of the epoch.
Based in part on a 2012 tell-all by Scotty Bowers, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, and the 2017 documentary about Bowers, called Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, the Netflix series opens up with a gas station run by a silver-haired man with a sharp tongue named Ernie (played by Dylan McDermott), who offers a different type of “service” to the clients (famous and otherwise) who arrive at the Golden Tip.
This is just the entry point for Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood, which delvers further into the idea of Hollywood as a dream factory. The series, co-created with Ian Brennan and boasting episodes directed by Janet Mock, tells a semi-revisionist history of the post-World War II era and—according to the trailer—asks, what if you could rewrite the story?
Some of those gas station attendants—played by David Corenswet and Jeremy Pope—just so happen to have some big Hollywood dreams of their own, that don’t involve being a callboy to (fictional) famous studio executives. Patti LuPone, Holland Taylor, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier, Jim Parsons, Maude Apatow, and Samara Weaving star as the ambitious crew of aspiring stars, filmmakers, and studio executives, with some other special guests popping up along the way.
Appearances from some real-life figures, like Anna Mae Wong, Rock Hudson, Henry Willson, Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel, and George Cukor, also pop up throughout the seven episodes of the limited series which will debut on Netflix on May 1.