Last night I finally watched episode #1 of Feud: Bette and Joan, and I was suddenly transformed into an old-school gay guy…laughing and chuckling and revelling in the tempest and the claws…the flamboyant bitchiness of two proud but faded Hollywood snapdragons (Bette Davis, Joan Crawford) and their intense loathing (and suppressed mutual pity) for each other during the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?…flared nostrils, arched eyebrows, daggers, saber teeth…a series about the fear of oblivion, a fear that begins to haunt everyone at a certain age. Each and every performance is just right and spot on…Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon flick their tongues as Crawford and Davis (who were 58 and 54, respectively, when Baby Jane was shot in mid ’62) and hold back just enough to keep the tone from tipping into camp…Alfred Molina is perfect as Robert Aldrich (whom I met during the ’82 press junket for All The Marbles), portraying a guy who’s genuinely scared about career slippage but nonetheless able to get down and sharpen his game…Stanley Tucci‘s Jack L. Warner is a hoot and a howl (the Baby Jane deal-negotiation scene with Molina is an instant classic)…the under-used Judy Davis is hilarious as Hedda Hopper…the only not-quite-right note is an all-but-unrecognizable Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia De Havilland.