The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story - Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:29 pm
The Producers Guild Awards was today (Saturday). Congrats to Ryan and the other producers of ACS Versace!
Gold Derby wrote:
PGA Awards predictions: Best Limited Series will be a cakewalk for ‘Versace’
January 18, 2019
“Versace,” . . . has swept the limited series/TV movie prizes so far, claiming the Emmy, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award. A victory would also make the “American Crime Story” anthology series the second program with multiple wins in the category, following its FX brethren “Fargo” (2015-16); “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” similarly dominated the season two years ago.
ACS Versace is now on Netflix!
‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ Is Now on Netflix
Jan. 18, 2019
Netflix has just landed one of the most critically praised dramas of last year. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Ryan Murphy’s ode to the notorious fashion designer who was murdered far too soon, is now streaming.
[ . . . ]
. . . The series aptly side-steps any simple characterizations or cheap plot twists when it comes to this layered story. Every moment, from when Andrew Cunanan first pulls the trigger on the legendary Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez), to nine episodes later when he turns the gun on himself, is treated with solemnity. Under Murphy and his executive production team of Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Scott Alexander, and Larry Karaszewski, the series somberly depicts the poisons of systematic homophobia. The true horror and sorrow of this series don’t have anything to do with its unhinged killer. It comes from the fact that Andrew Cunanan and the crimes he committed were entirely stoppable, yet no one was paying attention to the community that needed help the most.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace is indisputably one of the most powerful, emotional, and gorgeous projects Murphy and his team have ever produced. And since it’s already won 20 awards to date including seven Emmys and two Golden Globes, it’s a series that absolutely needs to be your weekend binge. Throw it on and get ready for Finn Wittrock to break your heart.
Very nice article about Ryan's career.
Why 2018 Felt Like the Closing of a Chapter for Ryan Murphy
January 17, 2019
2018 was, by all measures, a huge year for TV producer Ryan Murphy. Creatively, he reached some of his peaks, with American Crime Story‘s season on the death of Gianni Versace producing some of the best, most affecting work of his TV career; with Pose breaking all kinds of ground for trans representation on TV, and with a most unlikely hit in 9-1-1 on FOX. But it was behind the scenes where Murphy made his biggest headlines. In February, Murphy inked a five-year deal with Netflix that was reportedly worth upwards of $300 million, the priciest deal in TV history. The deal enhanced Netflix’s reputation — with Murphy and Shonda Rhimes in their stable, Netflix has essentially locked up the two most influential TV creators of the current era — while also setting Murphy’s reputation at the very top of the mountain.
Murphy’s Netflix era hasn’t begun to bear fruit yet — though he’s announced projects The Politician (starring Brad Pitt and co-created with his Glee cohorts Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan) and Ratched (a villain-centric remake of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) — but what we did get were three Murphy-produced seasons on FX last year that, when seen as a whole, served as a perfect swan song to the years he’s spent with the network, starting with Nip/Tuck premiered in 2003. Starting with The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, continuing with Pose over the summer, and concluding with the 8th season of American Horror Story, subtitled “Apocalypse,” this trio of shows might have been the perfect way for Murphy to go out with a bang.
With The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Murphy may well have reached his creative peak. This limited series had almost everything Murphy’s work has been circling around all this time: an obsession with fame and glamour, stomach-turning violence, and a surprising resonance about the role that anti-gay prejudice plays (and played) in America. With a structure (so often Murphy’s bugaboo) provided by screenwriter Tom Rob Smith, Versace was able to move back in time from Andrew Cunanan killing Versace through a parallel examination of their lives and how a society steeped in institutional homophobia set them both on a collision course towards each other.
Versace alone could have been Murphy’s mic-drop at FX, leaving on the highest of high notes (Versace went on to win Emmy and Golden Globe Awards). But in June came one of his most daring shows to date. Pose looked back to the lives and experiences of the queer — and mostly queer people of color — community in New York City in the mid-’80s, and in particular the house balls that influenced everybody from RuPaul to Madonna. In producing the series, and using his clout to make sure that the cast would include queer and trans performers, Murphy used his fame and fortune in order to better his community and the greater LGBTQ+ community. And in co-producing the series with creator Steven Canals, Murphy put some power into the hands of a talent who needed a boost, putting the reins of this newly buzzy show in the hands of the man who pitched it to him in the first place.
But that sense of completion for Ryan Murphy wasn’t truly present until American Horror Story aired its 8th season and, in a surprise twist, it turned into a continuation of season 3’s wildly popular “Coven” storyline. Even better, Murphy wrote in an episode-long revisiting of season 1’s “Murder House” (complete with Jessica Lange reprising her Emmy-winning role as Constance Langdon). Apocalypse was a wild and crazy gift to the fans who were there for Murder House and Coven, back when American Horror Story was a daring cable-TV experiment, not a television institution. Not only did the season have a reunion vibe, but the greater storyline was about the actual end of the world. There were themes on themes, just waiting for Murphy to announce that he was stepping away from his FX projects.
Except … he didn’t. Because he’s not. Not yet, anyway. The Netflix series are beginning production, but we’re also in for at least two more American Horror Story seasons, and Pose is gearing up for their second season as well. And thus far, Ryan Murphy has shown no interest in leaving either show (nor the currently-dormant-but-could-revive-at-any-time American Crime Story and Feud series). Does this mean Murphy is setting himself up to be spread incredibly thin between two platforms and at least five shows? Or is he just the most productive television professional working today? It’s important to note that Murphy has never worked alone. He partnered with Falchuk and Brennan on Glee, with Falchuk and Tim Minear on American Horror Story, with Falchuk and Canals on Pose, and with Minear again on 9-1-1. American Crime Story has been a co-production with Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, with each season featuring its own head writers (Tom Rob Smith on Versace; Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski on O.J. Simpson). If any TV empire is situated to stay standing after its top dog walks away, it’s Murphy’s.
Either way, the future for Ryan Murphy is Netflix, not FX. And if you’re looking for a year that put a fitting capper on his FX past, it was 2018.
One year ago "the Man Who Would Be Vogue aired
The murder of Gianni Versace turns the eyes of the world onto Miami Beach.
Listen to Vanity Fair’s “Still Watching: Versace” review of episode 1 along with an interview with Ricky Martin
The Daily Beast wrote:A hypnotizing, wordless first act, backed by a rousing string-heavy score, gives a Shakespearean start to the whole endeavor, echoed, of course, in the horror of the murder by gunshot that left Versace bleeding to death at the front gate of his home in 1997. - The Daily Beast
TV Guide wrote:Murphy delights in showing monsters up close, as he does in American Horror Story, but he’s most poignant when he probes how real-life monsters became that way. The Assassination of Gianni Versace allows Murphy to do what he does best: make viewers understand — but not empathize — with the devil. And only Murphy could achieve the delicate balance of vilifying a person without vilifying an entire culture — exactly what kept the case from having the same kind of cultural impact that O.J. had. That long overdue impact can now finally occur in Murphy’s dramatic retelling. - TV Guide
Garage wrote:Ryan Murphy’s latest season of his pop procedural anthology, American Crime Story, covers the 1997 shooting of Versace in nine fifty-minute episodes; and yet so un-boring is the pilot that we see the murder seven minutes in. The twinky killer, Andrew Cunanan, is a fantasist played with a cold and twitchily unreal demeanor by the android-perfect Darren Criss. Introduced as an unreliable narrator, then a Ripley-esque savant at social climbing, he creates two big impressions: one in a scene that shows him covering his mouth in a pantomime of horror when he’s really smiling, and another that’s a bona fide showcase for his ass. He’s closeted around his straight friends, gay around his gay friends, and completely unashamed to say out loud that his objective is to “tell people whatever they need to hear”—a primo marker for a sociopath. - Garage
Yahoo wrote:“The Man Who Would Be Vogue” was quite simply one of the best first-episodes of a show I’ve seen in a while. Relying on sweeping visuals over dialogue, and allowing gaudiness to exist beside sincerity, it gripped me right away. While we know this is not a happy story and it doesn’t end particularly well, it does feel as important and timely as ever, much like its predecessor The People v. O.J. Simpson. It remains to be seen whether this season will catch on with viewers and critics like that one did, but either way it’s hard not to be grateful for something this special. - Yahoo
Horror News Network wrote:
The performers of The Assassination of Gianni Versace are all acting at the top of their game. Just like how The People v. O.J. showed us actors and actresses in a new and interesting light, Assassination captures the spirit of Versace’s loving sister and business partner, Donatella, through a strong performance by Penelope Cruz. Musician Ricky Martin acted in Argentinian television programs at the start of his career, and his appearance in Assassination is enough to make you think he never left the craft. Darren Criss is versatile in his intense portrayal of serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The first episode shifts between a couple of different moments in time, and Criss’ Cunanan is sometimes enigmatic, sometimes detestable, and always engaging. In one moment he shares with Ramirez’ Versace, I could have sworn he was channeling Christian Bale’s portrayal of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. And that’s one of the major things that sets Assassination apart from O.J.: it’s clear that Assassination will be spending much more time inside of the suspect’s head. In O.J. there were so many fascinating characters and so many unusual things going on that we often only viewed Cuba Gooding Jr.’s O.J. from other characters’ perspectives. Trust me: Assassination is not lacking in fascinating characters, but it does seem to be taking much more time to dwell on the actions of Cunanan than O.J. ever did with, well, O.J. - Horror News Network
Den of Geek wrote:Penelope Cruz, who is apparently a friend of Donatella’s and has her blessing, has a tall order to serve. First, the voice. Anyone who knows anything about Donatella Versace knows that her distinct looks comes with an equally distinct accent. Cruz has to play it believably, without dipping into caricature or being so true to life that the audience can’t understand her. Second, she finds herself playing the day to day villain for much of this. She’s the one who dislikes the boyfriend that we’ve all fallen in love with after the cops are so rude to him. She’s the one who cancels the IPO. She’s the one with a sizeable reputation preceding her. And yet, Cruz’s Donatella comes across as powerful, stricken, at a lost, and completely unwilling to lose an inch of her brother’s legacy. - Den of Geek
Vulture wrote:Seriously, though, this first episode of Versace is absolutely gorgeous. Just think about all of the lush images that pop out of the screen like an IMAX version of a Vogue issue. There’s the elegant pool of the opera singer’s sequin dress as she belts on stage. There’s Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez), delicately sipping his espresso from a black gilded cup, shot from above so his breakfast table is just off center of the Medusa logo that he made famous. There’s the hollow chime of crystal champagne flutes clinking together on the set at the opera. There’s Gianni’s sister Donatella (Penélope Cruz), with that famous platinum hair and doorknocker of a nose standing at the top of a little portico. And let us not forget that perfect peach emoji of an ass as Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) strides into his roommate’s husband’s closet to steal a suit. - Vulture
Telegraph UK wrote:Season two, by contrast, packs a gilded punch. The first episode bounces between the slaying of Versace to his first encounter, in a San Fransisco gay club, with Cunanan. The future killer is a Walter Mitty-like social climber whose life is wallpapered with so many habitual lies it’s unclear whether even he knows truth from fiction. Preppy of manner and soulless of gaze, he gives Murphy something the Simpson case lacked – an unambiguous villain scary even when he isn’t shooting dead international fashion designers. - Telegraph UK
Decider wrote:But there’s pain in Andrew, too. Recall how he screams into the ocean water during his pre-slaying swim, how he vomits into a public toilet as he works up the nerve to pull the trigger. When he bullshits his way into Versace’s presence and winds up attending the opera for which he’s the costume designer, the music moves him to tears. After the show, he clearly wants to believe all the kind, supportive things Gianni is saying about him as they hang out on stage together. (And there’s every reason to believe Gianni means every word, him being such a mensch.) Andrew sucks people in with lies and sucks life out of his resulting proximity to wealth, glamour, sex, and power to fill a hole in his heart, yes, but his heart really does exist. He’s a vacuum, not a void. It’s a subtle distinction, but so far it seems to be a crucial one. - Decider
Paste Magazine wrote:It is, rather, a bold, ambitious, riveting wrestling match between cultural shame and communal pride, in which glittering wedding gowns and glossy magazines, club hits and tank tops, are emblems for which we choose the meaning, just as we might choose to adopt as our own that unutterable word, that unforgivable commonplace, that useful descriptor—that reclamation. As the designer says of the “Versace bride,” preparing for a fashion show, “She won’t be dainty. She won’t be timid. She will be proud and strong.” I realize now, upon finishing what may be Murphy’s riskiest and most radiant gambit to date, that as I grow older, and more comfortable in my own skin, I’m not only able to hear the sentiment, but also to identify with it. - Paste Magazine (warning for slurs)
Other Links wrote:
Ricky Martin on ACS: Versace, Coming Out, and ‘Normalizing’ Open Relationships
Yahoo Entertainment’s meme recap
ACS Versace Soundtrack and Score Spotify Playlist
Fandom score: 9.255
Episode rank: #5
Behind the Scenes