Creator Study: Ryan Murphy

My love for Ryan Murphy runs deep, and is in truth largely to blame for the part of me that is dedicated to film and television, and also this blog. The mastery of his work can not be summed up into one claim, but if so it would be in his own words. “I create worlds,” claims Murphy, and therein lies the magic of his work. American Horror Story, Murphy’s anthology series, hooks viewers with its surprise plot lines and shockingly different stories each season. Every set of episodes is uniquely memorable and iconic in its authentic nature. The “worlds” that Murphy creates are ever changing and impossible to forget, some of which include Murder House, Coven, Hotel, and Roanoke. The creativity and originality of his mind is what makes him such an innovative creator. In the pilot season of American Horror Story, Murphy made viewers feel very real love for a school shooter, and if you think it doesn’t haunt me everyday, you are wrong my friend. I’m down for medical dramas and presidential love affairs any day, but Lady Gaga in bedazzled pasties, draining people of blood during a foursome is something only Murphy can do. Watching any of his shows is truly an experience, and while you are absorbing an hour of cinema brought to your living room, you are being indoctrinated with real-world issues and relevant messages. While his projects may be bloody, messy, and choreographed, he has managed to inject his storylines with relevant issues such as suicide, transgender rights, misogyny, rape culture, sexuality, and more. The creator’s rendition of a legal phenomenon came in the form of American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson, which gave a detailed account of the case while also giving context to race relations in the US and their effect on the verdict. Murphy’s latest project Feud: Bette and Joan is based on the hostile relationship between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during and after the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? However, this anthology is not simply a biopic series about Davis and Crawford. Within the perfectly edited scenes and dialogue, rests a deeper message about the role of women in Hollywood, and their power as a united force versus when they are pinned against each other. For much of history, society has fueled itself off of women hating other women and female rivalry, but power and strength lay in unity. A season two of Feud has already been ordered and announced and will take shape in the form of Feud: Charles and Diana, which will likely take on a slightly less comedic tone but continue to captivate the nation. I’m aware this is not 2012 and “fandoms” are old, weird news, but Murphy keeps the spirit alive with his merry band of not-so-misfits. Half of the fun of following Murphy and his projects is knowing who we will see on screen, but not how we will see them. What look will Sarah Paulson be sporting for AHS7? Will Evan Peters give the viewers what they want and strip down again? Does Jessica Lange ever stop slaying? Stay tuned to find out.

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