There was, once upon a time, a -glorious- time when Ryan Murphy’s shows had a sense of cohesion and coherence. Characters were -more or less- taken seriuosly, narrative had -some- interest on putting story before shock value, and social statements were meant to tell something beyond the obvious.
It feels like so long ago when we first enjoyed Glee’s former season quirckness, or American Horror Story: Murder House’s simplicity. When characters depicted real-ish people and not cartoons of themselves.
How can we forget gleeful (sorry) charaters, as Rachel Berry, bare her soul with an anthem, without making a drama about it? How can we erase of our minds troubled individuals, such as Tate, managing the moral conundrums they always bump into, on American Horror Story: Murder House, without the constant need to make a blood bath about it? (there’s literally an episode named like that).
Nowadays, there’s not even a reminiscence left of what could’ve been Murphy’s (and Co.) path of glory. He, like every other director/writter/producer/entrepreneur that have had the opportunity to fly near the sun, fell off quickly. And I mean, really quickly.
And I get it, there’s really no easiest way to make it to the top than to be on everybody’s mind and conversations, I really do. But, in order to make great TV, the whole show has to be grounded onto something palpable, not onto one-liners, shock value moments or gruesome scenes.
At this day, theRyanverse is full of contradictions and incoherent displays. Therefore, it’s perfectly logical – and super funny- to mock people with disabilities in order to make a statement of not mocking people with disabilities (I know, right?) the same way is somewhat reasonable to victimize a not-so-helpless minority before giving a speech about the wrongs of unequal minority treatment.
You just have to take a look to his recent ouevres from, at least, the last five years to identify his distinguished blatant speech: Cheesy over the top nonsense looking for shock value to feed uncomfortably unconscious audiences.
Really, there’s no need to portray a series of appaling moments, on a tv show -as Murphy, clearly, tries to do on everyhting he touches- to keep an audience watching your show. I mean, yeah, it’s funny and quite fascinating to get a little startled, once in a while, with some disturbing scenes, but not on a daily basis and, surely, not in every sequence of your story.
No, Ryan, you don’t have to show us graphic scenes of a murderous doctor sawing the legs of an unfortunate prostitute to help us understand the consequences of violence, nor do you have to condemn drugs by showing us a junky being raped, after getting high, with a drill, by a faceless monster . It’s excesive, it’s tacky and it feels really worn out.
It only seems that these group of people are more concerned into making a perfect ‘gifable’ moment before a grounded, hell, decent story.
Yes, we live on that age when technology has surpassed us, but that doesn’t mean that our stories have to depend entirely on social media responses and conversational topics. Great stories are always made with the perfect combination between jawdropping moments and well written arcs.