Ryan Murphy has created some of the greatest TV shows of all time. "Glee," "American Crime Story," "The Normal Heart," the list goes on. A Dutch angle here, a pop culture reference there, Murphy’s shows always have artistic value and are highly entertaining.
Murphy, an IU alumnus, won an Emmy on Sept. 17 for outstanding directing for the "Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story", so let’s revisit some of his best television work.
Murphy grew up in Indianapolis, and while attending the University he worked at the Indiana Daily Student as an opinion and arts and entertainment editor. He graduated in 1988 with a degree in journalism.
After graduating, he went on to work on "Glee," "The Normal Heart" and "American Crime Story."
"Glee" was a triumph of a television show. With comedy, music and drama, it hit every bar, exceeded every expectation, made every TV-watching American want to jump off their couch, grab a microphone and belt their heart out to their crush.
The show followed the glee club at William McKinley High School and starred Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and a fantastic ensemble cast. As a group of students all fitting into different cliques at their school, or not fitting in at all, they all had one thing in common — they loved to perform. Dancing, singing and putting on a show was what brought these kids together but also sometimes drove them apart.
The characters were compelling but the dialogue was so quick and witty it pushed boundaries for representation of LGBTQ+ characters on cable TV. This is the type of show that I would've watched if it went on forever.
In addition to his Emmy on Monday, Murphy's HBO film “The Normal Heart” won the Emmy for outstanding television movie in 2014. The film surrounds an HIV advocacy group and its founder Ned Weeks, played by Mark Ruffalo, during the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 80's. It's a poignant look at true events that went unnoticed for too long.
"American Crime Story" also makes for compelling television. Another anthology series that changes every season, "ACS" has covered infamous narratives like the trial of O.J. Simpson and the assassination of Gianni Versace. The scripted series shows the character’s personal lives in great detail, something that viewers of news cycles about these stories would’ve never known about.
"The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" followed the story of Andrew Cunanan, played by Darren Criss, after he he shot famed fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997 outside his home in Miami Beach.
Throughout his career, Murphy has pushed the boundaries of what TV audiences expect from their programming. And from the looks of this year's awards season and his recent $300 million creative deal with Netflix, he's not stopping anytime soon.
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