Why 'American Crime Story' is so much better than 'American Horror Story'

Die volgende bevat spoilers oor “Amerikaanse horrorverhaal: Double Feature.

The premiere of “Beskuldiging: American Crime Story juxtaposed with latest edition of “Amerikaanse horrorverhaal” provides a stark demonstration of why the first of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series formats is so much better than the second — naamlik, because planting a foot in real-life events, however salacious, helps curb the producer’s more distasteful excesses.

The requirements of presenting material based on a true story imposes a degree of discipline thatHorror Storyhas lacked from the get-go. And while the show doesn’t hide its gruesome marching orders — “gruwel” is in the title, na alles — the fact we’re up to a 10th season might explain why Murphy and his collaborators keep trying to outdo themselves, in occasionally hard-to-stomach ways.
While a lot of people obviously enjoy the show, “American Horror Story’slatest installment, subtitledDouble Feature,” is an especially grisly iteration of the formula. As daar iets is, the vampire-tinged plotwith writers essentially selling their souls and becoming bloodsuckers (not a subtle metaphor) in their hunger for successreflects the franchise’s worst instincts, both in its derivative touches and gratuitous gore, particularly with a subplot that involves the daughter of the central couple.
    Ryan Kiera Armstrong plays the central couple's young daughter in 'Amerikaanse horrorverhaal: Double Feature' (Frank Ockenfels/FX).

    American Horror Story’shas a questionable history of combining sexual imagery and violence in past editions, as it constantly pushes content boundaries. Adding a young child (played by Ryan Kiera Armstrong) to the throat slashing and blood drinking feels icky in a different but equally gratuitous manner.
      As noted, “American Crime Storyrepresents an unlikely shingle for “Beskuldiging,” certainly compared to the high-profile murder cases chronicled by the first two installments,The People v. O.J. Simpson en The Assassination of Gianni Versace. But all three of those projects represent a vast improvement over the best of thatHorror Storyhas to offer.
        “Beskuldiging” has garnered mixed reviews, with some criticizing its lurid tone, which seemingly misses the point of why the producers and network were drawn to the subject matter in the first place. Part of Murphy’s brilliance has been in selecting attention-getting, easily promotable concepts — in hierdie geval, enlisting Monica Lewinsky as a producer, and inspiring bold-faced names like Matt Drudge help publicize it because he (or rather, Billy Eichner as him) is featured in it.
        The People v. O.J. Simpsonmight have sounded like a no-brainer, but the execution and topnotch performances lived up to the hype. The subject matter wasn’t as good inGianni Versacebut it was still plenty watchable, with a showy role for Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, who murdered the fashion designer in 1997.
          Murphy’s infatuation with presenting the underbelly of glamorous worlds like Hollywood and fashion has yielded mixed results, though it’s worth noting that even there, the work has been better when it’s restrained by reality. Compare “Hollywood,” his alternate-reality Netflix limited series, with the more historically grounded Feud: Bette and Joan,” his ode to Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
            Despite his move to Netflix, Murphy has remained a prolific provider for FX, watter recently announced twee “Amerikaans” offshoots of his anthology series: “American Love Story,” focusing on the relationship between John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette; en “American Sports Story,” about the tragedy surrounding football star Aaron Hernandez, which could easily be presented under theCrime Storybanner.
            In an age of abundant content, such high-profile stories break through the clutter, and true crime especially so. WhateverImpeachment’sshortcomings, wel, comparing it withDouble Featureillustrates that not all shows with “Amerikaans” in the title are created equal, en dit “gruwel” too often serves not just a license to kill, but the unfortunate temptation to engage in overkill.

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