Home Counterpoint As Gay Men, We’re Contractually Obligated to Tell You About Ryan Murphy’s ‘American Horror Stories’

As Gay Men, We’re Contractually Obligated to Tell You About Ryan Murphy’s ‘American Horror Stories’

by Mark Peikert

As part of the contract we signed to be homosexuals, we are required to root for embattled divas and to care about Ryan Murphy’s latest series. We don’t make the rules. But frankly, we’re feeling about as battered by our relationship with Murphy’s oeuvre as Britney is by her conservatorship.

Nevertheless, he has three series coming up this year (hot on the heels of last winter’s The Prom and this spring’s Halston). This fall we’ll get Impeachment: American Crime Story, about the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and of course we’ll get the sure-to-be-gay American Horror Story season set in Provincetown. But there’s also American Horror Stories, premiering July 15 on FX on Hulu, which maybe just maybe will give Murphy the parameters within which he can thrive. Rather than forced to create cohesive storytelling across multiple episodes (notice he gave up on seasons post Glee), he can turn his ADHD-addled eye to a single story per episode.

As usual, the cast is a big turn-on, featuring everyone from Matt Bomer and Aaron Tveit to peripheral Hollywood royalty Billie Lourde and Paris Jackson. And from the looks of the trailer, several episodes seem to involve the Murder House from the first installment of AHS, which seems promising.

But watching Ryan Murphy shows is like getting back with your ex. You may think he’s changed, and he might say the right things, but ultimately you’re going to be an uncomfortable combination of disappointed, annoyed, and horny. We don’t actually have to actively participate with every new season or series he shits out, you know. And yet there’s always a hook, whether it’s a cast member or a plot or just the thought of spending time in the Studio 54 era with a gay Sherpa.

Still, there are so many better, richer gay storytellers to spend time with, from the very queer new Gossip Girl to shows that deserve a bigger audience like Special and Love, Victor. Murphy’s output is like a hit of poppers: The rush is almost immediately followed by a headache.

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