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  • Why Ryan Murphy Must Be Stopped

    July 18th, 2011

    By Danny Manus

    I’m a Gleek. There, I said it. I was in my high school’s choir (which got redubbed choir cult our senior year) and I worked at the local community theater.  I was a NY kid, so I was raised seeing (and loving) Broadway shows. And I’m a child of the 80s. So, I get Glee. But there’s an evil force surrounding Glee that must be stopped immediately…and his name is Ryan Murphy.

    When Ryan Murphy creates something, he’s a visionary. He has this twisted yet relatable commercial sensibility to him that connects to pop culture beautifully – most likely because he’s such a fan of pop culture himself. He has this ability to create a WORLD that most of us are aware of already, but take it to this whole other wonderful place…

    But then he seems to lose sight of his vision and get wrapped up in his own self-importance and self-aggrandizing bullshit (or maybe just the gobs of money rolling in), and like the Godzilla of Showrunners attacking his own Japanese City, he ruins the world he creates for the rest of us.

    I’m not saying Ryan Murphy is a bad guy per se…he’s just a really bad multi-tasker and it seems he doesn’t have the heart to truly care about whom he hurts as long as it promotes his own agenda. As soon as Ryan Murphy finds success with one of his projects, he immediately looks for the next big thing to put his name on – and that’s fine – that’s how Hollywood works. But unlike many, when Murphy multi-tasks, he falls incredibly short.

    Case in point. I was a HUGE Nip/Tuck fan. And right before the last season of the show, I got to work as an executive on a movie with Nip/Tuck star Dylan Walsh. We all went out to dinner one night after shooting and I nonchalantly asked him about the show. As any fan will tell you, the first 2 seasons of that show were pure fucking brilliance. The third season was GOOD but started going off the rails, and by season 5 it was almost painfully unwatchable.

    Julian McMahon, the Aussie star of the show, had completely forgotten he was supposed to be affecting an American accent. Joely Richardson had started banging the kid playing her son and likewise forgot that she was supposed to do an American accent and so she disappeared for a whole season (her pronunciation of Chris-chee-ann instead of Christian still haunts my thoughts), and poor Dylan Walsh looked so pissed that he had to read the inane melodramatic drivel given to him that it was pretty hard to watch.

    So, I asked Dylan what happened to Season 5 (the penultimate season) and he basically said that everyone was unhappy and wanted off the show and hated the material, but they couldn’t leave, and that came across on screen.  Even Ryan Murphy himself has said that the last two seasons of Nip/Tuck were awful because he hated the actors and the actors hated him and the writers fucked it up.

    And why? Because once Nip/Tuck took off, and Murphy got some acclaim, he used his stardom to write and direct the feature “Running with Scissors” in 2006 (which he began prepping for in 2004 – after the second season of Nip/Tuck). He took his eye off the ball.

    Jump to 2009 as Glee becomes a ridiculous smash hit and despite a bit of unnecessary soapyness in the writing of the first season, it was FUN and original and smart. And the money, press, fame and accolades came rollin’ in. And once again Murphy used this to transition to a big film with a big star – “Eat Pray Love” with Julia Roberts.

    And what happened? The second season of Glee jumped the shark, got silly and melodramatic and had more disjointed over-the-top storylines (like what happened on Nip/Tuck) and unnecessary tribute episodes that became more Murphy Masturbation than cohesive brilliant storytelling.  

    And now this Glee Machine – which could have run for 7 seasons, will now be cancelled after 4 or 5 (mark my words). Why? Because instead of doing the smart thing and stretching the timeline of high school to keep the show and its stars intact (having each season being HALF a school year instead of a full year for instance or switching it up and fudging the timelines), he’s decided to get rid of most of the main characters of the show after season 3. Chord Overstreet was let go and Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith (so far) have already been given their walking papers a full season before their departure – which should make shooting this 3rd season NOT awkward at all. Dead Actors Walking…

    But he’s not done. I promise, many other actors are going to get cut from the show and they just don’t know it yet. There’s no way to keep the rest of them and NOT these 3 as they are ALL pretty much the same age. And his idea to keep Matthew Morrison (the weak link of the show) and make him the focal point instead of the kids is a big mistake. And then – just to show his polished and performed actors currently on the show that ANYONE can do their jobs so shut the fuck up and stop complaining – he launches the Glee Project Reality Show to find the show’s new star.

    If I was a star on Glee, this would make me furious. And by the way, if you’ve been watching, half the contestants on the reality show are pretty bad or at least annoying, and it’s pretty clear that they aren’t casting new stars to ADD to the cast – they are casting stars to REPLACE the cast – because they fill the same roles. I get that Glee is about acceptance and becoming who you are – but do we really need a “little person” or ANOTHER bad boy or gay diva or moderately talented big fat chick on the show?

    The reality show has just become a vanity project that lets Murphy get on camera and pronounce in his best gay baritone voice that “kids need to be themselves.” Unless, of course, they disagree with Murphy – then they better get in line and change.

    And now, after the second season of Glee, Eat Pray Love and the Glee Project, Murphy has taken on another show – a new series for FX titled “An American Haunting,” starring Connie Britton, Dermot Mulroney and Jessica Lange.  Now, it sounds like a cool project and yes, I will watch. But someone needs to mind the store. And someone needs to stop Murphy from doing promotions because every time he opens his mouth, he RUINS something we love and makes his actors feel 6 inches tall – which is what he did on Nip/Tuck and it backfired horribly.

    Murphy seems to have the showrunner version of A.D.D. He gets bored with his shows, he gets bored with his actors and he thinks HE is the center of the world and everyone must amuse him at all times. Here’s the thing – I get not caring if you’re known as a dick. Hell, I’ve based a business around it. But you don’t want to be known as The Guy Who Killed a Phenomenon and Ruined Children’s Lives Just Because He’s A Dick. There’s a difference.

    So, in the name of all those Gleeks out there, for all the Nip/Tuck fans out there, and for all the fans of good TV out there – please, someone stop Ryan Murphy before he strikes again.

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