8 May 2018

TV

Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan
Recently I finished watching a nine part American Crime Drama series - "The Assassination of Gianni Versace". 

Now this is somewhat remarkable for three reasons. Firstly, I am sick to the back teeth of dramas built around crime. Can't they find other subjects? Secondly, I have no interest whatsoever in the fashion industry or indeed Gianni Versace. Thirdly, my relationship with television lacks commitment. Usually continuing dramas seem like too much trouble. I don't want television to rule my life.

That said, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" gripped me. Apart from anything else, it was unusually constructed. Not moving chronologically from point a to point b but much more fluid so that viewers proceeded from the horror of the assassination into a better understanding of the assassin's psychology and warped motivation

The assassin was a fantasist called Andrew Cunanan. A gay escort  and a troubled loner, he became obsessed with Versace and in a 1997 killing perhaps reminiscent of John Lennon's death outside the Dakota Building in New York he achieved the notoriety that he had arguably always craved. His part was played brilliantly by Darren Criss. You might even say that this drama was not really about Gianni Versace but about Andrew Cunanan's troubled existence and his inevitable journey to suicide.

Penelope Cruz was less convincing as Versace's sister Donatella and the same might be said of Ricky Martin who played Versace's long time lover Antonio D'Amico.

I agree with Ryan Murphy in "The Guardian" who had been perplexed by several rather negative reviews of the show - "It’s dark and complex and tragic, and it deserves a much better reception than the one it received. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on something special." Of Darren Criss's performance he also said, "Criss is horrifyingly convincing as Cunanan. He’s needy and manipulative and utterly empty; a blank that slowly draws you in to your doom....Criss deserves to be huge because of this role. He cannot win enough awards for it."

12 comments:

  1. It sounds interesting. I have realised that I don't watch TV unless I have company. I wonder if I can twist someones arm to hang out with their old mum.
    Have you seen Death in Paradise? the seasons are very short so not much commitment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am afraid that "Death in Paradise" is not my cup of tea Kylie. I have seen an episode but it didn't raise a single smile.

      Delete
  2. Definitely not my cup of tea. I see enough people with social and psychological problems in every day real life. I much prefer my television to be happy. If I want to be miserable I'll go back to Dostoyevsky or Solzhenitsyn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. History is filled with tragic tales. This was a dramatisation of recent history.

      Delete
  3. I gave upo on that one after the second episode. Like you I'm fed up with the garbage they put on the tv. Very often there are only 4 or 5 programmes ringed round to watch in a week. Maybe that's what people want nowadays, violence and crime but I don't.
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is far too much violence and crime on TV. I think TV should seek to reflect real life and get the violence and crime in proper perspective.

      Delete
  4. I was wondering during the day about your post and comment and whether the normalisation of violence so graphically on TV is fuelling the current wave of gun and knife violence. I know we've always had violence but it does seem a bit excessive at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what about the computer games that young lads play Graham? They are laced with violence and the brutal eradication of enemies. That kind of stuff can get under your skin when you are young and impressionable.

      Delete
  5. We just finished it too, and I agree -- it was gripping. Criss was indeed excellent, and I thought Penelope Cruz did a decent job, although she is far, far more attractive than Donatella Versace. She captured Donatella's weird speech patterns quite well. I find true crime stories fascinating. I am always gobsmacked by the thins people do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things, not thins! :)

      Delete
    2. I am pleased to learn that you guys enjoyed this drama too though "enjoyed" doesn't quite seem the right word.

      Delete
  6. Thank You for sharing your article, This is an interesting & informative blog. It is very useful for the developer like me.

    หนังออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.