Halfway through its intense and diverse season, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story manages to out-“American horror” American Horror Story and claim the prize as one of the most engaging shows on television. Between its expert storytelling, its incredible actors, and its flawless delivery of social commentary, the series manages to exceed expectations each and every night.
The title, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, can be misleading at first glace. In Season One, we knew The People v. O.J. Simpson would primarily focus on the Simpson trial… and that’s exactly what we got. Assassination tells a much more complex story. Based on Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History by Maureen Orth, the season spends significantly more time on Darren Criss’ serial killer Cunanan and his other victims than the time it dwells on the inner-workings of the Versace clan. That isn’t to say that Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz, and Ricky Martin aren’t completely magnetic on screen- because they’re incredible- but the structure of the storytelling allows for breathing room as the viewer takes in the scope of Cunanan’s actions.