That’s What I Said: Vulture on “Ryan Murphy Syndrome”

Posted: June 19, 2010 by RA in Television

That’s What I Said… In which I let someone else do the talking.

GleeA few months back, I wrote a diatribe about how Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy let the show careen into soapy, camp shlock while he focused on getting Glee off the ground. Stats show it’s one of the most consistently popular posts on MadTues since its inception.

Well, NY Magazine’s Vulture blog has a name for the ailment that finally prompted Nip/Tuck‘s mercy killing. They’re calling it “Ryan Murphy Syndrome,” and they think Glee‘s showing early signs of infection. At first, it was a line item in a piece  predicting the show’s inevitable backlash:

October: Creator Ryan Murphy allows his more outlandish instincts to take over, much as he did with Nip/Tuck. Good-bye, glee-club competitions and fake pregnancies; hello, serial killer who murders for the cause of full instrumentation!

But in a new piece by Mary-Kaye Schilling, she names the disease, and focuses on its prevalence in Murphy’s work:

Murphy’s second TV series, Nip/Tuck, started showing symptoms toward the end of season two. (His first show, Popular, only lasted two seasons, but the seeds of destruction were beginning to sprout.) After fans embraced the fabulously daring, racy, and well-written show about two Miami plastic surgeons, they watched — at first with nervous discomfort, and soon outright dismay — as it jogged, then sprinted, into a soft-porn parody … for five more years. (Seriously, what was up with the serial killer who had no penis in season two?) The main characters — Drs. Christian Troy and Sean McNamara — started out as merely neurotic (one a narcissist, one a depressive), but by the end of season three they had devolved into grotesque cartoons. Murphy’s approach was like that of a comic who thinks, “If a joke works, then telling it again five times — loudly and more broadly — will make it work even better.”

I’m not a Glee fan, by any stretch of the imagination. But I know a few people who adore the show, and I’m kinda tickled at the thought of them losing their baby, like I lost Nip/Tuck. Yeah, I’m a small, small man in that respect.

I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m determined to be done with the Battlestar Galactica reboot this month. I’m as far in as Season 4.5, and it’s kinda awful. The 3rd-Season Curse lives on.



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