Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ryan Murphy Honored with the PaleyFest Icon Award

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Today, I want to take a few minutes to thank @Ryan Murphy - a true inspiration in my life - for all of his accomplishments. I think of everything that this man has done, not just in television, but in all of his endeavors, and I find it truly amazing. Congratulations, sir. Your hard work has seriously paid off... However, what I'd like to focus on are his television shows.

Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, The New Normal... these shows have literally revolutionized TV.

You can complain about a television show because it doesn't go the way you'd like it to go, or it may not be "as good" as it once was... but for Mr. Murhpy's TV shows, it's more than just the plot. It's about the barriers that he breaks in order to make these shows successful.

I'll be honest -- I don't know much about Nip/Tuck. But from the few episodes I've seen, and from what I've heard about it, it's a show unlike any other. First of all, this show came out in 2003. Let's think about what was on television in 2003. The O.C., Gilmore Girls, 7th Heaven, Dawson's Creek... hey, don't get me wrong, I watched these shows... but I wouldn't say that it pushed any limits. Okay, sure -- Nip/Tuck was on basic cable, so that deems the violence, language, sexual content, and of course the socially taboo content, all a little more appropriate, but still... the show made you squirm. It made you feel things. It made you react - whether positively or negatively - it doesn't matter. A strong reaction is the key to a good television show. That's how you know you're pushing limits. When you can watch a show and say "Oh my God, I can't believe they're showing this on TV!"

Lucky for us, that's what Mr. Murphy does with all of his shows.

Let's take his next big TV project: Glee. People can say what they want about the show, but I think 1) it's the best show on television. 2) It's made history. Comments and arguments are welcome, but hear me out.

First season: Ryan Murphy takes all of these actors and actresses, all of which are kids, and pitches this idea of a musical to Fox. (Yes, I'm aware the initial script came from Ian Brennan - whom I also believe to be a genius, but Ryan Murphy put it into a reality). So, we have all of these young kids - some with a little bit of experience, but nothing like what they've got now. What are they doing? Singing. Dancing. Acting. Working 18 hours a day to make this show happen. All for something that may or may not work out, because no one had done a musical television show before. And what happened? People fell in love. People fell in love because they felt what the characters were going through. Not only was the show itself an underdog because no one thought it would work, but it told the story of the underdog. People identified with something that the characters were going through.

Every show, to an extent has an underdog. But this show had 6 underdogs. And before the season ended, we got to know 6 more. Tell me that you can't identify with something that these characters went through.

And let's face it. It's not your typical network television issues that we're talking about here. It addresses teen pregnancy, homosexuality, bullying, following your dreams, breaking the stereotypes... Pretty atypical of any dramedy I've ever seen on TV.

And look what it's turned into: By the time Season 4 concludes, Glee has performed over 500 musical numbers, completed 88 episodes, performed in a Nation-wide tour, performed in a world tour, sold out the O2 Arena in London 4 times, has had more Billboard Hot 100 hits than Elvis Presley, and anyone else in the world, for that matter... Who would have thought 4 years ago when this show came out that it would have accomplished all of this and more?

How much more? Ask a gleek. Really, ask them how Glee has changed their life. We did, and we made this video as a result, because it's a show that's just to powerful to ignore.

I wouldn't attribute all of this to Ryan Murphy -- A lot of credit needs to be given to the other writers, the crew members, Zach Woodlee, Robert Ulrich, and obviously the talented, talented cast that performs. But Ryan made it all happen. I could go on, but I've already done that here.

Moving on... we have American Horror Story. When I heard about AHS, I thought, "This will never work. Maybe as a movie, but not as a TV show." Boy was I wrong. And I'm so glad I was. Again- pushing the limits with adultery, ghosts, evil spirits, demons, corruption, violence (even in taboo settings, like school shootings), and sexuality, American Horror Story is one of the most captivating, yet disturbing shows in the history of television. Name another show that makes you think "I can't stop watching, but Jesus, I need to." But even more than that, it's the way he's writing this show. These stories have never been told before. And the seasons that follow have never been told either. Whitney puts it best when she says "The originality that he showed in the first season is what made me watch the second and then that's whats going to make me watch the third... not only the stories themselves but also the way they are doing it with each season being a specific story with the same actors." The way this show is designed - completely new ideas with recycled actors from previous seasons is original, intriguing and captivating all at the same time. That's quite a feat in and of itself.

Finally, we have The New Normal. That's precisely what it is, thanks to Ryan Murphy. The New Normal follows the lives of a gay couple, their surrogate & her daughter, and right wing conservative grandmother. It's lighthearted, it's fun, and it's different from many of the things that Ryan has done. But it's brilliant, because it's so nonchalant. This television show is normal for many people around the world. And you know what? That's ok. Ryan Murphy is showing us that with hilarity and brilliance every time this TV show airs.

The man does what he wants. And he makes it work. He finds true talent. He doesn't look for big names. He pushes limits. He brings odds and ends together... Heck, a few months ago, amidst a Elton John vs. Madonna feud, Ryan said he wanted to do a mashup of an Elton John song with a Madonna song. Sure as anything, that's happening. And soon. He makes things happen.

So, it's no wonder that Ryan was honored with the PaleyFest Icon Award. Name someone who's more deserving. You may not like everything he is doing, but if you're an artist of any sort, you've got to be able to appreciate the limits he's pushed and the opportunities he's created for other television shows. He really is an icon and an inspiration, especially to me.

Thank you Ryan Murphy for all that you've accomplished, for all that you're continuing to do, and for providing us with excellence in entertainment for the last 10 years.

And of course, congratulations. No one is more deserving.

-Bonnie & Whitney

1 comment:

  1. You said it perfectly! This man truly is a genius and I love everything he has done. I've watched everything he has created and worked on and they are all very original and intriguing. He deserves this award more than anyone and I'm so happy for him!