Thoughts on 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace'
There has been so much written and said about the murder, and thousands of suppositions, but not a trace of reality.
Telling the story of the murder of Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez) at the hands of Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), what's especially interesting about this season of American Crime Story is the narrative structure. The opening scene of the first episode sees the murder, and the show then goes backwards, with each episode set earlier than the previous one, an achronological structure that unifies form and content; this isn't about a murder, it's about how Cunanan became a serial killer.
Within this, the show deals with two interrelated issues; 1) the concept that one must work hard to be successful, and 2) the desire to be remembered. Cunanan is obsessed with the second, but unwilling to acknowledge the first, despite his conviction of his own greatness. His attitude is nicely critiqued by Versace himself ("Life isn't about convincing people you can do great things. It's about doing them"), and the last shot masterfully encapsulates much of Cunanan's deepest existential fears. For all that, however, the season is good, but not great. The last two episodes are far and away the strongest, especially Jon Jon Briones's appearance as Modesto, Cunanan's detestable father, but, overall, it isn't a patch on The People v. O.J. Simpson.