How Much is Too Much, Ryan Murphy?

Ryan MurphyIt’s arguable that Ryan Murphy is the current darling of television. And he seems to know it! With three shows currently on-air under his control (Glee, American Horror Story, The New Normal), he has a lot of fans who are hungry for more and more information. Add to that a bevy of celebrity friends that are also fans of his work, and you have a very lovely problem: everybody wants to be a guest star!

These are pretty fantastic problems to have, huh? Murphy is no doubt a fan of television and movies, as well: it’s seen in his Glee homage episodes, references on The New Normal (the Grey Gardens bit was perfect), and also when he hat tips his celebrity friends on his shows. Because of all the notoriety surrounding his projects, the dull roar of those fanatics that desire more and more information is probably overwhelming. So it’s no surprise that Murphy will sometimes let his tidbits slip on his Twitter account.

At first, it was great! Finding out in real time what was in store for our favorite story lines, guest stars, and more was exciting. When Murphy joined Twitter on July 30th, the majority of his 622 tweets became mostly about these things. And pretty soon, all hope for a surprise on a Murphy show was lost.

Guess who’s helping us with Sarah Jessica Parker’s costumes on GLEE?The amazing Anna Wintour!

— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) July 31, 2012

Thrilled to announce Emmy nominee Frances Conroy is returning to AHS. Devils and angels this year…Frannie plays the ultimate angel.

— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) September 6, 2012

Proud to announce Nicole Richie and the legendary George Takei are joining The New Normal family.

— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) September 28, 2012

Guess who’s coming to #AmericanHorrorStory Asylum to tussle with Jessica Lange? Legendary Golden Globe winner Ian McShane!

— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) October 10, 2012

Guess who’s coming on The New Normal as Bryan’s sexy ex-boyfriend? The one and only Matt Bomer!!!

— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) October 10, 2012

So thrilled to announce Dylan McDermott is returning to American Horror Story!

— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) October 17, 2012

Phew! We’re overwhelmed all over again. So it seems that the only thing left to do is let Murphy know how we feel. So forgive us, Mr. Murphy, but it’s time for some executive realness.

Dear Mr. Murphy,

How are you doing, my dude? Can I call you that? No? OK. ANWAY! From the perspective of an aspiring television writer such as myself, it really seems like you’re living the dream. You’ve got three highly visible shows on-air, with praise from critics and fans. People like you! (They really, really like you!) Everyone wants to work with you: celebrities and networks alike. This is pretty ideal, right? Everything’s really coming up Millhouse for you.

It’s impressive you can keep up with it all. And congratulations on that: it’s no small feat! Because of your über-popularity, it seems we barely go a day without hearing some new, big, exciting news about one of your shows—a lot of which comes from your Twitter account. You know what your fans want and you’re probably the most social media-y showrunner out there. Giving the people what they want; keeping your fandoms happy as pie. It’s pretty nice of you.

But…I can’t help but feel like I need to level with you a little bit. Have one of those weird, adult “hard” conversations. Man-o a (wo)man-o. What about the element of surprise? Maybe I’m one of those old-fashioned broads, but I love leaving a little something to be desired. The anticipation and the build-up before unveiling a surprise makes the pay-off of watching a show and being a fan that much better. Sure, some stuff is going to get leaked—and it’s better to control the leak yourself, for sure—but…does everything have to be a controlled leak sent to my Twitterfeed with up-to-the-nanosecond accuracy? So many casting announcements, so little time! No hate on your Twitter game, but damn. Now everyone’s just talking and hypothesizing—anxiously awaiting what they already know is coming rather than just watching the show and experiencing a good surprise as it happens.

The buzz around a television show is a lot like foreplay: a tease here and there can heighten the experience, leave you wanting more, and drive you crazy (in a good way). But too much of a good thing and you just end up rubbing your nerve-endings raw and, sometimes, losing all interest. And that is some sensory overload-type s**t. When you leave some things to the imagination, it can be a good thing! Less is more, you know what I’m sayin’, Murph (can I call you that? No? OK, just kidding)?

In the end, we’re all gluttons for the good stuff: we always want more and more…until we’re stuffed. We don’t want to fill up on bread (and regret) before the main course, but if you keep refilling the basket, we might lose all self-control and keep freebasing those carbs. So let’s leave some things to reveal themselves, you know, on the TV screen, yeah? Sure, we might beg for it, but that’s just because we don’t realize how good it might feel to wait for the big reveal. Like the old days! Just something to think about. You know. If you want!



[Photo Credit:]

Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes


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