Appointment viewing and garbage magic
Then They Whisper - The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Gianni Versace was killed in 1997, which was about when I was old enough to start paying attention to public tragedies when they entered the news. Twenty years later, executive producer Ryan Murphy is perhaps best suited to dramatize this story, which is airing now on FX. Two episodes in, and the show is already ambitious enough to outclass the first season of American Crime Story, which focused on the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
Everything from Mac Quayle’s bifurcated operatic/electronic score to the tangible sweat of Miami Beach to Darren Criss’s eerily unreliable point-of-view as Andrew Cunanan make this show my latest appointment viewing.
Madvillainy – Krystal on Season 22 of The Bachelor
I’m very late to the Bachelor/Bachelorette worlds. I, like many new fans to the show, came on board when The Bachelorette cast Rachel Lindsay, their first black contestant. The sexual and racial politics of the season made for compelling television: Lindsay diplomatically negotiated her wide range of attractions and spoke emotionally around the subject of being judged for seeming to favor suitors outside her race. Now, her crop of suitors was trash, overall, but the season was a win for viewers and for the franchise itself.
In season 22 of The Bachelor, which started a few weeks ago, auto racing driver-turned real-estate agent Arie Luyendyk Jr. is shrugging and staring his way through group dates, one-on-ones, and some decisive dismissals of contestants. While he tends to interact with the contestants like he learned conversation from a waiting room pamphlet, more experienced Bachelor fans tell me that no one watches for the bachelor—the contestants are the stars of the show. And Krystal Nielson, the allegedly 29-year-old fitness instructor, could be an all-time great villain for season 22. Before the most recent rose ceremony, my girl interrupted the proceedings to yank Arie away from the rest of the group and make a last-ditch pitch to stay on the show disguised largely as concern-trolling the other contestants and Arie himself. Thankfully, here’s a clip from ABC:
The head tilt. The breathlessness. The chicanery. All in contrast to Arie’s vacant submission to this odd whisper-demon. It’s garbage magic, and I hope she makes it to the final four.
header image: "gianni versace mansion," phillip pessar / flickr
 There’s an old VHS tape of me, when I was five, doing bits about an Ebony headline titled “The Rodney King Wake-Up Call,” having no idea who Rodney King was.