Ryan Murphy has created a new role for himself as an expert chronicler of scandalous episodes in tabloid history, with 2016's award-winning miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and FX's newest Murphy installment, Feud: Bette and Joan, a fictionalized account of the reputed rivalry between stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Whether the angle is crime or feuds, Murphy makes critically acclaimed miniseries by tackling the kind of stories that usually get ripped from tawdry headlines and churned out as melodramatic Lifetime movies. What distinguishes his approach is the way he reinterprets these stories — after some time has passed — through a supposedly feminist lens that changes our understanding of the way they were originally told. Reviewers hailed the way he made a feminist hero out of the maligned Marcia Clark in the O.J. miniseries, and Vanity Fair has already called his retelling of the feud between Crawford and Davis fiercely feminist . But the limitations of Murphy's feminism, which works best when recuperating the image of marginalized white women, became evident in the shift from Crime to Feud . His reinterpretation of the Simpson case confronted widely held assumptions about the trial by ridiculing the… Read full this story
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