American Crime Story returns soon with a fresh cast and an old crime: the 1997 murder of high-profile fashion designer Gianni Versace. Coming off the immense success of the first instalment, this hopes to be one of TV’s biggest hits this year.
Despite enthralling twists in season one’s courtroom-based drama, the complex racial politics proved the most compelling component. In a similar vein, season two focuses on homophobia in America during the 1990s and the resulting largest failed manhunt in FBI history. A nonlinear storyline, somewhat comparable to last year’s Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, will show how the killing could have been avoided.
The beauty of ACS is that not only are the characters put on trial for the crimes committed, but America, too. The show’s pertinence seems undeniable in today’s culture.
Once again, the cast boasts some familiar names, including Edgar Ramirez and Penelope Cruz, playing siblings Gianni and Donatella Versace, alongside Ricky Martin and Darren Criss. 2018 Emmy voters, pay close attention.
Viewers of the last season, 2015’s The People vs. OJ, may be sceptical that ACS’s second instalment will reach the same heights, with reason. Series creators Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski did not return for the second season, and Glee and American Horror Story provide ample evidence of Ryan Murphy’s difficulty in sustaining quality beyond early seasons. It is therefore encouraging that this season, like season one, pulls from a book.
As an anthological series ACS can’t rely on returning viewers unconditionally. Nonetheless, a very interesting story is being told by a very talented force; The Assassination of Gianni Versace will likely not disappoint.
American Crime Story will air in America this month, with a BBC Two air date to be announced.