American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy moving away from ‘shock value’

American Horror Story season 8For many years, the bread and butter of all things TV for Ryan Murphy was finding a way to make things as big, bold, and shocking as possible. Just take a look at everything that he pulled off on American Horror Story over the years! He may have had some limitations due to being on FX as opposed to HBO, but there weren’t that many of them he was forced to deal with.

However, it appears as though now Murphy is looking to venture into a slightly-different direction. In a new conversation with Ronan Farrow at the Beverly Hilton, as a part of a Hollywood Radio and Television Society event (via THR), the prolific showrunner had the following to say about the sort of entertainment he is looking to make now:

“I’m not interested in shock value anymore … I’ve gotten away from sexuality and violence and how far I can push the envelope.”

This is a rather seismic shift in the Ryan Murphy that we’ve come to know over time for this show, but at the same time, we think that it’s necessary given that American Horror Story: Cult probably relied too much on shock value in order to make some of its points. You do want to start conversations with your programming, but at the same time you also want to find ways to surprise viewers via some other means. We’ve seen with many other Murphy-produced programs, including the American Crime Story anthologies, that good stories are enough to make people happy. With American Horror Story season 8, you can still have the story be shocking without being reliant on that in order to ensure people watch.

Moving forward, Murphy also has another venue in Netflix in which he can make some new content, including the upcoming Ratched. There are obvious some other venues out there for him that he can utilize to his advantage, depending of course on how much he really wants to lead on them.

Do you think shows like American Horror Story really need all that much in the way of shock value anymore? Be sure to share right now in the comments!

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