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Editor's Choice

From 'Dahmer' to 'Ratched': The 6 Ryan Murphy shows streaming now on Netflix

Ryan Murphy is a powerhouse of stories and a real jack of all trades. With several tricks and tales up his sleeve, this writer, director and producer has 37 Emmy nominations and 6 Emmys to his name.

Murphy hit the jackpot when Steven Spielberg purchased his romantic comedy Why Can’t I Be Audrey Hepburn? in the late 1990s. His collaborations with Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk have been extremely resourceful. Murphy went on to create productions like Glee, Nip/Tuck and American Horror Story which garnered him widespread critical acclaim.

Besides scaring fans for eight long seasons with central themes of a house concealing a deadly secret, a haunted asylum, a coven of witches, a bizarre freak show, an infamous hotel and farmhouse, a cult as well as an apocalypse in American Horror Story, Murphy has often experimented with the horror genre and instilled chilling fear among his audiences through other productions, namely Ratched.

His current two Netflix productions are topping charts and sparking debates, especially the recent series on the notorious American serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer.

Take a look at the 6 Ryan Murphy shows that are now streaming on Netflix:

The 6 Ryan Murphy shows streaming now on Netflix

The Watcher (2022)

Murphy’s latest Netflix miniseries is based on true events of Derek and Maria Broaddus and their chilling experience on 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey. Adapted from the 2018 New York Magazine article The Haunting of a Dream House, the show addresses the viewers’ fascination with fear by presenting the story of a stalker who uses the titular pseudonym to harass a family who moves into their new dream family home.

Starring Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Mia Farrow and Jennifer Coolidge, among others, the show is a suburban nightmare that Murphy draws the audience into. It is creepy and frustratingly quiet, which might trigger concurrent nightmares among viewers.

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)

Perhaps one of Netflix’s most controversial releases over the years, Dahmer is also one of the most-viewed series on the streamer that helped catapult Netflix’s net revenue, saving the streaming service from plunging into yet another depressive period of losses. Starring Evan Peters as the titular Jefferey Dahmer, the series details the modus operandi of the notorious serial killer and sex offender who was also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster.

The series has met with a lot of backlashes and has sparked discourse over people’s general obsession with true crime. From surviving victims and family members criticizing the show to e-Bay preventing people from purchasing Dahmer-inspired costumes and figurines for Halloween, the series has garnered a lot of attention. Queasy and uncomfortable, Dahmer is, however, nothing like usual serial killer portraits and deserves to be watched.

Halston (2021)

Biopics about the showbiz industry have always appealed to the general public. With Murphy’s Halston, it is no different. Based on the life of the famous American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, this Emmy-winning Netflix miniseries is absolutely fascinating. It details Halston’s troubled mind as he grows increasingly disillusioned with his growing fame.

An intriguing tale of a man who comes from absolute nothingness, Murphy carefully traces his rise to power as he ascends the social ladder to garner global success and fame. Laced with pomp, grandeur, controversies, scandal and glitz, the show is also celebrated for Ewan McGregor’s stupefying performance as the titular Halston.

Ratched (2020)

Sarah Paulson has been a frequent collaborator of Murphy on the American Horror Story franchise. She was seen in the 2020 Netflix series that served as a prequel to the iconic Jack Nicholson film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. With an ambiguous finale and a chilling premise, Ratched was a fan-favourite among viewers who couldn’t help but marvel at the depravity of the titular nurse while being locked at home during the pandemic.

Set in 1947, the series revolves around the twisted psyche of a malicious and barbaric nurse called Mildred Ratched, who, according to Murphy, represents “any sort of institutional abuse of power”.  Murphy has also revealed  that it was “interesting trying to create an emotional character from a reputation that’s very cold…trying to figure out every little detail about her childhood, her relationships, her sexuality. Because when people think of Ratched, they think of her as shutoff and cruel and uncaring.” 

Hollywood (2020)

Murphy has a lot of productions at the same time, and this glamorous Emmy-nominated (and winning) miniseries is one of them. Co-created by Murphy and Ian Brennan, the show featured an ensemble cast comprising Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Dylan McDermott, Laura Harrier, Samara Weaving, Holland Taylor, Patti LuPone, Jeremy Pope and Jake Picking.

Set in post-World War II era Hollywood, the series explores the ever-changing landscape of the industry, which was heavily entrenched in power dynamics. It explores how those hierarchies are crushed and prejudices regarding race, sexuality and more come to the fore. Despite being an ambitious project, the series was met with a lukewarm reception, with people mostly praising the performance and not the script.

The Politician (2020)

Created by Murphy, Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk, the series stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Platt, Zoey Deutch, David Corenswet, Jessica Lange, Theo Germaine and Lucy Boynton, among others. It did not receive much of a positive reception, with many calling it shallow and messy while some called out the series for the alleged soapy appeal that fails to generate audience reaction.

Aiming to be a clever satirical comedy that deconstructs the means to be a politician, the show focuses on a wealthy Californian student who has long aspired to be the President of the United States. To achieve his dreams, he decides to try his luck at the most difficult obstacle in his path: being the student body president at high school, getting into Harvard and stand tall against aggressive students who are all hungry to get to the top.