Ranking Ryan Murphy’s Horror/Thriller Shows!

Hi all!

Today I am going to rank all of Ryan Murphy’s horror/thriller shows! This has been a long time coming because I am a huge fan of this man and his works. As usual, I need to add my disclaimers: 1.) I am only going to discuss television programs that Ryan directed and created. Not movies. 2.) They must fall under the thriller/horror genre. Therefore, I won’t be talking about Feud, Pose, The Politician, 9-1-1, The New Normal, Normal Heart, Glee, Nip/Tuck and Popular. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

1.) American Horror Story 

In first place, I have to put American Horror Story. Despite having some seasons better than others, it’s still the best thing (in my opinion) to come from Ryan Murphy. If you want my ranking of the first ten seasons, click here. For my review of NYC, click here. In case you didn’t know, this anthology focuses on real-life events in American history, sometimes with a supernatural twist. Each season features a new tale, and a lot of the actors are recycled into fresh roles. It’s also known for its horrific opening credits. Asylum will always be my number one! What’s yours?

2.) American Crime Story  

In second place, I am putting American Crime Story. I have reviewed/ranked the first three seasons. If you’re curious, you can check that out here. This anthology, true-crime television series focuses on a different, high-profile case in American history. They are each presented as a mini-series, independent of one another. I’m a huge fan. Every instalment has excellent acting, a gripping storyline and expert filming. I have learned so much about these real-life events from watching. So far, the show has covered the trial of O.J. Simpson, the assassination of Gianni Versace and the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. There are plenty of thriller elements in each story. Check it out!

3.) The Watcher 

In third place, we have The Watcher, which was released just last year. I must admit, it was one of the best things I binged in 2022. Based on a true story, this mini-series follows a family that moves into a strange neighbourhood in New Jersey. Not long after, they begin to receive letters from a stalker, claiming to have a sinister interest in their house and children. I was hooked from start to finish. It was truly fascinating and gripping. There was something so chilling about the atmosphere and supporting characters. Bobby Cannavale stole the show as the male lead. I highly recommend!

4.) Hollywood 

In fourth place, we have the mini-series Hollywood. Whilst it isn’t technically a horror or thriller, it’s extremely dark in tone and so fantastic, I had to mention it here. The post-war Tinseltown is re-envisioned with an imaginative “what if?” approach. It tells a fictional narrative about a group of actors and filmmakers trying to break into the industry following the end of World War II. I recommend watching it for Jim Parson’s acting alone. He’s horrible but so captivating on screen. I love the opening credits and costuming. Absolutely worth a watch!

5.) Ratched 

In fifth place, we have Ratched. It is a suspenseful drama series that tells the origin story of asylum nurse, Mildred Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). In 1947, Mildred arrives in Northern California to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. Sarah Paulson is my favourite female actress. I absolutely live for her. She nailed this role but sadly I wanted more. I felt the second half of the show dipped a bit and with such an open ending, I thought we would have the next instalment by now. Either way, it’s worth a watch for the visuals alone! The colours, costumes and atmosphere are everything!

6.) Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

In sixth place, we have Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. It’s really hard to rank something like this because it’s based on a tragic true story. Before it had even aired, there was a lot of controversy surrounding it. Was it fair to the victims and their families to re-hash such a horrific time in their lives? No. Do I believe it was done well? Yes. I don’t think anybody can deny that Evan Peters was phenomenal in his role as Jeffrey Dahmer. We learn about how he was captured, brought to trial and his death. It’s hard to stomach at times and very confronting but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t captivating. Proceed with caution.

7.) American Horror Stories

In second last place we have American Horror Stories. I ranked season 1 here and season 2 here. Just to be clear, AHS and American Horror Stories are not the same thing. They are set in the same universe but stand on their own as separate television shows. One is a continuing story, the other is made up of individual stories. The reason it’s lower on my list is because the episodes are very hit and miss. As a whole, they are more bad than good, which is a shame. American Horror Story is far better.

8.) Scream Queens 

In last place we have Scream Queens. To be honest, I watched the entire first season but not the second. I just didn’t love it enough to continue. It is a semi-anthology series that centres on characters being terrorised by a serial killer in different locations. The one I saw was set at a mysterious sorority house, where a sister died under questionable circumstances after giving birth to a baby, she didn’t know she was carrying. It is a dark comedy slasher but super over the top. Definitely not for everybody.

 Thank you so much for reading! How would you rank the list above? 

Peace & Love xoxo

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