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    TV Critic’s Corner

    A look at the new season of ‘American Crime Story’

    Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”
    Jeff Daly/FX
    Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”

    There are a number of interesting TV series on their way in 2018, including Netflix’s “Maniac” from Cary Fukunaga and Hulu’s Stephen King mashup “Castle Rock.” I’m particularly eager to get a load of the second season of “American Crime Story,” called “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” Ryan Murphy did a strong job of adding context to “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” and I’m hoping he’ll come through on this 1990s-set series, too. It premieres on FX on Jan. 17.

    The 10-episode show will begin with the murder of fashion’s Gianni Versace, played by Edgar Ramirez, who was compelling in the 2010 SundanceTV miniseries “Carlos.” Then it will go back and cover the events that led up to the murder of Versace and a string of others by Andrew Cunanan, played by Darren Criss, who worked with Murphy on “Glee.”

    According to Murphy, who spoke about the series at this summer’s TV press tour, the themes will include “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and homophobia. “We’re trying to talk about a crime within a social idea,” Murphy said. “Versace, who was [Cunanan’s] last victim, did not have to die. One of the reasons [Cunanan] was able to make his way across the country and pick off these victims, many of whom were gay, was because of homophobia at the time.”


    The cast will include Penelope Cruz as Versace’s younger sister, Donatella, and Ricky Martin as Versace’s longtime partner, Antonio D’Amico. Much of the story will be based on Maureen Orth’s book “Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History.”

    Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.