American screenwriter, director and producer, Ryan Murphy has been at the forefront of pop culture for nearly two decades now. With his keen sense of style, comedic timing and spirited tonality, the showrunner has a varied repertoire of series such as Glee, Pose, American Crime Story and Hollywood. A bunch of Murphy’s award-winning shows are streaming on Netflix. Here’s a handy guide.

‘Glee’

Glee is a funny, sharp and satirical look at American high schools that manages to pack in diversity, body positivity, feminism and LGBTQ rights. Who’d have thought a show about a high school glee club would be relatable, joyful, poignant, and capable of making you laugh and cry equally. And of course, the music covers done by the talented cast of Madonna, Queen, Adele and Britney Spears are absolutely superlative.
Creators: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk
Cast: Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley
Seasons: 6 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Season two of the true-crime anthology series, American Crime Story, explores the cold-blooded murder of designer Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramirez) by spree killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). The show is based on Maureen Orth’s book, Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. It follows Versace, Cunanan, Versace’s sister Donatella (Penelope Cruz), his lover Antonio D’Amico (Ricky Martin) and others in the days preceding and following his death. While the show focuses more on Cunanan and attempts to understand his psyche, it is Penelope Cruz’s performance of Donatella Versace that will win you over.
Directors: Ryan Murphy, Nelson Cragg, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Daniel Minahan, Matt Bomer
Cast: Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz, Darren Criss, Ricky Martin, Finn Wittrock, Cody Fern
Seasons: 1 (2018)

‘The Politician’

The ambitious Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), a wealthy student from Santa Barbara, California, dreams of becoming the President of the United States of America. He figures that the best way to get started on this is by running for student body president at his high school against popular jock, River Barkley (David Corenswet). Turns out, school politics are murkier than those in the adult world and Hobart learns a lot of lessons, the hard way. There’s good news for fans of The Politician (pictured above). Season two releases on Friday, June 19 on Netflix.
Creators: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk
Cast: Ben Platt, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Boynton, David Corenswet
Seasons: 1 (2019)

‘Pose’

Pose is Murphy’s ode to Paris Is Burning. It is about New York City’s African-American, Latino-LGBTQ and gender non-conforming ballroom culture scene of the 1980s and 90s. Pose is mainly concerned with how culture and subculture are connected and play off each other. Murphy’s love for music and camp comes across strongly, especially when the show takes you to the ball.
Creators: Ryan Murphy, Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk
Cast: Evan Peters, Kate Mara, Billy Porter, Indya Moore, Mj Rodriguez, Angelica Ross
Seasons: 2 (2018, 2019)

‘The People v OJ Simpson’

The People v OJ Simpson is the first season of the true-crime anthology series American Crime Story. It revolves around the OJ Simpson murder case and the ensuing trial and is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People v OJ Simpson. Cuba Gooding Jr plays OJ Simpson, who was accused of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. We’re shown various facets of Simpson’s story, from running away to being held captive to the tedious trial and the landmark ‘not guilty’ verdict. What elevates this show is the critically acclaimed performances, especially Sarah Paulson’s act as lead prosecutor Marcia Clark.
Directors: Ryan Murphy, Anthony Hemingway, John Singleton
Cast: Sterling K Brown, Cuba Gooding Jr, Sarah Paulson, Nathan Lane, David Schwimmer, John Travolta, Selma Blair
Seasons: 1 (2016)

‘Hollywood’

Hollywood subverts the history of Golden Era of cinema (the years after World War II) by giving it a liberal do-over in which marginalised communities and minorities play prominent roles. The series follows a bunch of aspiring actors and filmmakers as they try to make it at all costs. Raymond Ainsley (Darren Criss), a half Filipino wannabe filmmaker hopes to break boundaries, and his girlfriend Camille Washington (Laura Harrier), a black actress is discriminated against because of her race. There’s also Rock Hudson (Jake Picking), an actor coming to terms with his sexuality and Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope), an aspiring black screenwriter who faces prejudice.
Creators: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan
Cast: David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier, Dylan McDermott, Holland Taylor, Patti LuPone, Jim Parsons
Seasons: 1 (2020)