A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, the second installment of the American Crime Story franchise, focuses on the lives and deaths of designer Gianni Versace and his murderer. Serial murder is a major theme, and his shooting, as well as other violent moments, are shown, but blood and bloody wounds are visible after the fact. It contains strong sexual innuendo, including discussions of promiscuity and sexual exploits. Conversations about being gay and instances of homophobia are also addressed. Words like "hell" and "damn" are used, and there's drinking (champagne, hard liquor, etc.), cigarette smoking, and drug use. The Versace brand is discussed in context.
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What's the story?
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AN AMERICAN CRIME STORY, the second season of the American Crime Story franchise, is inspired by the real life and death of fashion designer Gianni Versace (Édgar Ramírez) and that of his murderer. It begins with the events of July 15, 1997, when Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) fatally shoots the fashion icon on the steps of his Miami mansion. What follows is a look into the lives of both men, including the killer's history as a pathological liar, and Versace's alleged sexual exploits, despite his long-term relationship with Antonio D'Amico (Ricky Martin). It also chronicles the events that transpired after his murder, including the nine-day national FBI search for Cunanan, who was wanted for several deaths around the country, and the efforts of Versace's sister, Donatella (Penelope Cruz), ito immediately protect the business interests of the House of Versace.
Is it any good?
This melodramatic and somewhat exploitative series offers an interpretation of both Versace's and Cunanan's life based on documented and imagined events. It's hard to figure out the motive for the murder, but it's interesting to see some of the mistakes made by the FBI due to the homophobic sentiments of the time, which made it possible for the killer to reach the designer after committing several homicides. However, much of the story seems entrenched in colorful rumors, including the connection between the two men, the truth of which remains impossible to determine.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace can get a little slow at times, but still manages to smoothly re-create and intertwine each man's distinctive life story despite the frequent use of flashbacks. Some viewers may not appreciate the creative license taken by the show's producers or its obvious focus on the characters' allegedly hedonistic lifestyles, while others may not care what's fact and what's fiction as long as it's fun to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role Gianni Versace played in fashion and in popular culture. What is it about his designs that made him stand out?
How do you tell a story like The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, where there are as many questions as answers? Do you think this show did a good job of re-creating history?
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