Ryan Murphy credits Glee with the success of American Horror Story, so fans should thank this savior

Start singing (screaming?) the a-capella teen drama’s praises – Murphy wouldn’t have created FX’s hit horror anthology without it

Image credit: Fox, FX

It’s hard to believe that the person responsible for something as terrifying as American Horror Story could also be responsible for something as upbeat as Glee. But not only is this exactly the case, AHS actually would never have happened without the musical theater comedy.

At least, according to the creator himself, Ryan Murphy.

In 2017, Murphy sat down for an interview with Elle Magazine, who extolled Glee for “always sounding its moral principles with church-bell clarity,” and calling it “beloved by fans” for doing so. If you have a Gleek in your life (is that really the preferred terminology?), then you’ve probably experienced that love first hand. But for Murphy, who also created the plastic surgery drama Nip/Tuck, all that positivity became overwhelming.

“I was like,” Murphy tells the interviewer, “‘I can’t write any more nice speeches for these Glee kids about love and tolerance and togetherness. I’ll kill myself… I’m going to write a show about anal sex and mass murders.'”

A tad reductive, that, but Murphy’s point is clear to any fans of FX’s long-running horror anthology, which just wrapped its twelfth season. Across a decade plus of TV, Murphy’s bloody brainchild had included just about every kind of horror imaginable – a far cry from the happy halls of William McKinley High School. If Murphy wanted a break from the light, he got it.

This story does lead you to wonder – with so much darkness and debauchery under his belt, will Ryan Murphy feel a calling to return to the technicolor, hopeful kind of show Glee was?

With no end in sight for AHS, its spinoff, or a brand new horror series called Grotesquerie on the way, the answer appears to be “no.”

Both American Horror Story and Glee are streaming now on Hulu.

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