“Versace” kills as crime drama’s second season

While many people have kept up with producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s series “American Horror Story,” some have also taken notice of their other anthology show, “American Crime Story.”

Like “Horror Story,” each season of “Crime Story” is different from the last, with its own story, setting and characters.

However, while “Horror Story” contains fictional tales that try to frighten audiences, “Crime Story” shines light on historical crime cases.

When the first season, “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” debuted Feb. 2, 2016, with its great acting and storytelling, it set the bar high for seasons to come.

While I had to wait almost two years for the second season, I am glad I did not lose interest in the show, as its next case has not only gotten me reinvested in the series but also keeps me eager for future seasons.

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” follows not only the death of the world-famous fashion designer but also takes a peek into the mind of Versace’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan.

Before the story even begins, however, the show gave me an incredible look inside Versace’s Miami home. If it turns out the show was filmed inside his actual house, it would not surprise me, as the scenery is beautiful and befitting of a rich man.

Last season, despite its stellar cast, I did not enjoy Cuba Gooding Jr.’s portrayal of alleged serial killer O.J. Simpson. His voice was not as deep as Simpson’s, nor was he tough enough to match the former football player’s demeanor.

With actor Édgar Ramírez’s take on Versace, I have seen no issues with his acting. In this role, I genuinely see him as a famous designer with his own personal struggles.

However, the real marvel of this season is actor Darren Criss’ Cunanan. One minute he is lying about his relationship with Versace, and the next he is duct taping the head of an older rich man for money.

This portrayal of the killer is not only crazy, manipulative and remorseless, but he also bears a striking resemblance to the real-life Cunanan. Because of the show’s focus on his background of murders and obsession with Versace, I consider him the true star of the season.

The final main star worth talking about is Penélope Cruz, who is also starting to shine in her role of Versace’s sister, Donatella, who takes over the business for him after his death. Her dislike of Versace’s final boyfriend, Antonio, adds more drama, even if not on the same level as Criss’ unpredictable nature.

As for the story, audiences should not expect the docudrama to portray everything exactly the way it happened, as all the facts are still unknown and certain dramatic elements are included to keep viewers invested.

One of the main details the show adds is Versace having AIDs before he died. Personally, this does not add or take away from the story for me but is rather believable, considering the number of homosexual men who continue to fall victim to the disease.

Regardless, I still believe the show can be educational, as I had never heard of Versace or his murder until watching this.

I have only seen the first two episodes so far, and I can already tell this show will be another great season for “American Crime Story.” I am unsure it will be superior to the first, but it does not have to be. With different crimes come different stories, which are told in different ways.

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” airs Wednesday evenings on FX.