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Ryan Murphy Needs To Stop Stabbing His Best Shows In The Back With Terrible Endings

Ending a show, as any maligned showrunner will tell you, ain't easy. For every finale that works beautifully, like "The Good Place" or even "The Sopranos" (yes, it's a good ending!), there's "How I Met Your Mother" or "Game of Thrones" lurking around the corner to just completely disappoint you. When it comes to something like an anthology series, this can be even trickier, as this one showrunner knows ... or apparently doesn't know, because he won't stop burning even his most loyal viewers.

Ryan Murphy is, if we're going to be blunt, one of the more frustrating showrunners working in television today. Despite creating career-defining work like "Glee," "American Horror Story," "American Crime Story," and "Ratched," among many others and some films to boot, Murphy is wildly divisive, whether fans are going to bat for his work or critics are deriding his latest project. Case in point is "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story," which dropped in 2022 and earned awards for its star Evan Peters ... but also received widespread criticism that all he was doing was glamorizing one of history's most brutal murderers.

Controversies aside, there's one indisputable fact about Murphy: he sucks at ending stories. Time and time again, whether it's a season of "American Horror Story" or a limited series like "The Watcher," Murphy likes to toss every single thought he has at the wall, let as much of it stick as possible, and then run away and leave a big old mess behind. Here's why Ryan Murphy needs to stop ruining his shows with crappy endings.

Why are Ryan Murphy's finales so cruddy anyway?

If you're wondering what makes Murphy's conclusions so unfulfilling, you probably haven't watched enough — or any — Ryan Murphy shows. Take "American Horror Story" as an example where, throughout most of its most popular seasons, it's seemed confused about how it should cap off the story (since "AHS" is an anthology series, each season is a standalone tale). The second season, "Asylum," is often regarded as a series high point thanks to its extremely twisted narrative, but how does it end? Aliens. It ends with aliens. Why? Well, Murphy introduced aliens briefly during the season for reasons unknown, and rather than try and figure out a way to make it make sense, the season just ... ends. Two seasons later, "Freak Show," an utterly bizarre season that involved both a murderous clown and a German snuff film, ended with everyone going to heaven, which felt like an utter copout after a truly, completely weird run of episodes.

Meanwhile, 2022's "The Watcher" — a show that, honestly, probably should have run for about three episodes before wrapping up its story — added in a ton of sensationalized and ultimately untrue details into the actual story of a family who received odd, threatening letters at their new dream home until they moved out in terror. In real life, the suspect was never found, so naturally, Murphy creates a character out of thin air and pins it on them, using the flimsy excuse that she was ... jealous of the house, only for her to admit later that she was lying. Great! Then what was this all for?

Ryan Murphy needs to chart out his narratives before he starts a show

Ryan Murphy has been writing professionally for a long time, but it's never too late to learn good habits – and in his case, that habit should be that he maps out his plotlines before cameras start actively rolling. Sometimes, the ending is right in front of him, and he still manages to miss the mark; in "The Politician," Ben Platt's Payton Hobart only has one goal, and that's to become President of the United States. In the meantime, he schemes to win study body president at his high school, and then, during the second season, inexplicably gets to run for state senator. When his highly experienced opponent concedes because she needs to for the plot to work, Payton gets to be a senator ... and his mom, Georgina (Gwyneth Paltrow), becomes President, for some reason.

Listen, Ryan — if you're reading this, we mean no disrespect. Really, we love that you're willing to take really wild swings with your work, and there's no question that you're capable of creating amazing shows with outstanding performances from legends like Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, and Kathy Bates. It's just your endings, man. You gotta figure out where you're going with the story before you plop Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters onto a set and call "action." Please just take that extra step. It'll be worth it — promise.