Wait for it…wait for it…

The NYT cozies up to Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck and Glee:

“Mr. Murphy is nothing if not seductive. Self-assured to the point of cockiness, a wicked sense of humor, scary-ambitious yet charmingly eager to please, fashion-forward: it’s an intoxicating brew. Not to mention the literal light-headedness you feel standing near him. This is not a man who is bashful about his Yves Saint Laurent cologne.”

Oh, fashion-forward

“His obsession with identity leads back to his childhood in one way or another. Mr. Murphy was picked on in high school for being openly gay (in 1980, no less), performing in a choir and leading an ad hoc Meryl Streep fan club. (He demanded that members watch Sophie’s Choice four weekends in a row.) But by some strange twist of fate he was also popular, hanging out with the quarterback of the football team.”

And here it comes…

“Mr. Murphy also had to square who he was with the family’s strict Catholic values. His parents were so religious that nuns would sometimes vacation with them. He remembers sitting next to a nun in the back seat of the family Pinto and belting out ‘Lady Marmalade.’”

Boom goes the dynamite.

(Korrektiv: not afraid to use creaky catchphrases!)


  1. Dorian Speed says

    Wait – that was a catchphrase? Must not have made it to Texas yet. (the possibility that I myself would not be hip to the slang is negligible)

    I think the question is rapidly becoming: Are there any Envelope Pushers who did NOT grow up Catholic? We provide such nice authority against which to rebel.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Dorian, check YouTube for Boom Goes the Dynamite. I think it hails from 2005 or so.

  3. Jonathan Webb says

    That's a great question Dorian. Also, there seems to be a kind of post-modern street cred that goes along with growing up Catholic. Next thing we know, people will start saying they were when they were not.

    For example, I grew up Catholic.

  4. Quin Finnegan says

    That is a nice point, Dorian … and as Percy hasn't been referred to yet in connection with this post, let me quote Signposts in a Strange Land:

    Show me a lapsed Catholic who writes a good novel about being a young Communist at Columbia and I'll show you a novelist who owes more to Sister Gertrude at Sacred Heart in Brooklyn, who slapped him clean out of his seat for disrespect to the Eucharist, than he owes to all of Marxist dialectic. (p 370)

    Same deal here: for whatever frisson he's able to generate in his television shows, Murphy owes more "strict Catholic values" than Yves Saint Laurent.

    I haven't seen Glee, but I watched a few episodes of Nip/Tuck when it first came out and liked it okay. I took it for a fairly decent send-up of our obsession with appearance, the vacuity of the culture surrounding plastic surgery and the "noughtness" of the consumers who partake of it, to take another cue from Percy.

    The trouble was that as I continued to watch the show, it seemed to fall prey to the very shallowness of the culture it set out to satirize. Is that a problem for all satire? Maybe … I can't figure out whether satire is becoming less effective as our culture slides into self-parody, or if I'm just turning into an old fogey.

  5. Dorian Speed says

    We keep watching Glee because of the fabulosity of Jane Lynch, but then I say to my husband, "I HAVE to stop watching this show!" because some of the plot lines drive me bonkers. I actually like the character of Kurt Hummel (who is supposedly based on Ryan Murphy) a lot.

    The show is clunkily bad on the rare occasions when it tries to rope in Catholicism. One character was the president of the "Celibacy Club" and she had a big crucifix on her wall above the couch where she'd make out with her boyfriend, but everything else about her family was clearly supposed to telegraph "Bible-thumper". I am actually kind of surprised to find out that Murphy was raised Catholic.

  6. Rufus McCain says

    I predict a future creative collaboration between Ryan, Roberts, and Mel Gibson.

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