PopHampton: Brad Falchuk Creates Works of TV Art

Brad Falchuk

East Ender Brad Falchuk, who recently married fellow Hamptonite Gwyneth Paltrow, is among a small group of producers who seem to turn everything they touch into gold. Falchuk, who is known for his collaborations with mega-producer Ryan Murphy, has produced such hits as Nip/Tuck, Glee and American Horror Story, as well as more recent projects like Pose and 9-1-1. His shows are often vehicles for great talent, buzz-worthy plots and exploring interesting, off-the-beaten-path topics. We’ve been absolutely hooked on some of Falchuk’s shows, most of which are available to stream.

Glee is a musical comedy series about a group of misfit teens who come together to restart their high school’s floundering glee club. It ran on Fox from 2009–2015 and made stars out of its talented cast, including Lea Michele (who played Rachel Berry), Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson) and Naya Rivera (Santana Lopez). Michele went on to star in Falchuk’s horror comedy series Scream Queens as nerdy sexpot Hester Ulrich, while Criss appeared in American Horror Story: Hotel alongside Lady Gaga. Glee was known for its large musical numbers featuring both original songs and established hits. The show made headlines when one of its stars, Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), died of a drug overdose. His death was written into the show and changed the trajectory of the series’ plot, which had focused largely on his character’s romance with Rachel. Paltrow also appeared several times as substitute teacher Holly Holliday (“Are you a porn star or a drag queen?” one character asked upon learning her name) and sang several songs, including Adele’s “Turning Tables” and Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You.” Glee is available on Netflix.

Anthology series American Horror Story on FX features an ensemble cast and new terror-tinged saga every season. Many actors return each year as different characters, including Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, Evan Peters and Kathy Bates. Previous seasons have focused on corrupt mental institutions, cults, vampires and haunted houses. The next season, which debuts on September 18, subtitled 1984, is going to be a take on the slasher genre made popular in the 1980s by movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. American Horror Story’s previous seasons are available on Netflix and Hulu.

One of Falchuk’s newer series, Pose, also on FX, takes place in New York City at the height of the AIDS crisis and tells the story of a group of people involved in ballroom culture. The cast is primarily made up of transgender and other LGBT actors led by trans actress Mj Rodriguez as Blanca, the “house mother” of the House of Evangelista. Ballroom culture involved queer people of color competing over fabulous costumes and routines, and inspired East Ender Madonna’s song “Vogue.” Pose’s talented cast also includes Broadway veteran Billy Porter as Pray Tell, the emcee of the balls, and Sandra Bernhard as a lesbian nurse who works with people with AIDS and is a member of AIDS activism group ACT UP. Peters, a mainstay of American Horror Story, was featured heavily in the first season as a married man who worked at Trump Tower and fell in love with pre-op trans sex worker Angel (Indya Moore). Pose is currently in its second season. Its first season is available on Netflix.

Falchuk is now producing two new series, 9-1-1: Lone Star and The Politician. Lone Star is a spin-off of the Los Angeles-based Fox first responder drama that takes the action to Texas and will star Rob Lowe, while The Politician is a musical comedy series that will be released on Netflix on September 27. The Politician features Paltrow, Hamptonite Bob Balaban and Broadway star Ben Platt. Falchuk’s wide range of shows of all different flavors continues to add color and complexity to the television landscape.

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