One of the magazine's problems is generational, frantically pimping their iPad app to readers who at heart live in the 19th century. The new TV critic, Emily Nussbaum, pens a long essay about Ryan Murphy's gay camp ethos but you may sense some editorial creaks as she tries to convey her young, city ideas to an aging Westchester audience. Eighties' drag queen Lady Bunny but no Daniel Halperin? Nussbaum writes:
"In 1964, Susan Sontag, in her essay Notes on Camp described it as “a solvent of morality,” and that phrase hints at what is appealing about Murphy’s shows: his Tourettic impulse to offend, even in the midst of the sweetest love story. Camp originated as a private language, in an era when survival as a gay man meant learning to break codes—of male and female behavior, of normality and status. Murphy has taken this vernacular of the closet, and bent it, hard, toward an era of outness. It’s a mighty queer gambit, and one that aligns Murphy with a subset of gay showrunners whom I’ve rarely seen lumped together in critical conversation, perhaps for fear of risking offense."Among these is Alan Ball, who created Six Feet Under (the drama that produced David Fisher, the first truly complex gay male character on TV) and True Blood (with its dicey vampirism-as-gay-rights metaphor). There’s also Kevin Williamson, the creator of Dawson's Creek and the new horror show “The Following,” and the executive producer of “The Vampire Diaries”; Desperate Housewives’s Marc Cherry, who named every episode for a Sondheim reference; and Michael Patrick King, the man behind both the exquisitely campy Sex and the City and the execrably campy “2 Broke Girls.” In addition, there’s Silvio Horta, the creator of ABC’s sweet telenovela adaptation Ugly Betty an underrated comedy-drama that managed to celebrate both Queens and queens.
"Like several of these showrunners, Murphy loves divas and zingers. But he stands out for his aggressive attempts to punch right through TV’s lazier habits, stitching genres together like a mad scientist. Murphy’s finest set pieces evoke Charles Busch and Bertolt Brecht as well as Lady Bunny, theatrical figures willing to risk the ridiculous for a shot at the transcendent. If this approach occasionally results in episodes that resemble the bat-winged pig fetus from American Horror Story’s experimental lab, so what? Shock has value, too: it wakes us up."