The biggest liar of The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Why, it's the show itself of course. And that's okay.

Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan.
(Image credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX)

Without its clarifying finale, the aims of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace were almost as hard to unpack as the lies of its protagonist, serial killer and pathological fabulist Andrew Cunanan. That might, in fact, be exactly the point. The series I once criticized for its roaming point of view ended by lying as freely and charmingly as its dancing villain. In so doing, it forged an unlikely and uncomfortable alliance with Cunanan himself.

It's no secret that, as a series, Versace mixed truth with half-truths and lies almost as much as Cunanan did. Vulture has run a great fact-checking column for each episode that itemizes the liberties the show takes with the truth. The question, to my mind, was how to interpret those departures. When showrunner Tom Rob Smith swapped in an entire ham (with a knife sticking out of it) for the famous ham sandwich Cunanan left behind at the Miglin residence (after having brutally murdering the owner), it seemed clear to me that once we understood that substitution — that blindingly literal instance of the show "hamming it up" — we'd understand a lot of what the series was doing.

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