Welcome back Cruisers’! As you are probably aware, American Horror Story returns on September 5. If you have never seen the show, the title pretty much tells you the premise. Each season the show focuses on a different scary story. From ghosts to witches to the circus, AHS has found new ways to horrify us (sometimes). This season looks to be no different. I have watched quite a few teasers on YouTube. The mixture of cults, clowns, and bees looks delightfully disturbing. So, to commemorate my 7th post, and the upcoming 7th season of AHS, I thought I’d give you my impressions of each season. I’ll try not to give too much detail in case you want to binge watch the earlier seasons.
AHS: Murder House (2011)
Like most shows, the first season is the best season (so far). This troubled family relocates from Boston to California to make a fresh start. The realtor warns them that the house has a troubled past, telling them that a murder/suicide was committed by the previous tenants. But she fails to tell them of the many horrors that occurred there prior to that incident. The family is terrorized by the many ghosts that haunt the house. Of course, the family has sunk everything they had into the home so there’s no going back. So they soldier on, living with a bunch of ghosts and unearthing a bunch of skeletons (so to speak), including their own. This season introduces the audience to a mix of history and the macabre. And the opening….scary as hell.
AHS: Asylum (2012)
The second season was not as good as the first, but still good and extremely messed up. This season was based on a real-life journalist’s exposé, where the journalist had herself committed to an asylum so she could expose the inhumane treatment of its patients. AHS: Asylum had the same premise, except in this fictional institution, the staff should have been the ones committed. There was some crazy nuns, some crazy doctors, and some truly crazy situations. I remember being bored mid-season but regaining interest towards the end.
AHS: Coven (2013)
Season three was okay, not as good as two, but not the worst season. As the name suggests, season three examines a New Orleans coven and the power struggle that lies therein. The head witch (called the “supreme”) fights to keep her position and power, as a group of new witches joins the coven. I think this would have been an extremely boring season were it not for Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. Kathy Bates had some of the best lines in the show. The beef she had with Bassett’s character (the women have a looooooonnnnng history) kept the show interesting. All the “supreme” stuff seemed secondary.
AHS: Freak Show (2014)
Season four was lame. This could have been a terrifying season. There was this circus freak show that was on its last leg, a clown that you would not invite to a kid’s party…ever, and a sadistic man-baby (as in he is a man that acted like a baby). It was all there. The problem was the story they were trying to sell me was not interesting. Not to mention the singing. I mean it was AHS: The Musical. They focused too much on the ring leader’s story, a story that I cared the least about. As a matter of fact, there was too much time devoted to individual stories. There were just too many characters for that. I think they should have told the story from one perspective, namely the perspective of the conjoined twins. DID I MENTION THE SINGING??!!!
AHS: Hotel (2015)
Freak Show was pretty lame but Hotel just plain sucked (and not just the blood-sucking kind that was on the show). There was the whole “once you check in, you never check out” thing they were going for. The season is set in this hotel in California that was haunted by those who died there. Lada Gaga played some sort of vampire-like person. They tried to incorporate all these dead serial killers, but it was just a whole bunch of nonsense to me. I may garner a lot of hate for saying this but I think too much was made of Lady Gaga’s performance in the show. She played a blood-sucking, gold-digging floozy. But I guess she did outstanding when compared to the other characters. But that was more bad writing than bad acting.
AHS: Roanoke (2016)
Just when I had given up hope of ever seeing a decent AHS again, here comes Roanoke to punch me in the face! This season takes us to another haunted house, but this time into the dark and creepy woods of North Carolina. It was jump-scare city this season. You found yourself yelling “Run!” at the screen like you were watching Nightmare on Elm Street or something. This season had complex characters with complex relationships, enough tension to give you anxiety, and a creepy tone with none of the cheese of the previous two seasons. And just when you thought it was over….it wasn’t. It reminded me a lot of the first season in that you don’t understand why they are there or why they stay, but you glad you are a witness to it.
So here’s the tally….
Seasons 1 and 6: Watch it!
Seasons 2 and 3: Watch it if you have time.
Seasons 4 and 5: Yea…you can skip it if you want.
There are recurring characters and connecting histories within the show’s seasons. But, you can watch YouTube videos or go on Reddit to find these connections.
I am looking forward to seeing what happens in AHS: Cult. History has shown us that is could be a creepy and disorienting look into America’s dark history like the first and sixth seasons, a mediocre show with some redeeming qualities like second and third seasons, or a hot, boring mess like the fourth and fifth seasons. It is hard to believe the guy who created Glee (Ryan Murphy) had a hand in this dark, disturbing show. I can’t wait to tell you my impressions of Cult!!!
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Until then…thanks for your continued support and Keep Cruisin’!!!