Allow me to take you back over two years ago when Couch and Chill was CouchCruisin and I had no idea what this blog as going to be. Back then, I discussed everything from Cardi B to Game of Thrones. Back in this wacky blogging time, I discussed a little Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk masterpice known as American Horror Story. In this article, I discussed every season leading up to American Horror Story: Cult. Since then, we’ve had Cult and Apocalypse. And now, we are at the beginnings of AHS: 1984.
I’ve decided to review the newest season of AHS. But before I dive into this new iteration of the FX anthology. I thought I’d revisit past seasons and add new viewpoints and thoughts on the past two seasons (also make some editorial adjustments). Any new comments of past seasons are underligned. Let’s get into it!
AHS: Murder House (2011)
Like most shows, the first season is the best season (so far). A troubled family relocates from Boston to California to make a fresh start. The realtor warns them that the house has troubled past, telling them that a murder/suicide was committed by the previous tenants.
She fails to tell them of the many horrors that occurred prior to that incident. These horrors include some of the most infamous crimes in American history, including the Black Dahlia murder of 1947. The family is terrorized by the ghosts that haunt the house. But, they cannot leave because they have nowhere else to go. The family soldiers 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. The only opening that comes close to this amount of terrifying his Coven.
AHS: Asylum (2012)
This season was based on a real-life journalist’s expose, where she commits herself to an insane asylum. The journalist is Lana Winters, played by the brilliant Sarah Paulson. AHS: Asylum is basically a retelling of journalist’s Nellie Bly’s stint in the horrid Blackwell Island’s Women’s Lunatic Asylum. There are 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)
(This entire section is new). When I first discussed Coven, I said that Coven was “okay”. But, after I watched Apocalypse, I remember how amazing this season was. Coven surrounds a school for witches, led by Fiona, the head witch known as the Supreme. This season had some of my favorite characters including Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), Delphine (Cathy Bates), Myrtle (Frances Conroy), and Marie (Queen Angela Bassett). I see why hints of Coven appears over and over in subsequent seasons (Hotel, Roanoke, Apocolypse).
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 acts 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. It’s actually based on the hotel built by H.H. Holmes in the late 1800s, where people would disappear once they checked into the hotel. So, the horror foundation was there. The season is set in this hotel in California that was haunted by those who died there. Lady 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. The problem was more about the 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 it’s in 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. A lot of people I talked to did not like this season, but I loved the Blair Witch vibe to it.
AHS: Cult (2017)
I was really looking forward to this season because cults always fascinate me. All cults usually start with good intentions and end in disastrous results for those involved. The cult in AHS started crazy and ended crazy. I think where it fell short was that it relied heavily on today’s politics to tell the story. It felt preachy and sanctimonious. The season lost the creep factor that makes past AHS seasons so good. I did like the connection that was made between the cult in the show, and known cults like The Peoples Temple.
AHS: Apocalypse (2018)
There is so much to love about last year’s season. First, there is the involvement of the warlocks. Billy Porter and B.D. Wong as warlocks? Yes, please! We also see the return of the coven. They reappear to try and prevent the end of the world. And, how do they do this? By going back to the infamous Murder House of season 1 to stop the rise of the anti-Christ. It was a great season, full of the vilest people you would ever meet. It also brought us full circle, back to the AHS we all loved.
When you begin a season of American Horror Story, you do not know how you’re going to feel about it when it ends. You can fill a sense of satisfaction like Murder House, Coven, or Apocalypse; or, you can be disappointed like Freak Show, Hotel, or Cult. What you do know is that you’re going to get a glimpse into America’s dark history through an often jarring but sometimes perplexing anthology series.
Wrapping It Up
Well, that’s it for my AHS recap. Later this week, I discuss episodes one and two of AHS: 1984. Also this week are my thoughts on Dr. Stone and Demon Slayer. I will see you later!