I am sure by now to any of the frequent followers of my blog, that I adore American Horror Story. So far as a whole, the series has proven to be the most unique, visceral, and risk-taking pieces of horror TV going. I would even put it above things like The Walking Dead and Hemlock Grove for the way it tackles subversive topics, while it tells a great story. And not just one story. Usually each season has multiple stories within one frame work, making it like an anthology.
Sure I love the actors in the show, and I love how they keep repeating throughout seasons. It’s nice to see familiar and talented people keep coming back, even as new folks get added. I love how they always have interesting places to take you to, like The Murder House, Briarcliff and New Orleans. And these places feel alive. They feel vibrant and atmospheric. I love how the characters are interesting and rich with personality, making me want to know more about them and missing them when the season ends. These things I adore about the show. I even adore the musical selections they've had throughout the series, with first season having soundtrack blurbs from movies you've seen if you are a die-hard horror fan and listen closely.
|And they have friggen AWESOME promo images!|
But the best part of the show for me is the stories.
For a person like me who adores well done storytelling, this series is what I've been wanting. While I have been pleased with a lot of TV coming out that gives us horror fans something to sink our fangs into, American Horror Story is a series I have wanted above all the others. It has so much good stirred into the pot that I am never bored when I watch it. Even when I can’t quite buy a story they are telling, I still enjoy myself. I still want to keep watching.
Now I won’t say it is a prefect series. Very few ever attain perfection. I mean, I think the weakest season for me had to be second season, and it is disappointing because I love the setting! An asylum is a great place to have an American Horror Story play out. It’s such a fertile field for terrible stories of malpractice, torture, and real abuse people suffered in those places. These things are touched on, which is one of a few reasons I don’t hate the season, but they took a risk and tried to tell a tale of aliens. While I get what they were attempting to do, reminding us of some of the real fears people had in the time period of the show (Back in the 70’s aliens were a scary thing), it wasn't told as well as the other mini stories being told. I loved the Bloody Face saga, and I loved Sister Jude’s terrible story. I even loved the crazy Nazi doctor and his Frankenstein-like experiments. But the aliens just didn't work for me. It is the weakest story, and makes the season fall flat.
The first season however, was awesome. Not my favorite, but that’s because even though Coven isn't finished its season, it blows my mind. It’s the best yet. The Murder House is a good season though. It has so much going for it with the eclectic mini stories, and a lot of them are so subversive, touching on topics that feel real and not made out for pure shock value. And I've noticed that each season seems to have some hat tip to the book Frankenstein. Have you noticed it? Dr. Charles Montgomery is a nod at Dr. Frankenstein. Dr. Arthur Arden is another. And Kyle Spencer is The Monster. Of course one of my favorite books of all time is Frankenstein, so I can see what they love about it.
With all this and more, I keep coming back to American Horror Story, and this season with Coven they have figured out the perfect spell. Everything works. The world is consistent within itself, the characters are unique and are preformed awesomely by the actors, there is drama, magic and horror all wrapped up in a voodoo doll full of pins. Each character in the series is beautiful and flawed, lovable and sickening, something they've cultivated since the first season. I’m in supreme love with this season. I can’t wait to see how things turn out.