During my Christmas break, instead of being the diligent English Lit student and start my assigned reading of a lengthy 600 page novel, I took the liberty of truly relaxing by becoming reacquainted with my beloved Netflix. Browsing through the list of new tv series added, I stumbled upon American Horror Story, a show that I procrastinated on watching since the age before time (roughly about a year) and decided this was the show for me. My reason? Horror and Drama, my two favourite genres interspersed into one broody and sublime show.
Let me start off by saying this series is an Anthology, meaning that each season’s storyline and setting differs from the prior one but some of the beloved actors who you eventually start to grow crushes on in the first season (be it the mentally disturbed yet strangely seductive Tate or the confidant yet perturbed Ben) make re-appearances in the second season but portray different persona’s. With that being said, if you aren’t a fan of deranged horror or even supernatural elements, then this isn’t the show for you .
American Horror Story is all about the element of surprise and it goes without saying that watching this before bedtime will lead to some pretty twisted dreams. Don’t just take my word for it, take my boyfriend’s,whose dream of aliens kidnapping his body and eating away at his soul manifested from some morbid scenes he recently viewed from the show. If that’s not enough to throw you off then here’s my top 3 reasons why this batshit crazy show is one you should be watching right now:
1. Jessica Lange– Okay, there’s no other way of saying this without being blatant. This sassy woman can act her ass off. In Season one she plays a fearless southern belle who sweet talks her way out of getting what she wants. In the second season, she does a complete 180 and plays a catholic nun with a rough demeanor whose underlying vulnerability makes her all the more complex and bad ass. In both seasons, she mesmerizes you with her ability to transcend into her interchangeable roles with the utmost eloquence and zeal that only a talented actress like herself can pull off.
(honorable mentions go to : Zachary Quinton’s roles in season 1 as and 2 , as well as Evan Peters and Dylan McDermott who all outperformed their grimly roles in both seasons )
2. What do you get when you mix sci fi elements, an alternate historical reality, a twisted mad scientist , a sadistic serial killer, and a possession into one? A seemingly perfect horror show. Unlike any other horror shows (Buffy, Supernatural, Charmed to name a few) which focus primarily on linear supernatural elements- demons, vampires, witches and add humour to lesson the depravity, American Horror Story encapsulates an abundance of horror and sci fi elements tied in with the psychological aftermath that you experience vicariously through the characters. If Freud were here, he’d be fascinated by their inner psyche and the drive that makes them do the crazy shit that they do and still not have a correct diagnosis for them because their craziness stems from the brilliant creation of writer and creator Ryan Murphy’s perfect dose of insanity.
3. In a nutshell, because it’s just that ADDICTIVE. If you’re anything like me and find yourself pausing a show to browse the internet because of your low attention span or better yet disinterest in a show, then there’s hope for you because American Horror Story will captivate your attention and most importantly hold it. The sublime elements of horror, the grisly imagery and the actor’s impeccable acting will leave you every Wednesday in an anxious state refreshing thepage awaiting for the next episode to air online.
If these 3 reasons haven’t persuaded you enough to give American Horror Story a chance, then maybe you just fear feeling a sublime visceral response to the show. A response that doesn’t just consist of fear, but elements of shock, terror and even humour!