TV Talk: American Horror Story

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I realize I haven’t posted anything related to TV in awhile. Movies have been keeping me plenty busy… But that’s not it.

I really gave a lot of new shows a try this season, but none of them panned out. “Ringer”, “Person of Interest”, “Terra Nova”, “The Playboy Club”, “Charlie’s Angels”, I watched at least the premiere of all of them, looking for something to recommend. There was nothing though. Nothing worth writing up. “Ringer” is the only one I’m even recording still, and I’m way behind.

That all changed this weekend when I caught the premiere of FX’s new show, “American Horror Story”

As the title might suggest, “American Horror Story” is a horror show.

That right there was probably enough to get me to tune in. I mean, a horror show? On television? How often does THAT happen?

But as an added incentive, the cast is phenomenal. Connie Britton is fresh off of her five season run on “Friday Night Lights”, where she was officially jobbed out of an Emmy. Bastards. Still, whatever she and Kyle Chandler chose for their next projects, I was at least checking out. And Jessica Lange? Are you kidding? Hell yeah. McDermott doesn’t do much for me, but he’s been around long enough. Maybe this is the thing that’ll click with me.

So I DVRed the premiere, and lo and behold, when I got around to checking it out, it was outstanding. Well acted, well written, great cast, great characters, and for tv? Surprisingly creepy!

The premise revolves around a married couple with a teenage daughter who move to a new house after a difficult period in their marriage. The two of them are still struggling with his infedilty, and their daughter is a cutter. Of course, it’s not your average house. Aside from the standard “previous tenants were murdered” angle, there are creepy neighbors, a horny housekeeper, and a scarred up former tenant who tries to warn them of the danger they’re in. Your prototypical “prophet of doom” character.

I know it sounds like there’s some horror stereotypes in there, but it definitely all felt fresh. And there were a couple of moments when I was impressed by how atmospheric and spooky it was. This is an FX show, so it’s got high production values and a lot of adult content. The first episode was a real surprise to me, and I can’t wait to see what they do once they have a chance to give these characters some room to grow and are able to build some story lines and a mythology.

I’m glad to have a show to look forward to on tv again right now.

Check. It. Out! It’s on tonight (Weds) on FX at 10.

12 thoughts on “TV Talk: American Horror Story

  1. I wasn’t much of a fan of the premiere. You’re right, it does have a stellar cast. But it just feels a bit ‘odd’ to me. That’s the only way I can describe it right now. I like the horror aspect, but the family falling apart wasn’t very convincing to me. And the kinky stuff? I just didn’t see the point! Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude, but … WTF was my face’s expression at the end.

    I’m going to give it another go and see how I go with it. Was really looking forward to a horror based TV show after losing Harper’s Island, which was a good slasher-esque TV series which only lasted one season :(

    • I had the WTF face on too, but the smiley version!

      That’s cool though… Try to remember to swing back later and tell me what you thought of Ep2 Jaina, I’m going to watch it tonight (in the modern age, that’s like my ultimate tv compliment… No brewing in the DVR queue whatsoever, I’m tuning in as it airs!)

      • Now seen the 2nd episode and I’m still very much on the fence. Despite them getting one of the main characters that she wants to move out it feels like an empty threat – they’ll never move out because then the show would be dead!

      • Yeahhh… Well, obviously that’s an empty threat, you’re right. My biggest concern was the second episode was a lot weaker than the first… but I suppose that’s to be expected. I’m still looking forward to it.

        It’s crazy that like, my two favorite shows on TV right now are horror shows. Walking Dead and this. :)

      • I wasn’t all that enthused with the first season of Walking Dead, so going to wait for TV here to watch that. Zombies were great but the characters… I was rooting for the zombies!

  2. I was really surprised by how good this was. Very creepy and in parts actually scary (although, as an editor, I am SO OVER the snap edit scares) but I thought it definitely exceeded expectations. I’m a bit unsure how they’ll manage to extend a whole season out of one horror story without it becoming just more teases and reveals which only ask more questions (like LOST, only less-so). In most horror movies you can only extend the tension so long before you have to show the monster (Blair Witch not withstanding) and from then its all about the chases. I’m guessing they wont be revealing a monster for a long while. Just extending the tension may get old on this show.

    Btw, Terra Nova has also surprised me by being surprisingly watchable. You might give it another shot.

    • Yeah? It picked up? Not too hopeful. Plus unless the ratings had an uptick, TN is more than likely one and done.

      Steven Lang is going to be at NYCC this weekend. I may wind up with an autograph I hope.

      American Horror is looking good out of the gate. You’re right though, I have no idea how long they can keep it going. I can see one season though, easy. Then maybe next year, new tenants? I dont know. I’ll be happy if Ep2 is as solid as Ep1. Lets start there.

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  4. Great show. Thanks for tunning me into it Dan. Missed last weeks episode because of the power thing but FX is on ondemand. Yes it can get a little freaky but I usually laugh through those bits. This show is a good combination of horror and comedy. I can see this show lasting a couple of seasons if not longer. The maid is hot, well the young one I mean. For me, definatly worth watching. My wife gets freaked out over horror and anything close to it. So I usually fly solo on these types of shows. That’s ok, she has Desperate House Wifes and I have Walking Dead, American Horror Story and anything the SyFy channel puts out. Again, nice call on this one.

  5. Just watched the pilot last night. I liked it. I have to agree with Gelfman that I am really tired of the snap-edits. Other than that, it was great. Much more creepy than I thought it would be. It is definitely an FX program and I can tell that things are going to get really messed up, but I hope that it doesn’t get to be like Nip/Tuck where the characters start to do things that are so crazy that I am no longer able to relate to them. Although, the fact that these people are living in a possessed house gives them plenty of leeway to act freakin’ crazy.

    • Didn’t watch Nip/Tuck, but I had heard that about it…

      This one has been crazy, but in a fun crazy creepy way. I’ve been enjoying it very much.

      I’m going to have to post up again when the season ends so everyone can discuss… I know a lot of folks are watching it now.

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