The anthological television series American Horror Story returned for its second season a few weeks ago, and I had very high expectations. I was blown away by the first season of American Horror Story– the acting was brilliant, the themes hit to the core of the audience, and the show had the tenacity to explore topics that are typically avoided by television. I will literally never be able to forget the Rubber Man scene in the first episode, the birthing scene in the season finale where the wife is hemorrhaging to death, and the scene where they discover Violet’s decomposed body (oh god that fly coming out of her rotting mouth still gives me nightmares!).
So, needless to say, I was an avid fan of the first season and was excited for the second season. I assumed that the show had expectations to live up to for almost everyone– from critics to the average watcher– and that they would “step-up their game” for this season.
To be completely honest, I was let down.
Now, the season nor show is not bad, it is just not as interesting as the first season. The first season hit at the nerves of the issues many families face– infidelity, rebellion, and a struggling economy– and made it relatable. As well, it was a simple story– a troubled family moves into a haunted house in Los Angeles and weirdness ensues. Yes, there were many characters, but only 5 of them had any real depth and hard-core plot provided to them. As well, there were psychological reasons behind all the deaths and bloody actions, nothing was random.
Season two, while I applaud Ryan Murphy for exploring a true form of horror (mental institutions in the 1960s), I just do not like the plot line. I feel that it is not paced well– for a little bit it will be eventful and suspenseful, but then the next scene will practically drag. I find it frustrating and many of the characters to be boring and I do not become concerned for them. The only thing I think the show has going for it is that almost none of the patients, or at least the ones they focus on, are not crazy. Such as Shelley (Chloë Sevigny) was sent to there for cheating on her husband and enjoying sex; Kit (Evan Peters) is there because he is accused of murdering 3 women and skinning them (anyone else thinking of Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs?) but he seems innocent; and Lana (Sarah Paulson) is there because she was researching the asylum, became trapped there, and is now being treated for her homosexuality.
The show does not have any truly good or at least interesting characters. Such as, in one episode they revealed that Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), who is arguably the protagonist, was a singer, had had several sexual relationships, and had accidentally killed a small child. And none of this interested me.
The only character I find compelling is Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto) because he is a man of science and constantly challenges Sister Jude. But, it takes more than one character to keep me interested in a show. So, whether or no I will continue to watch American Horror Story: Asylum is debatable. I just haven’t been that impressed (and don’t get me started about the alien or experimental thing going on) and I am not sure whether anything will change my mind to make this season as amazing as the first one.
What about you? Do you like the new season of American Horror Story? Did you watch the first season or are you new to the show?