The Watch List: American Horror Story

By Sara Da Silva

I’ll admit that I gave up halfway through season three of American Horror Story, but this new season appears to be very promising.

American Horror Story was created in 2011 by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the faces behind Glee; but please don’t let that put you off. It’s dark, twisted and full of surprises; exactly what I look for in a show. Each season is a self-contained miniseries which uses the same actors playing different roles.

The first season, entitled Murder House, takes place in Los Angeles and focuses on a family who move into a haunted house. This season was perhaps the best out of them all simply due to the fact that it was so different to anything we had seen on television up to that point.

The second season, Asylum, as obvious from its title, takes place in an institution for the criminally insane. The ending, which I won’t spoil for you, did take a rather weird turn; but apart from that the season was a good combination of scary, creepy and interesting.

The third, Coven, is set in New Orleans and follows a group of witches in a supernatural boarding school. I went into this season with high hopes as I had studied the Salem witchcraft trials at university, but I was bitterly disappointed and gave up.

Because I stopped watching halfway through the season I was sceptical about watching the fourth season but I’m glad that I did in the end.

The fourth season so far has been very impressive. It takes place in 1952 Florida and is based around a travelling freak show, home to Elsa Mars’ “monsters”. As well as focusing on their struggles to fit in with society and their attempts to gain a wider audience, and there is a side story involving a very creepy clown. Don’t do what I did and watch the show at 3am in complete darkness. Don’t do it. Seriously.

The fact that each season has a completely different plot allows viewers to watch them in a different order, and to potentially skip a season (like I did). Thanks for that writers. The fact that the characters change in each season but the cast stays the same shows how well they can act and adapt to different personae. The critically acclaimed Jessica Lange is especially great in each season, even in season three. The runt of the seasons.

In all honesty though, it’s so different to anything I have seen before so it’s definitely worth a try.

Season 4 is currently showing on Wednesdays only on FX. Get watching.


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