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Karen Timofeev
Karen Timofeev

American Horror Story - Season 1 [PORTABLE]

On May 11, 2020, Murphy revealed that a spin-off series named American Horror Stories was being developed; it would feature self-contained anthological episodes, instead of a season-long story arc as featured in American Horror Story.[2] The first season consists of seven episodes.[3] On August 13, 2021, FX renewed the series for a second season of eight episodes.[1][4]

American Horror Story - Season 1

American Horror Story has undoubtedly influenced television in the past decade, especially regarding horror-related shows. With the spin-off, American Horror Stories, having a second season this year, and the original AHS getting renewed for three more seasons, the show is nothing short of a major success. Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are truly impressive in how many things they were capable of producing one year after the other, always surprising the viewer with innovative and very different ways of being scary and extremely disturbing. However, when looking up close, it becomes clear that AHS is a lot more than merely different frightening stories every year: they are all connected.

American Horror Story is a horror anthology show. Every year is a different story and horror style in a separate location and sometimes different time period, and even the same cast plays new characters almost every season. However, these variations disguise the fact that there are many connections and consequences within AHS. Because all seasons are connected, it can lead to confusion on what order someone who is a new fan should watch the show. Here are how deep the connections are and what seasons should be watched in a specific order.

Every season has a title that helps identify what the story is about. They are usually called by the title and not by the season number. These titles are heavily used in the marketing and promos for the series and become part of every year's new identity of the show while also helping create the story's tone and mood. Here is a list of every AHS season available and what they are called.

The show has an anthology format, which would allow the writers and producers to reinvent the series every year without having to be attached to the previous season. However, as the years went by and the series became extremely popular, connections started to happen. An example would be a character that is a part of a previous season who is mentioned or appears in a later season. This became somewhat common in the show over time and developed into seasons being completely connected, going as far as various characters making comebacks. Because of that, there are some seasons that, if the viewer watches in a particular order, they'll have a better understanding and overall enjoyment of the characters and story. Overall this is not essential to the comprehension of the stories, but they are fun easter eggs available for long-time fans.

Other ones are Murder House, Coven, and Apocalypse. The first, third, and eighth seasons are deeply connected and should be watched in the order they were released. To not miss any details, watching them one after the other may help remember all the characters and their story arcs. Following that, Roanoke should be watched (or at least after Coven) because there is an explanation regarding the witches characters that can help understand the story.

As is usual for the horror franchise, the plot for each new story has been shrouded in mystery so that viewers can be surprised by what's in store for them until they sit down on the sofa to watch it (with or without a pillow in front of their face to hide from the horrors).

And with the spinoff American Horror Stories (featuring a different storyline each episode) now part of the expanding universe (it returned for a second season in July), fans have a lot to enjoy from the franchise.

The anthology horror series, American Horror Story is known for recycling its stellar ensemble cast into a new storyline with each season. Some seasons achieve this better than others, and while most are beloved by the fans, a few have received a mixed reception. More recent seasons have signaled a return to form, which bodes well for the further two seasons expected in the coming years. Here are all of the currently released seasons ranked from worst to best.

The season later integrates the witches from AHS: Coven who carry the latter half of the season. AHS: Apocalypse is worth watching just to enjoy these characters returning, but it feels like a wasted opportunity to explore more Satanic themes. The season's high point is undoubtedly the return of cast alum Jessica Lange as season 1's Constance Langdon, which unfortunately is all too brief to save the meandering and divergent storylines.

American Horror Story: Double Feature hindered its own ability to fully explore two stories. The first half felt rushed while the second half felt too drawn out. The season was aided enormously by newcomer Macaulay Culkin alongside a fine selection of cast alumni. AHS: Double Feature's ending felt somewhat rushed, but tonally the season is captivating. The return of Finn Wittrock to the main cast is also particularly enjoyable, but not enough to overcome the hurried and wasted storylines.

American Horror Story: NYC is a return to form for the series. While a far cry from the classic seasons, it is much more enjoyable than some later entrants. Billie Lourd is great, and the incorporation of real-life events is much smoother and more seamless than in other seasons. The scope of the season is quite broad, but allows for newer story avenues, avoiding the potential of repeated horrors. It also provides a much-needed LGBTQ presence in the horror genre, which Murphy is becoming synonymous with.

American Horror Story: Freak Show has possibly the strongest ending from any American Horror Story season, but this is not enough to compensate for the slightly underwhelming plot. A promising start soon unravels into a story more drama than horror. The tragic death of Meep in AHS: Freak Show is a great example of this. The season is essentially a 14-hour remake of the classic film The Freaks, which itself is featured in the season. Freak Show features the last season-long performance from Lange, and rather stale but lovable Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling, living up to his namesake. The season is much more tragic than horrifying, focussing more on the evil in humanity. And scary clowns.

A slightly misguided opening cluster of episodes hindered American Horror Story: Hotel. The inclusion of three identical dark-haired men was confusing while Lady Gaga taking on a lead role failed to compensate for the loss of Jessica Lange. Evan Peters is great as James March, based on a real-life killer, while Kathy Bates and Dennis O'Hare quite rightly become the focus of AHS: Hotel by halfway. The pair enjoy one of the most compelling dynamics to occur in American Horror Story history. It takes a while to find its feet, but overall the season is great.

Though somewhat disregarded by many fans for incorporating politics and steering away from non-human horrors, American Horror Story: Cult holds up much better than other seasons. Paulson's character is difficult to relate to initially, and if anything is quite annoying, but her triumph is surprisingly enthralling. The latter portion of the season is much more enjoyable for this reason, not to mention that Evan Peters as Andy Warhol alongside a slew of real-life cult leaders, is absolutely mesmerizing.

American Horror Story is due to continue for at least two more seasons. The latest releases have suggested a return to form, while sister-series American Horror Stories also continues to delight and terrify. The entire AHS franchise is a cultural phenomenon, that has rewritten horror television, and promises to continue to do so for years to come.

That's as true today as it was over a decade ago when American Horror Story first proved that audiences would rally behind anthologies even with the caveat of all-new stories and new cast members each season (though we all wish Jessica Lange could be a constant always). But more importantly, it showed that horror could be just as effective on television as in film.

While we're used to seeing AHS shake up its format (it is an anthology, after all), season 10's Double Feature is a complete departure from the series' norm. Like the back-to-back genre flicks in the days of drive-ins, this installment is split into two tales: Red Tide "by the sea" and Death Valley "by the land." But what could have been an intricate, interwoven storytelling feat is instead one season's worth of resources spread thin between separate and stale plotlines, much to the dismay of fans eager to see the season that Covid had delayed by a year.

This time, the season begins as a married couple (Lily Rabe and André Holland) recounts the strange experience of living in a haunted farmhouse for a documentary series, complete with dramatic reenactments by Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. as actors playing the aforementioned couple. It's an intriguing concept, but as is the Murphy-Falchuk curse, the story spirals out of focus when the fictional docuseries spawns a spin-off show within the show, crowding an already metatextual narrative now stuffed to the brim.

Coven has its work cut out for itself. This highly-anticipated third installment follows two coveted seasons that rewrote the rules for horror television for the better, proving that TV could dish out anguish and gore just as well as film. And though Coven is not as impressive as the ever-celebrated Murder House and Asylum, it's still a fine season that plays a hefty role in the greater AHS canon.

After Murder House proved prime-time audiences could stomach cable-curated horror, season two's Asylum fired on all cylinders: psychological horror from complete loss of autonomy, atmospheric frights from nearly every frame, and even body horror from a self-induced abortion and aversion therapy among other violent injustices. But worst of all is the knowledge that all of these terrors were trademarks of the asylums that stowed away the mentally ill (and the plainly defiant) well into the 20th century. 041b061a72


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