This show is really starting to click, especially now that the Murphy/Falchuk team are no longer writing the scripts themselves. Last night's first installment in American Horror Story's two-part "Halloween" extravaganza was credited to James "Final Destination" Wong and next week, the marvelous, merciless Tim Minear is on deck for the concluding chapter. (We'll be disappointed if there isn't at least one major character death. Please let it be Ben, please.) Wong gave us some intriguing new backstory about the Murder House (apparently, if you die within its walls, you're unable to move onto the next plane of existence); introduced us to some promising new characters (Zachary Quinto's former owner-turned-fluffer and Morris Chestnut's security specialist that was obviously -- and understandably -- making eyes at the gorgeous Viv. Why did Ben cheat on her again? Oh yeah, because he's an idiot); and devised some of the show's freakiest and funniest moments to date, including...
Welcome to the third installment of American Horror Story and the first one that series creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk aren't credited with writing. Maybe that's why it's the most consistent episode so far, avoiding the wild swings in tone that were present in the pilot. Add in some intriguing backstory about Moira and Constance, the return of Kate Mara and creepy information about the house's first tenants and you've got the best episode of the show so far. We're still not 100 percent certain that American Horror Story won't fall apart in the home (no pun intended) stretch, but we did finally come away feeling that the writers actually do have some idea where they want the show to go.
The second episode of American Horror Story was a far more subdued outing than last week's controversial pilot, which was both good and bad. Good, because it showed that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk can rein in their flair for excess when they want to. Haunted house stories tend to work best when they're played in a more minor key (although a gonzo classic like the Japanese cult oddity House can also be a blast to watch) and "Home Invasion" -- directed by regular Murphy collaborator Alfonso Gomez-Rejon -- did a nice job emphasizing smaller scares over the bigger (and more ridiculous) gotcha moments on display in the premiere. (We were also happy to see Kate Mara get some work as Dylan McDermott's ex-fling. Made us remember that Rooney isn't the only talented one in that family.) At the same time though, those bigger, more ridiculous gotcha moments were also the ones that generated the most passionate viewer response, both positive and negative. Love it or hate it, the American Horror Story pilot certainly wasn't boring. Episode 2, on the other hand? Kinda dull. Still, we were able to scare up the following freaky and funny moments.
Glee is no longer the only horror show that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are foisting on the American viewing public. Last night, the duo premiered their latest series, American Horror Story, the tale of a screwed-up family that moves across the country for a fresh start in Los Angeles, only to pick the exact wrong house to call home. It's clear that Murphy and Falchuk have done their homework for their first foray into out-and-out horror; the pilot referenced everything from The Haunting to The Shining to virtually every single David Lynch head-trip (up to and including Inland Empire). And like all of their collaborations, the show is a mess, but it's a really intriguing one, with just enough promising (and genuinely scary) material to balance out the more ridiculous, unintentionally hilarious stuff. In fact, if Murphy ever decides to stop playing everything to the rafters and look up the word "subtlety" in the dictionary, this could become a really great show. Either way, we'll be sticking with American Horror Story for the duration of its run, if only to see just how terrible it might get... are we talking Season 2 of Glee/Season 5 of Nip/Tuck bad? In the meantime, here are our picks for the freakiest and funniest things about the premiere:
With all of the fall 2012 returning shows fresh on our minds, we're getting a little bit antsy that our expectations are too high for some of our favorite series. As fun as big plot twists, new storylines and major changes in general are, what if the upcoming seasons can't match what's already happened? We're not so much freaked out about shows that are already bananas (like The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl), nor are we wasting our energy hoping that Glee transforms into an amazing series, but for these beloved shows, our nerves are starting to take over.
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Closing time/One last call for paper/So finish your printing and doodles.
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