American Horror Story

By Kraven The She-Wolf

      In today's television world, there are only two basic
kinds of scripted TV shows, the ongoing series with the
same cast of players or the anthology where it’s the same
show but a new story and cast each episode. Most tele-
vision series such as Arrow, The Flash, or The Black List
are the type of series where we have the same cast of
characters each episode who continue each week in an
ongoing show. The anthology series is a show where like the Twilight Zone is a series that has a more self-
contained story that begins and ends within the episode. Once the episode is over, that story-line and its
players don't go on to the next episode. However, the horror TV series American Horror Story breaks all
these rules and has crafted something of a mixture of both in an amazing way.

      In 2011, the FX Network began airing their dark genre series,
American Horror Story, combining both the ongoing series idea as in a
miniseries fashion, but unlike a miniseries that starts and then ends for
good, American Horror Story sports a single story-line all throughout the
season and then ends that story and starts an all new and fresh one the
following season.  However although this show runs in this fashion to a
brilliant degree and although each season the cast members change
from season to season, some actors return and play all new characters
in the next season.

      In all.....so far to date, there have been eight seasons of American
Horror Story. The first of this innovative series was American Horror
Story: Murder House about the classic haunt house where all the people
of a home who have died there return and murder new people who
move into the house adding their ghosts to the dwelling. It starred Dylan
McDermott and Connie Britton along with Jessica Lange who would go
on to play many other characters in other seasons of the series.  Much
like in any haunted house story, soon after a young couple move in, strange things begin to happen. The
story jumps from present day 2011, and through flashbacks, we see some of the other people who have
lived in the house over the years right up until when the house was built. Each death within the house
creates new ghosts who in return kill new people moving in always adding new souls to the house as it
feeds life out of each kill within its unholy walls.

      In 2012, season 2 started with the subtitle of Asylum, about a
home for the criminally insane ran by the church. It followed the
story of a serial killer called Bloody Face, aliens and a devilish nun
as they all deal with the crazy events that unfolded in this really wild
season.  If this sounds crazy....you're right, and it had to be seen to
be believed.  But that is part of the overall charm of this show....as
it’s like nothing you've ever seen. Jessica Lange returned for this
season as a nun who helps run the asylum, who is looking to find
her sexy side as she deals with another nun who is really Satan
hiding within a young holy woman. Hell, I said this was crazy!

      American Horror Story: Coven, season 3, told the story of the
descendants of the Salem Witch Trials who are fighting to hide who
and what they are in the modern world. It followed the story of a young
woman who discovers that she is indeed a descent of a Salem coven
and is taken in by a school and safe haven for witches ran by
Cordelia Foxx, the headmaster of the school. Jessica Lange again
returns as the most powerful witch in the school coven and seems to
find herself at odds with Cordelia. Many of the cast of American Horror
Story: Coven would return in season 8 five years later for American
Horror Story: Apocalypse where the witches battle the son of the devil.

      Other seasons for this show included the storyline and
subtitles of Freak Show, Hotel, Cult, and Roanoke. American
Horror Story Roanoke told of the very real account of the lost
colony who vanished in the 1500's after their long voyage to
the New World. Jessica Lange may be one of the first actors
to join the show and play may assorted roles, but she was not
the only Hollywood legend to join the show and play either one
or more characters. Everyone from Angela Bassett, Kathy
Bates and even Lady Gaga took their shot at the series in
either one or more seasons. Hell, even rocker Stevie from
Fleetwood Mac did a few episodes from two seasons....one being
that of Apocalypse. The series even won a few awards for its cast
members as with Jessica Lange taking home two Golden Globes,
Kathy Bates and James Cromwell winning an Emmy each and even
popstar Lady Gaga took home a Golden Globe for her work on
Freak Show. Other actors wanting on the show were Cuba Gooding
Jr., Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters Lily Rabe, Billie
Lourd and Wes Bently.

      With the high success, American Horror Story came a spinoff in 2014 with American Crime Story.
Here the genre was True Crime as the series would take one case from true crime history and run with it
an entire season. Also running on the FX Network, the new show presented in its first season, the O. J.
Simpson case followed by season 2 with the case of the murder of Gianni Versace. In all, 19 episodes
have been produced with a third season in the works.

      The people at Universal Studios Orlando took note when they made American Horror Story part of
Halloween Horror Nights show in 2016. The month long horror event showcased Murder House, Freak
Show and Hotel as people walked through mazes based on those episodes. In 2017, the show returned
featuring this time Asylum, Coven and Roanoke as part of the Halloween horror attraction.

      Season 9 of American Horror Story is set to start in 2019 and although at this writing there is no
release theme just yet, you can bet your ass that it’s going to be scary as hell. For this series has taken the
backbone of what makes a TV series work and turn it upside down to create one hell of a crazy horror
ride.  If you have never seen this show on FX, you really need to see it.....oh and because it’s on FX, it
doesn't hold back on the blood, guts and gore nor does it hold back the last two seasons on strong words
like, and yes, this TV series even uses the F-word without a single thought.