Wiggin’ Out about TV with Bethany Wiegand
America is obsessed with the creepy. We’re obsessed with gore, love to be shocked and the weirder, the better.
Well, FX hit the big one with “American Horror Story,” which is described by producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk as an anthology. To date, each season is not a string of continuous stories, but rather each season is its own mini-series.
Season one dealt with the Harman family, titled “American Horror Story: Murder House.”
This family, after some traumatic events, moved into a house, which on the outside was a beautiful mansion, complete with character and lavishness.
The outward appearance turns out to be a deception when the family moves in and realizes they are not the only occupants of the house. As the season goes on, the family finds more and more out about the previous owners and strange events that happened in the house.
This isn’t just some “Boo! I saw a ghost!”-type storyline, though. There are three people in the family: husband Ben (Dylan McDermott); wife Vivien (Connie Britton) and daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga). All have their own demons that they are battling and it seems the ghosts are just playing on their emotions.
After a miscarriage and finding her husband cheating on her, Vivien not only has lost trust in her husband, but her whole entire family is being plagued by the house.
Here’s a couple reasons why this show works: you can’t really tell the ghosts are ghosts. Throughout the first season, I was still even confused in episode three and four as to who was a ghost and who wasn’t. That gives an element of surprise to the show and the family walks among the ghosts, including their housekeeper, Moira. To Vivien, she is an older woman who wears a modest maid’s uniform.
To Ben, she’s a seductress in a short skirt and is constantly tempting him.
Violet has her ghost boyfriend, Tate, who isn’t really sure he’s a ghost. And there’s also the neighbor, Constance (Jessica Lange) who truly, to me, is the star of the show. With a facade of southern charm, she is struggling to keep the remnants of her past, the ghosts. Throughout the show, you find that whoever dies in the house remains a ghost, in the house.
This show is almost borderline too weird sometimes though. There’s a lot of sexual scenes that sometimes I’m surprised are allowed to be on TV. Let’s just say I was watching the show on my phone in public, and was kind of embarrassed when people glanced at what I was watching. I wanted to yell, “I swear, I’m not weird! This is on TV!” Some other episodes dealt with some sensitive issues, such as abortions and school shootings, which may offend people. And rightly so.
Another thing that works for the show is you don’t have to catch up on seasons before a new one begins.
Each season being a miniseries makes it even more interesting. While the first season was about the house, the second season is titled “American Horror Story: Asylum,” which takes place back in the ’60s, whereas season one takes place in present time. It’s a nice use of creativity on the producers part, and as long as they keep bringing the ultra weird, I can see “American Horror Story” lasting a while. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into shock gore like the “Saw” franchise.
Check it out for yourself. “American Horror Story” is available on Netflix and season three will return with the fall TV schedule on FX.