“American Horror Story” Review



Lady Gaga as the Countess in "American Horror Story: Hotel." (Suzanne Tenner/FX/TNS)

Rachel Lock, Web Editor


Warning: This contains spoilers if you have not kept up with the show thus far


The first three episodes of Ryan Murphy’s gothic horror show, “American Horror Story” have recently aired.  The season has had an interesting start — an obvious improvement from the tail end of last season but without the same charm of Murder House or Asylum that brought viewers back for seasons three or four. The absence of the show’s regular front woman Jessica Lange is noticeable, and no matter how ostentatious Lady Gaga is in filling her role, it’s just not the same.  Sarah Paulson’s character Sally seems to be one to watch for this season as well as Wes Bentley’s character Detective John Lowe.

The show has been taking many creative licenses with camera angles, set design and of course, costumes. However, what the show lacks in plot is not made up for in its outward appearance. Though time will tell if backstories will be more developed in future episodes, the first three have definitely lacked in that regard — viewers have picturesque fish-eye lense camera work of the thrilling old Hotel Cortez, Lady Gaga’s ridiculous costume changes from scene to scene and thrilling, violent jump scares to look at but little to no motivation to care about what is happening on screen.  Instead of developing a few storylines that are well-formed and, you know, actually make sense, the show has decided to cram as many new plot lines into each episode that will leave the viewer’s head spinning. But hey, everything looks really nice.  

The show is working very hard to convince us that vampire children in a jelly bean/video game room will be interesting enough to keep us watching the show and that we can overlook the coincidence of Lowe’s long lost son being at the hotel in addition to his case lining up with — big shocker — the hotel.  I’m not quite ready to ignore these convoluted choices but nice try Ryan Murphy.

This does not mean I won’t be eagerly planted in front of the TV Wednesday night at 9 waiting to see what Angela Bassett’s character will do to regain queen bee status, Tristan Mott’s next victim and what the Countess will do with Bentley’s wife. Regardless of its apparent flaws, Ryan Murphy still knows how to grab hold of an audience — just hope it’s not from inside your mattress.