Scott Malchus has seen American Horror Story and it scared him, made him laugh and made him wonder what they’ll do next to top the most bizarre hour of television he’s seen in some time.
American Horror Story (Wednesdays, 10 PM, FX)
The Harmon family has been through hell. Wife/mom, Vivien (Connie Britton), is still recovering from the devastating miscarriage in which she had to deliver the 7-month old stillborn baby she was carrying. Husband/dad, Ben (Dylan McDermott), dealt with the pain by burying his grief between the legs of one of his students. And daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga) hates life and is miserable because dad was a shithead and, well, she’s a teenage girl from back east and apparently all TV teenage girls from back east are moody and misunderstood. To try and heal, they pack up the family and move west to Los Angeles, into a house where some very bad things have happened.
For starters, there were the twin redheads who died in the basement back in 1978 (as we saw in the opening teaser). Then there was the gay couple, the most recent owners, who died in a murder suicide. The bad juju seems to stem from the ”doctor to the stars” who owned the house in the 20’s. Just what kind of doctor was he? The creepy jars in the basement imply that he was doing experiments on fetuses. Perhaps an illegal abortionist? I’m sure we’ll soon find out.
A lot of crazy shit happened throughout the first hour of American Horror Story, the latest series from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Their previous FX success, Nip/Tuck and the phenomenon of Glee pretty much allowed Murphy and Falchuk to do whatever they wanted as their next TV project and this…THIS is what they decided to do. Holy mother of God, American Horror Story is the most bizarre crazy coo-coo show I’ve seen in ages. Thank God it’s on cable because at least it will get 13 episodes on the air before FX freaks out or it dies from mediocre ratings.
I was scared. I was shaking my head, incredulous, at the amount of profanity, nudity, masturbation and bloodletting on the show. I was laughing out loud, not because it was funny, but because just when you thought you’ve seen everything- a Down syndrome child as the creepy neighbor, mutilated children, a maid who’s some kind of ghost, appearing as Frances Conroy to some and sexy Alex Breckenridge to others, McDermott jacking off over a night table, a dude dressed in a full body latex S&M costume having hallucinatory sex with Britton- yeah, just when you think you’ve seen everything, Denis O’Hare (Tru Blood) shows up with half his body plastered in prosthetics as a man with 70% of his body scarred from a fire… that he set… when he murdered his family in his house… the same house that the Harmons have just moved into. And, oh yeah, Jessica Lange is in it.
Like I said, this show is out there. And I fucking loved it!
I can’t explain why. Maybe because it’s October and I just want to be spooked. Maybe because Britton and McDermott ground the show in reality with their naturalistic acting while the rest of the characters seem to have stepped out of a Stephen King novel, or in the case of Lange, a Tennessee Williams play. Or maybe because the show is just so out there and daring enough that I really appreciate it for trying to be something, well, out there and daring. All I can say is bring it on, American Horror Story. I’m not sure how you’ll sustain the weirdness past one season, but for now I’m going to be watching.