Monday, November 7, 2011

"American Horror Story"...

(Johnny Iuzinni)
Wednesday before last was the season finale of one of the "Reality" based competition shows I watch, "Top Chef: Just Desserts".  I was rather indifferent to the outcome, having no real front-runner in mind as my 'favorite'.  Overall, I do find it entertaining, so I make the effort to watch it regularly.  The presence of judge Johnny Iuzinni has it's pull, as well.  Season over, I bid farewell to Chef Iuzinni and his flawlessly greased pompadour.  My Wednesday night television schedule was wiped clean...

...which opened me up to watch a regularly scheduled episode of a show whose promos had interested me.  "American Horror Story" is a new show on FX, produced by the dynamic duo of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk who have brought you the popular shows "Nip/Tuck", and "Glee".  ("Nip/Tuck" I watched quite a lot of, and "Glee" doesn't interest me.)  Luckily, we have Comcast as our cable company here at the hovel, and "American Horror Story" is one of the shows featured OnDemand.  I was able to get caught up on the first two episodes before I started in on it as my Wednesday night 'watch'.

I always have a show or two that I avidly watch, but in terms of a show I am completely addicted to...can't recollect what the last show would have been. Now, four episodes into "American Horror Story", I can safely say that I am hooked.  It's an hour long show, but last weeks' episode felt like fifteen minutes.  Can't wait to find out what happens next.  There are so many questions that I eagerly wait to find out the answers to.

Before I go on, I just want to point out that "A.H.S." is FAR from appropriate for the kiddies.  There is some pretty racy sexual stuff going on, and you could create a drinking game off of the number of times the actors say "shit".  It's FX. They air that kind of stuff.

(Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton); Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott); Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga
So far, the casting choices have been really good.  With one exception that my jury is still out on.  Dylan McDermott plays psychologist Ben Harmon, the man of the family at the center of the story.  When I saw him in the promos, it did act as an initial deterant for me.  I was an avid watcher of "The Practice", and he annoyed me to no end as Bobby. A self involved jerk.  That seems to be the type of roles McDermott gets cast in. "American Horror Story" is no exception.  I am happy to say that he hasn't been able to 'kill' the show for me as of yet, so it appears I'll be able to enjoy being annoyed by him this go round. I hope.

Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) are a married couple trying to mend things after Vivien catches Ben screwing one of his students in their bed.  (Vivien had gone through a horrible miscarriage where she had to carry the fetus around for the full term, and Ben said he slept with his student because Vivien wasn't there for him.  Jerk!) They move to Los Angeles from Boston with their daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga), in tow. Their goal is to get a fresh start.  They end up buying a huge old house for a fraction of what it's worth.  The parents love the structure itself, but the selling point for Violet is that the previous owners died in it.  It doesn't take them long to learn that the house is known as the "murder house", and is even on a tour.

('Thing' in basement...)

The first episode opens with a murder in the past.  Red haired twins are killed in the basement by some small man creature that seems to live down there. Think a rabid mini-me...we never get a good look at it though.  I have my theories about what 'it' is, but the show is well crafted enough to not be completely transparent. The story gets involved rather quickly, and the cast of characters grows. The house has a story, and at times seems to be "alive". The story clearly centers around the huge structure.  It appears that several of the characters are actually dead, but there hasn't been any sort of definite explanation yet as to how they are still there.  I suspect they are ghosts, but the way the story is crafted it might be something more abstract. Intrigued, I am.

(Moira (Left: Frances Conroy / Right: Alexandra Breckenridge)
(Constance (Jessica Lange)
In addition to the Harmon family, we have met the creepily odd next door neighbor, Constance (Jessica Lange), and her daughter, Adelaide (Jamie Brewer), who has Down Syndrome.  Lange is absolutely brilliant in this.  Then there's Moira, the housekeeper, who "came with the house".  The quirk with Moira is that to everyone but Ben Harmon she looks like an older woman (Frances Conroy).  To Ben she looks like a twenty-something bomb shell (Alexandra Breckenridge) who appears to constantly be horny.

(Tate Langdon (Evan Peters)
A new patient of Ben's, Tate Langdon (Even Peters), is a deeply disturbed high school student who (of course) falls for Ben's daughter, Violet.  (Ben sees patients at the house.)  Tate seems to have some weird connection with the house.  He seems to be able to move through walls...or something.  Another creepy thing about Tate...when Vivien was walking through the house after they moved in, she decided to check out the attic and found a full body leather/vinyl S&M suit hanging from the ceiling.  At a later point, someone (Vivien thinks it's Ben, but it isn't) enters the bedroom wearing the suit, and she ends up having sex with them.  Later, Violet is in the basement looking for Tate, and he shows up wearing the suit.  Hmm...?  Oh, and last episode we learn that Vivien is preggers.  Double hmm!  We also found out in the last episode that Tate is Constances' son.
(Hayden (Kate Mara)
(Larry Harvey (Denis O'Hare)

Among other characters that are "coming out of the woodwork" is Larry Harvey (Dennis O'Hare), a father from a family that previously owned the house.  He doused his wife and daughter with gasoline and set them on fire because the house told him to. He's running around after Ben, along with Hayden (Kate Mara), the girl that Ben had his affair with.  By the look of Hayden, she is clearly no longer with us. There are more characters 'coming out of the woodwork', but I don't want to give too much away...after re-reading this, I can tell you that I've just scratched the surface.

I could go on and on.  And on.  But the story is so involved...if you like the weird and the spooky, this is probably something you will like.  I urge you to check it out.  This Wednesday night at 10:00 PM is episode #5, so it is early enough to watch the first four episodes online (if you don't have Comcast).  So far, "American Horror Story" is well worth the watch.  

No comments:

Post a Comment