Television / TV Reviews

American Horror Story – Season 1 Review

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Let my start off by apologizing for being so terribly, and abysmally late in watching this show. *hides in shame* I have a sh*tload of TV shows on my “To-Watch” list, and being off from Uni has allowed me to catch up on some greats. (Including Game of Thrones, but we’ll get to THAT later!)

So, in case you hadn’t already figured it out, I’m new here.

I beg your pardon!?

I know right? HUGE shock!

I’m like a stray cat who’s wandered off the streets of boring-ville and has been graciously taken in by the lovely people here at Sublime Zoo. They’ve offered me a saucer of milk, which I’m very grateful for, and now it’s time for me to stretch my pretty paws, lick my lips, and purr on through my first post.

So ultimately, when I began watching this show, I didn’t know quite what to expect. I was aware that every season follows a different story, and obviously going by the title, that there would be some “horror” to it, but other than that, I was completely in the dark. No, I wasn’t hiding in the deep dark basement of the Harmon family, I meant mentally.

Duh.

Speaks for itself.

The first episode was the whole typical, “Hey look! A lovely little Caucasian family is moving in to an old-fashioned house”. The parents argue a bit, but they’re both looking forward to great things. They utter the customary, “this will be good for us” or “this will be great” line”. But oddly enough, that didn’t repel me. There was something about the show that felt different. Admittedly, the rebellious teenager, Violet, is again commonplace in horror stories, but it was the kooky next door neighbour, Constance and her down-syndrome daughter Addie, that pulled me in.

Addie, has an unnatural “connection” to the house, inviting herself in whenever she feels like it to “play” with her “friends”. She doesn’t seem scared of the house, or the people in it, and in fact, is a lovely girl full of smiles, who’s occasionally treated horribly by her mother Constance.

Which is why it pained me so much when she died. It was Halloween, and bless her, the only thing she wanted was to be a “pretty girl”. So of course, who should she turn to but young and pretty rebellious teenager, Violet. She dolled Addie up in eyeshadow, blush and lipstick to which Addie grinned, admitting that she is a “pretty girl”, only to come home and show her mother and be chided for her Halloween costume. In the end, Constance decides to let Addie be the “pretty girl” that she so desperately wants to be, but instead of her letting her go out as she is, she gives her a disgusting mask (that is supposed to be the face of a “pretty girl”).

What. Is. That.

Look at that thing for Christ’s sake! In any case, Addie puts on the mask and when she comes into contact with some “real”, “pretty girls”, she decides to run after them so as to join them and is tragically hit by an oncoming car.

RIP Addie.

She dies and all I can think is that this poor, sweet girl, had just one thing she wanted for Halloween and she didn’t get to fully experience it. The rest of the episode is pretty sad. Constance attempts to drag her onto the lawn of the “Murder House” because, as we find out, if you die on the property, your spirit can “live on” on the property and in the house. She doesn’t make it to the lawn; so, Addie dies somewhat peacefully and is allowed to pass on. In a later episode, through contact with a medium, Addie says she’s happier this way, as despite her friends being there, she herself would not want to be trapped there.

Apart from this storyline, most of the other episodes in the season focus on the breakdown of Ben and Vivienne’s marriage and his sexual fantasies–yes really–about the old maid they’ve hired…who has “two faces”. She appears as an old, kind maid to women and a fiery, little sex kitten to anything with a d*ck.

The “Two-Face” in question.

For the most part, his desire for the maid, and women in general, gets very boring, very quickly. He exercises no self-control and you just find yourself sitting there saying, “Really, dude? AGAIN!?”

Young Violet then meets Tate, a handsome young man with messy blonde hair and big brown eyes who looked as though he stepped off the pages of every Young Adult book ever.

Exhibit A.

However, you soon grow to like him, especially his cute “innocence” and his relationship with Violet. That is…until you realize that this boy literally appears and disappears out of nowhere. Can you guess why that is? Here’s a hint:

He’s dead.

Tate’s dead. Violet’s been getting it on with a dead guy, people. But he stepped off the pages of a book; so that makes it alright, right?

Wrong!

Their relationship, once sweet, suddenly became very sinister to me, as it became evident that he was a little too in love with her and the idea of them being “together for ever”. Well, there’s that and the fact that he shot and killed around 12 odd kids in 1994.

For no reason. At all.

Here are the ones we actually see him shoot.

They come back for “revenge”, although that seems to last one night and they actually do nothing. Literally nothing. Apart from cry and complain that he killed them. They disappear and are pretty much never mentioned again. Until the last two episodes. So that’s that with the poor-high-school-kids-who-we-don’t-feel-empathy-for-because-we-never-got-a-chance-to-connect-with-the-characters.

To cut what’s becoming a long story short, drama ensues. Vivenne get’s “raped” by Tate and gets pregnant with twins–Tate being the father of one, Ben of the other. The Medium calls it a devil child, as it is the offspring of the coupling of a human who is alive and a dead man (Tate). She gives birth, both babies survive, but Vivenne does not. We find out Violet died from her overdose and has been dead all along. Tate’s been “protecting” her from knowing. And Ben’s young mistress from before Hayden–who was pregnant with his child and was killed by Russell Edgington (that’s the character Dennis O’Hare played in True Blood, I can’t for the life of me remember his name in this; so i’m going with Russell)–all of which is pretty irrelevant to any plot whatsoever and is again more annoyance–hangs Ben in league with other some dead spirits of the house (unimportant and insignificant “murder groupies” who tried to re-inact violent crimes using Violet and Vivenne and subsequently were murdered). 

All in all, despite little annoyances with insignificant plot details, (Hayden, the high school kids, Russell, the woman who wanted to be a star, Constance’s young boyfriend), it was definitely a gripping first season and I will most certainly start the next one when I can. It’ll be good to move on from the typical hauntings etc, because bar a few exceptions, this first season was your bog-standard haunted house horror film.

I hope that Constance finds her way into the next season. She’s an extremely interesting character and one of the main reasons I continued watching. And I would like to see more of Zachary Quinto’s character– a gay man in a loveless relationship with his philanderer of a husband–simply because, duh, Zachary Quinto. His portrayal of the character was perfect. He’s right next to Constance and Moira–old, kind Moira not sex kitten Moira–as one of the interesting characters.

If I had to give the first season a rating out of 10, I’d probably go for a solid 6/10. It’s a freaky and quirky little show, very weird in some parts, but it’s right up my street. Quirky is always good and it’s got me hooked!

Stay tuned for my Game of Thrones reviews and more from American Horror Story! 🙂

 

Images From: Glee.wikia.com, Americanhorrorstory.wiki.com, Thereviewonline.com

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