By Justin McKinney, Staff Writer
As American Horror Story began the sixth season two weeks ago, it was hard for longtime fans like myself to be excited about the upcoming season, as the past three seasons have been sub-par in comparison to the first two seasons.
The series is an anthology style show in that every season takes up an entirely new storyline with an entirely new set of characters. However, many cast members such as Cathy Bates and Evan Peters tend to continue to appear in each season as a new character.
The show also tends to have a setting be the centerpiece for the entire season. In the past they have utilized the age old favorite of a haunted house as well as an insane asylum, and a carnival freak show.
Despite the show’s high rating, it seemed to me that the last three seasons have not been on par with the quality of the first two. It’s not to say they were bad, they just did not live up to the high standard that was set by season one and two.
As I have already explained, the show is an anthology that shifts story arcs and characters every year. Season three, and more notably four and five, felt like recycled material from the first two seasons, and encompassed many similar themes.
Not only that, but the plots jetted off in far too many directions, and didn’t seem to tie up even half of the loose ends it created.
However, after four episodes of season six it seems that the series is back with a vengeance.
Series co-creator Ryan Murphey has stated that the series is taking on a much darker tone than it has in previous seasons, and in my opinion it has.
I have watched every episode of the show thus far, and some of the things I have seen in this season are in a realm of gruesomeness that I didn’t think would fly on network television.
This season of AHS takes on the mysteries left by the lost colony of Roanoke Island. This season has attempted to build around the age old folk tale that an entire early American settlement simply disappeared off the face of the earth.
While many theories have been dreamt up by historians as to what actually caused the disappearance, many chalk it up to paranormal activity. Which is the route the show takes as it follows a couple looking for a new start, who had recently bought some haunted property in the back woods of South Carolina.
The show has also gone away from the traditional approach they’ve taken in the prior seasons. The show now resembles a television show such as The Haunting, where a set of cast members play characters narrating through interviews what happened to them, while another set of cast members play characters reenact what the characters are narrating.
While I have seen many reality TV shows. take this approach I have never seen it been done on a fictional TV show.
I love the new set up and since the show takes place in a haunted house on the famed Roanoke Island, it certainly lends itself to this brand new style of story-telling.
The cast has also been pulling it off flawlessly. Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, and Angela Bassett play the reenactors play the three main characters’ reenactors.
While Lily Rabe, Adina Porter, and Andre Holland play the actual characters being interviewed.
It is truly amazing to watch because I’ll find myself getting lost in the show and I’ll forget that there is two cast members playing each character.
I have no idea how they did it, but all the cast members are remarkably interchangeable with one and other.
I cannot imagine the amount of time and effort that has gone into having that kind of chemistry between two cast members, but American Horror story nailed it.
I have also been captivated by Cuba Gooding Jr’s portrayal of the reenactor owner of the haunted house.
His character has been struggling to cope with his own sanity as spirits have been tormenting them constantly with gruesome images of murder.
If you’ve missed the first two episodes do not worry, the previous weeks episodes are available for free on FX.com. It will be an exciting two hours of television and well worth your time.
American Horror Story premiers every Wednesday at 10 p.m. Happy watching!