Coming Soon: American Horror Story
When Does It Start: Wednesday 5th October at 10pm EST on FX
In A Nutshell: Haunted houses get the TV treatment… is this the new True Blood / Walking Dead?
What’s It About: Meet the Harmon family – whose lives are about to get a whole lot weirder!
Dad Ben (Dylan McDermott) is a psychiatrist who’s recently been caught cheating on his wife Vivien (Connie Britton). Together the two have a teenage daughter called Violet, and decide to move from Boston to Los Angeles to patch up their fractured relationship. But their new home is anything but a peaceful retreat… it’s full of secrets and horrors – many of a sexual nature. Get ready for lots of dead babies, sex, jolts and psychotic behavior… courtesy of Glee and Nip/Tuck boss, Ryan Murphy.
Plus Points: For a ‘small’ show on a cable network, American Horror Story sure has received a lot of press and attention. In fact you’d be forgiven for thinking the show was a broadcast network offering. Just goes to show how the tide is changing when it comes to TV and cable.
There’s the distinctive advertising campaign, the evocative trailers and teasers, the interesting and diverse cast (Connie Britton fresh of Friday Night Lights, True Blood’s Denis O Hare, veteran Jessica Lange and Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto) and of course the fact that American Horror Story is from Glee EP, Ryan Murphy. In fact I think Murphy himself has generated more interest and attention for his show than any of his cast or the FX PR dept. Give that man a raise!
There’s also the fact that American Horror Story looks very good. The imagery is bizarre and filmic and the subject matter is sure to push the boundaries of cable. Plus after the success of vampires (True Blood, Vampire Diaries) and zombies (The Walking Dead), haunted houses seem like a very fruitful area for a TV show. The big question is – can the idea sustain multiple series? And how do you keep a horror show scary when it basically involves the same setting and characters week in, week out?
On The Downside: Ryan Murphy. He’s one of the most divisive talents in Hollywood and over the last year has put himself directly into the spotlight – whether feuding with rock bands, eliminating contestants on The Glee Project or castigating his own cast members. Unfortunately by making himself such a big part of the story Murphy has become somewhat of a target himself. There are a lot of people who would like to see American Horror Story fail.
My main concern with Murphy is his erratic quality control. I think he’s a strong ideas man, but his taste levels are often all over the place and he has a tendency to take an idea too far and harm the credibility of his shows. We’ve seen it frequently on Glee – where the episodes written / directed by Murphy are often the weakest of the bunch. And I’ve not been bowled over by Ryan’s movies either – Running With Scissors and Eat, Pray, Love. I worry that on a show like American Horror Movie, Murphy’s extreme tendencies with receive even further free rein. And we all know how easy it is for horror as a genre to descend into the absurd.
Then there’s the fact that American Horror Story is launching in the middle of a white hot TV season. It’s directly up against ABC’s new hit Revenge – though I think that will only provide minimal competition. No, the biggest problem is whether audiences will have time to invest in yet ANOTHER new show. I know my own DVR is struggling to keep up with all the great new TV out there. Will viewers be more inclined to wait for The Walking Dead in a couple of weeks time for their Fall horror fix?
Prediction: I think American Horror Story will have a huge opening… but can it maintain the momentum into the Fall and beyond?
|Print article||This entry was posted by Richard Drew on October 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm, and is filed under DRAMA, PREVIEWS. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
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about 7 months ago - 1 comment
Let’s be honest, American Horror Story has never exactly been a bundle of laughs! In season 1 we watched as Dylan McDermott, Connie Britten and Taissa Farmiga were terrorized in the ultimate LA haunted house. McDermott ended up hung from the rafters, Britten was raped by a guy in a latex suit and Farmiga…
about 1 year ago - No comments
Yes, it’s that time of the year again where I pick my top shows of the last 12 months. Many shows – New Girl, The Borgias, Homeland, Nurse Jackie – almost made the list. But in the end there could be only 10… here they are! REVENGE: There were shows this year with better writing,…
about 1 year ago - No comments
The Fall season is in full swing now – and what a season it’s been so far! I don’t know about you but I’m feeling pretty spoiled for choice at the moment when it comes to TV shows – with a pretty stacked DVR that fills up every day. It’s quite a job keeping on…