American Horror Story is the single most entertaining and inspiring trash on modern television. Are you curious about AHS but not sure where to start? Find out the worst season and best season American Horror Story in our guide to the series here.
Proof that horror is no longer reserved for film are two big television hits, ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘American Horror Story’. The first is the most watched series of all American television, and the second is the undeniable success for the FX network, which introduced, or at least revived, the concept of an anthology series with “self-sustaining” seasons.
From its humble beginnings, horror films have never been considered a great art. Mostly, these were B-production films: a one-off party aimed at filming for little money, scaring us, entertaining us briefly, and forgetting it (until the next sequel, so typical of horror).
Reactions to ‘American Horror Story’ vary between the two extremes, from people who genuinely adore it and consider it a fantastic series, to those who consider it a bad series. ‘American Horror Story’ has the quality of being so bad that it is good. Not amazingly good, but it has so much fun in its incoherent and meaningless story. American Horror Story is like a crack nymphomaniac suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The title of the series itself, “American Horror Story”, is quite deceptive. There are no truly frightening or shocking scenes, so as a ‘horror’ series it is rather ineffective, primarily because the creators Murphy and Falchuck have no patience or ideas to cleverly prepare that psychological component of true horror. Murphy and Falchuck just took a bunch of elements and visual styles from every horror they liked and tossed them in without any special consideration.
‘American Horror Story’ is a bizarre, offensive and pointless series of scattered horror clichés and shock moments that have no specific meaning at all, which are not carefully introduced and prepared to shock the viewer, nor have any specific purpose in the action. But, after watching a few horror stories, you begin to view ‘American Horror Story’ as a pure fun, a brainless guilty pleasure which is best not to think about and simply let the pointlessness of the series entertain you in anticipation of a new bizarreness.
AHS is horror for the internet generation, an eager audience of short attention spans.
Best Season American Horror Story
For viewers who re-watch the series every year, it’s well known that AHS is an anthology – a series whose seasons are completely independent of each other (not counting eight), except for a couple of characters, events, or some hidden clues. Long-time fans are also aware that AHS is just a mix of camp comedy, sadistic sex moments, complex and exaggerated characters, an excellent cast with questionable screenplay, fantastic movie images, and irrelevant side-plays that have no contribution to the already questionable plot leading the viewer to a disappointing finale. But for many, ‘American Horror Story’ is the single most entertaining and inspiring trash on modern television.
With so many to work through, let’s have a look the worst and best American Horror Story seasons.
AHS Season 1: Murder House
** BEST SEASON AMERICAN HORROR STORY **
The first season of AHS, ‘Murder House’, deals with the themes of family, adultery, and brings out the central characters who are unhappily captured spirits whose eternal residence is a Victorian haunted house in Los Angeles. The series has a certain mythology that mostly boils down to “if you die in the house, you stay in the house”. Regardless of its premise, which in itself does not deserve any credibility, the first season of this ultra-popular series has left a memorable track on television and influenced many other series.
AHS Season 2: Asylum
** BEST SEASON AMERICAN HORROR STORY **
The moment when the series culminated is the ‘Asylum’ season. ‘Asylum’ is the only season of the series that manages to make a satisfying finale. Asylum successfully tackles the conflicting topics of religion and science, and with equal success navigates them through the character of a devil-obsessed nun, imprisoned lesbian journalist, and the emergence of aliens as metaphors of God.
AHS Season 3: Coven / AHS Season 4: Freak Show
Later seasons are the “Coven”, which deals with the themes of feminism and racism, and then the poetically misunderstood “Freak Show”, which deals with the deadly clowns and discrimination. After the fourth season, AHS loses one of its strongest actress Jessica Lange (Tootsie, King Kong, Blue Sky), who has won several Golden Globes and prestigious Emmy Awards for her work on the series.
AHS Season 5: Hotel
The fifth season of the series ‘The Hotel’ takes place at the mysterious Cortez Hotel in Los Angeles. Cortez is home to strange and bizarre creatures and phenomena, and is owned by the Countess infected with the vampire virus. Although it was initially announced that the fifth season would consist of thirteen episodes, it was later reduced to twelve. Lady Gaga won a Golden Globe for her role as The Countess. She is the second main actress from the show to win the prestigious award, the first one being Jessica Lange for her performance as Constance Langdon in ‘Murder House’.
AHS Season 6: Roanoka / AHS Season 7: Cult
The next season ‘Roanoke’ almost sent the series into direct ruin. AHS is partially saved by the politically-minded “Cult” season.
Verdict: Best American Horror Story Seasons
- Season 1: Murder House
- Season 2: Asylum
- Season 3: Coven
- Season 4: Freak Show
Looking at AHS and its first four seasons and then its last three, you will wonder where everything went wrong. The answer might lie with creator Ryan Murphy. Everyone knows Murphy’s ‘Glee’ masterpiece, whose disappointing ending may be credited to his then-favorite new project ‘American Horror Story’. This inevitable downfall now fits with his, not one, but five(!) series including the already canceled ‘Scream Queens’, the ‘9-1-1’ series, ‘Pose’ and ‘Feud’, and the surprisingly successful ‘American Crime Story’, which could become, in a year or two, another neglected child of this otherwise ingenious filmmaker.
So what brings us back every year? It brings back our curiosity and the potential that ‘American Horror Story’ has and has once been able to fulfil. It’s a series that constantly twists our expectations.
Also, even if we don’t like the current season, we know we’ll get a new storyline next year. And if we like it, at least we know that we won’t be denied answers or that we will have to follow the series for years until the creators run out of ideas. This is probably why it is a challenge for actors to know that they will always play different characters, so we look at them as villains one time and the other as protagonists.
The things you can see on ‘American Horror Story’ will not be seen anywhere else, and what we owe it is at least an acknowledgment of the courage it has shown for eight years, pushing the boundaries of content that reaches TV.