Friday, November 11, 2011

"AHS" by Request

Uncle P has only ever done one post by request before, and then it was simply a title that was requested. But when a friend publicly challenged me on Facebook, I felt I had no choice but to respond. So, here is the first content-requested post on Caliban's Revenge.

When it premiered last month, I immediately fell in love with FX's "American Horror Story," though a few folks took some time to warm up to it (Mr. Romano? I'm talking to you). As the story has progressed, the mysteries have only deepened, though we have been given more and more information about the house and its history with every episode. We know who the last owners were (who knew Zachary Quinto would be so good as a bitchy queen?) and have some insight into the first owners (a drug-addled abortionist and his status-hungry wife). We've learned that the alternately frumpy/sexy maid was murdered by the next door neighbor and that a pair of nursing students were killed by a psychopath who hated nurses. We've watched psychiatrist Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) slowly lose his mind; bury his former lover under a gazebo he built to hide her grave and drive the most boring woman in the world to attempt suicide. We know that his wife Vivien (Connie Britton) hates him; is pregnant with a child that is... (well, we'll talk about that in a moment) and is desperate to sell the house. We've seen their emotionally disturbed daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga) cut herself to relieve her emotional pain. And we've seen their possibly insane neighbor Constance (the incomparable Jessica Lange) make cupcakes laced with Syrup of Ipecac (among other unpleasant things).

This week's episode gave us all kinds of answers (while asking more questions). We now know that Ben's patient Tate (Evan Peters), perpetrated a Columbine-style school shooting and is actually one of the many ghosts haunting the house. We also know why the ultrasound technician fainted; that Tate is/was another of Constance's children; why Constance told Moira "Don't make me kill you again" and (maybe) why the house is obsessed with babies. Of course, we haven't been told who (or what) the 'Rubber Man' is or what the fang-toothed, long-clawed monster lurking in the basement may be. And what of burn-scarred Larry and the truth about his back story? This week's most disturbing moment? Well, that had to be the scene in which Vivien eats a raw brain with relish, only to find herself puzzled at having done so. Of course, the subplot involving Ben's latest patient ("Modern Family" alum Eric Stonestreet) as a man terrified of urban legends, ended with a deliciously ironic "Twilight Zone" twist ("Here, piggy-piggy-pig-pig!"). And we now also know that Vivien may actually be carrying a demon child.

Referencing classic horror movies like The Haunting; Psycho; Rosemary's Baby; A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween (among others) while adding it's own twists, "American Horror Story" pushes the envelope unlike any other show on television. Disturbing; creepy; gross; sexy and just plain weird, "American Horror Story" may actually supplant "The Walking Dead" and "Fringe" as my TV favorite show. If you are a regular reader of Caliban's Revenge and aren't watching "AHS," you should be.

It has already been reported that "AHS" has been picked up for a second season. I only hope the showrunners can maintain the creepy and often terrifying atmosphere they've managed to create in these first few episodes.
More, anon.


Michael Offutt said...

I need to give this series another go. The first two episodes were so off the wall strange and kinda spooky that I didn't like them. Maybe it just needs to warm up on me some.

Love the Chthulu banner at the top.

Mrs. Gosling said...

OMFG I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOW. and you know this. and i have extended my dating age limit to 50. and that is all. love to you.