American Horror Story Season 2 - Catch-All


Jen Chaney, Washington Post[/url]] “American Horror Story,” in its original and “Asylum” format, is a reminder that people have always and will always do bad things to one another. And we — the sick-in-the-head, twisted basic-cable voyeurs — will always want to sit back and watch.

Not sure if we're spoilery yet, so tagging.


I'm in the "Not as good as Season 1" camp. Mainly because I feel like this season, while good storytelling in its own right, wasn't what I ordered. Too much sensory stimulation, sexuality and nudity and not enough dread. If it's a character or societal study like you're suggesting, I'm wondering how the (unbeknownst to our heroes but knownst to us) demonic possession and 'creatures outside' will fit into the overall plot.

Jayhawker wrote:

It's not for everyone, but it is smart TV, nonetheless. And more importantly, it has me squirming and feeling that sense of dread that makes great horror.


Granted, there were some moments that really got me. The betrayal of by her lover being at the top of the list. That and the general sense of despair felt by so many (all) of the characters when the whole world is against you because of some facet of what you are. It will speak to anyone who has been on the wrong side of a power structure on a very personal level. I just don't think it needs the vulgarity and the oversold fun house asylum setting.

I'm content to watch a few more and wait for a suitable world-building reveal that will somehow tie these pieces in. They did a great job of that last season.

I'm with Jayhawker. While I would agree that it isn't starting out as strongly as Season 1 did and it is kind of different tonally, I don't think either of those two things is really a negative.

I think it's still great TV, it's just not exactly the same thing we got the first time around.

More shows could do with switching things up a bit like this.

It did take some time to realize that AHS wasn't going to be a series of ghost stories, but rather a series of horror stories, which actually makes more sense. I'd say it took some time into the second episode before I stopped trying to figure out who was a ghost and just started watching the story develop.

Once I wrapped my brain around that notion, then the themes and genre mash-ups become more clear and interesting.

I really like that they have brought over many of the same actors to tell a new story. Jessica Lange is really knocking it out of the park again.

Jayhawker wrote:

Jessica Lange is really knocking it out of the park again.

Definitely. I was never a super huge fan of hers until the first season of this show but she's been awesome in in it from the start.

I'm responding here to a post in The Walking Dead thread, so as not to derail. Hopefully there are enough people watching that we can have a good conversation about a what I think is really smart horror beng done by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

Cobble wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

For people that love intense horror, I wonder how many are watching American Horror Story. It's not getting any traction in the Fall TV thread, so it doesn't warrant a thread, I think. But this season has been freaking intense and full of awesome. I have to believe there is some group of Goodjers enjoying this show.

Go back and watch season 1 of AHS. Its amazing.

The new season of AHS is slightly better than a pile of steaming hot garbage. All the great subtle and no so subtle currents of season 1 have been replaced with jump cuts and sensory overload. Its crap.

I loved, loved, loved season one.

I think using the subtlety of a ghost story to explore infidelity and it's affect on children of those relationships was brilliant and so well done. The subject is complicated and often hidden, just like a ghost story.

Season two is another beast. The topic is the more blatant horror of being labeled an "other" and how the power structures of society impose their control over people that do not conform to the accepted social norms. This is not subtle, and is rather a daily feeling of helplessness and/or hopelessness by so many people in our society.

Because of that, the subtlety of a ghost story doesn't feel like it would be an effective tool. Instead we get the blatant horror of slasher films, torture porn, and satanism. The characters have been identified as outcasts, and as such have had their freedom taken away by the state and church.

This season explores racism and homophobia, and not only how it destroys individuals, but how it destroys the power structure itself. So yes, the subtlety of season one has been replaced. But I'd argue that there was just as many jump cuts and examples of sensory overload in season one. It was just aimed much, much differently.

It's fair to say that people that enjoyed season one's ghost story could very well hate the more violent and sociopathic horror of season two. But both seasons push boundaries far outside of what we get in modern television. They make The Walking Dead look tame in comparison.

But trying to cast this season as shallow is missing a whole ton of subtle cultural commentary. Murphy and Falchuk are doing just a fantastic job of using horror as a rhetorical device to commentate on society. It's not for everyone, but it is smart TV, nonetheless. And more importantly, it has me squirming and feeling that sense of dread that makes great horror.

GioClark wrote:

I'm in the "Not as good as Season 1" camp. Mainly because I feel like this season, while good storytelling in its own right, wasn't what I ordered.

I think that is really fair. As extreme as season one was, this really is another level.

As excited as I was for this season, this is not what I was expecting, either. I thought another ghost story set in an asylum sounded creepy and fun. And as much as I am enjoying this season, there isn't anything really fun about it.

I also question how much of the vulgarity is needed, but it is pretty much part and parcel of the genres they are leaning on this season.

It also seems they are mixing a bit of sci-fi in with the horror this season, which is.. interesting. I'm still processing just what in the hell is going on with the present time part of the story as there just seems to be a lot of coincidences as far as how many players we have in the same location at the same time.

Also, hot possessed nun is hot.

So after all of this, last night's episode was kind of weak. I'm curious if they can get as many episodes out of this style of horror as they did with last season's ghost story. The level of difficulty is certainly higher.

Part of the problem could be that at least the Harmons spent most of their days not being horrified. This season, the entire story takes place in extreme situations, which makes it a lot harder to develop characters.

Still had some good scares and gore, Jessica Lang was out of her mind, and


possessed nun is hot and scary.

But I was pretty excited for their Halloween episode, but it really should have been last week's, which was titled Tricks and Treats. It was great.

It also seems they are mixing a bit of sci-fi in with the horror this season, which is.. interesting.

It is, but I think that is derived from the amount of UFO hysteria there was in the 50's and 60's. Add in that much of that was placed on how Americans were feeling a sense of loss of control over their lives, and it works in this story.

I think SciFi Horror is worth using, but it does feel odd when mixed in with everything else.

I like that that season is completely different from last. When I heard it was going to be a new story I wondered if it was going to be in anyway similar to the 1st year and I am glad it isn't, or at least doesn't seem to be. Not only that but they seem to be mixing a few sub genres together, which has kept me guessing as to what the hell is truly happening.

Jessica Lang is on fire this season. Really hitting it out of the park, and yes the younger hot nun is totally hot. Can't wait to see how this story wraps up.

Just tagging in for now (and not reading yet). I haven't been watching much TV at all lately so I haven't started in on Season 2 yet. Should have some fun catching up when other stuff slows down over the holidays!

I don't mind that its different. I like that the show can a whole different beast each and every season.

What I do mind is i loved watching the first season and don't enjoy watching this season at all. It feels like a big sloppy mess. i have already stopped watching and will wait for season 3 which maybe will be a type of horror I enjoy.

I am not slagging the show I guess. The acting and everything is fairly solid. I hate the direction and camera work though.

Here's some seriously crazy stuff that might or might not be spoilery. It's from an interview with Ryan Murphy that relates to the next two episodes.


Will we see what has happened to Wendy, like whether she’s alive or dead?
Ooooh yes. Wait ’til the next two episodes. The episode coming up is a two-parter. Episode 5 is the best episode we’ve ever done on the show. It’s just so brilliant. I’m really excited for people to see it.
Can you tease it?
Well the title of 4 and 5 is “I Am Anne Frank Part I and Part II” and I just think that by the end of 5 we’ve pretty much told everybody what all the secrets and backstories of all the characters are. And I think the social statement that it makes about women in the time is very sort of great. More than that, I think the performances are just off-the-charts great.
So does that mean Anne Frank is showing up on American Horror Story?
Yes, she is.
And I’m assuming [guest-star] Franka Potente (Copper) is Anne Frank?
So is this episode positing that Anne Frank survived?
I’m not saying another word until you’ve watched it.

All caught up. Its really bad. I am done.

Cobble wrote:

All caught up. Its really bad. I am done.

Are you talking about the latest episode then? I'm still a bit on the fence but one thing I will say is I still like the weird kinkiness of it. Then again, I grew up Catholic so maybe I have a weird thing for naughty possessed nuns.

My thoughts on last night:


Ok.. I think we all saw the nazi doc thing in foreshadowing. I don't know where they're going with the whole Anne Frank thing. Interesting to see that the doc might actually be creating the creatures outside.

I'm still really not sold on this season. Too much sex. Way too many different creature types and still can't understand how they're going to tie them together (if at all) But still good illustration of the various power structures that have/continue to allow us to abuse each other.

My prediction: Doctor Spock is going to meet some gruesome demise trying to get /Sarah Paulson/ out. That's what you get for trying to help people. Besides, as stated above. If they could escape and get away from all the nasties and live happily ever after, it would f$ck up the show.

I keep hoping it will get better. That there will be some sort of tie in to all the individual stories, but it is really starting to seem like they let a group of writers/producers with A.D.D. take the helm. Do they not understand you can only have so many threads before you end up with a knot you can't do anything with?

This was certainly one of the weaker episodes this year. I saw the twist coming from a mile away. I still have hope.

I'm growing rather disillusioned with it myself. The last couple episodes have been pretty lame.

Pretty disappointing after the awesome first season.

Are folks still watching? I feel like the show redeemed itself after a few subpar episodes where it just felt scattered at pointless. But the story has gotten tighter as the season progressed since the Anne Frank episodes.

I just finished up the latest one, "The Coat Hanger", which is more disturbing than even the title suggested. The are putting Sister Jude through so much torture now that is is giving Jessica Lange great material to bring it. I don't want to spoil it if folks had moved and might want to join back in.

We are getting more appearances from season actors, and it is really fleshing out the story well.

Anyway, if you tuned out, it's worth catching the last three episodes.

Currently watching season one on netflix. I hope this season is as good as first.

Me and my wife are still watching and I have to say that most of the time we come to this show and brace ourselves for just plain disturbing. The "creepy" is always amped up, but more than anything, we are just arching our eyebrows at this season. I do think that they are finally getting back on track, but for the longest time, this season has felt meandering and all over the place.

The first season had some genuine suspense and some creepy chills. This season has just felt disturbing. Me and my wife have a running joke, we talk to each other and when we decide to finally watch the latest episode, we throw up our hands and say: "Alright show, throw whatever ya got at us now."

As much as it is throwing your hands up and just rolling with what they want to shock you with next, this show is unique. We have been staying current, just recording it on TiVo and waiting a couple days till we are ready. When it's nice and dark outside and we're in that mindset, there is nothing else like it running on Television.

I go through the same thing! I'll have it on Tivo, but will pass on it for several days, not because I am tired of the show, but because I know it is going to put me through the ringer. and my wife won't touch this with a 10 foot pole.

It is insane to think that these are the same guys that created Glee.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Currently watching season one on netflix. I hope this season is as good as first.

First, it's not as good. But it is also a completely different kind of story, so it's hard to compare. There are as many awesome performances. Jessica Lange is awesome to watch every week withut fail. The show is not let down by the cast at all. But the story is more chaotic and less focused.

As Le0Hart85 says, many weeks it feels like they are just throwing the most disturbing stuff they can think of at you. Where season one is a surreal ghost story, season two a pummeling mix of slasher, torture, and demonic possession, with UFO abduction thrown in. So it gets awfully scattered, as there are many more storylines going on. I will say that they are starting to come together better than I imagined they would at one point.

It's still the best weekly horror you will probably ever see on TV. But you should go in with the realization that not only does it have nothing to do with season one, but it's also a more extreme sort of horror. And no ghosts, this time.

Jayhawker wrote:

And no ghosts, this time.

Unless you count the angel of death.

Even notice that Jessica Lange has an accent in her voice only half the time?

I don't really count her, since she really is an angel. But I thought the Dark Cousin episode that introduced her to be one of the best of the season.

Ye gods, this season is gruesome.

Watched the finale last night. This season was a flop. Too many story lines, and most of them went no where.

I really liked this season, but not as much as the first. The storyline with the possessed nun and the doctor went nowhere but overall I was well entertained.