Image courtesy of https://www.buzzfeed.com/farhadlol/how-popular-are-you-american-horror-story-opinions-1151r?utm_term=.wlZpdkW6g#.xsX0m8w3Y
While anthology series are becoming more prevalent with the likes of ‘True Detective’, ‘Black Mirror’ and ‘Westworld’, ‘American Horror Story’ is definitely one of the originals that brought the format to main stream attention.
Each season follow a different subset of characters and not only provides a satisfying conclusion of a complete story, but allows to the writers to try more emboldened ideas in later seasons (although not always of the same quality). Stories include a haunted ‘Murder House’, an insane ‘Asylum’, a witch ‘Coven, a ‘Freak Show’, a ‘Hotel’ inhabited by evil incarnations and a true-crime style season ‘Roanoke’.
While anthologies do run the risk of alienating the audience who are endeared towards certain characters, ‘American Horror Story’ utilises a lot of the same actors throughout, the fan favourites often returning under a new guise. There’s some fluctuation of course, but notable cast member include Jessica Lange, Frances Conroy, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Denis O’Hare, Zachary Quinto, Kate Mara, and in later seasons Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates and even Lady Gaga.
Despite dips in quality, each season has its own merit and is worth watching (particularly ‘Asylum’ and ‘Hotel’), although a benefit of the anthology format is that if a certain season simply isn’t working for you, you always have the option of skipping it without the risk of missing integral plot components.
With the seventh instalment of ‘American Horror Story’ in production and an eighth already confirmed, it seems creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuk still have a few horror stories left in them. I just hope they turn out better than the experimental sixth season which received far more criticism that anything previous.
It remains however, high on the recommendation list.