The first time I heard about American Horror Story, I was more excited about the development of this project than Leatherface creating a new mask. When the series debuted on FX last year I had hope, but as the show progressed that hope turned to doubt, confusion, anger, and finally at the end, mediocre content.
After American Horror Story was approved for more seasons I found myself in a furious uproar, especially if we were to continue with the bi-polar, unrelatable Harmon family. Eventually announced as a mini-series, meaning we would see a different story each season, I was please to hear we would get a fresh new start. This new beginning takes us into the deepest parts of a 1960’s insane asylum.
Creator Ryan Murphy developed Nip/Tuck, a show near and dear to my heart. I am currently in the state of limbo with Glee – another Murphy brain child – something I grew found of, but now have grown irritated by. So when I watched American Horror Story a state of confusion built up within me. Murpy has been able to create some great drama, fantastic layered characters, and unique stories. Well he got one part right, the unique story. The first season of AHS borderlined silly, the acting was almost offensive, and the characters were just utterly drab.
(BEWARE MINOR SPOILERS LIE AHEAD)
Turning American Horror Story into a mini-series is exactly what needed to be done to keep audiences interested. The direction Asylum will take is perfect. Remove the Harmons from our minds, throw in a different setting, and provide us with a a new level of uncomfortable.
Plot synopsis for American Horror Story: Asylum:
Set at an East Coast asylum for the criminally insane in 1964, the upcoming season revolves around Jessica Lange’s new character — a nun — and her boss at the institution, played by James Cromwell.
An asylum setting has all the makings for some fantastic horror. Looking back at The House on Haunted Hill from 1999, as silly as the movie was, there was some horrific sequences down in that basement of that insane asylum. Ryan Murphy had this to say about this upcoming season:
“We picked ‘Asylum’ because it not only describes the setting – an insane asylum run by Jessica Lange’s character which was formerly a tuberculosis ward – but also signifies a place of haven for the unloved and the unwanted. This year’s theme is about sanity and tackling real life horrors.”
Speaking of Jessica Lange, her performance within the first season has had praise among critics and fans. I found her to be a bit over the top, but she has a depth to her that I admire. Writer Tim Minear has a little more on her new character this season:
“She’s playing something that’s a little more East Coast, a little more patrician. She’s playing a nun. In this instance, she’s a bride of Christ.”
I feel as though Lange will do quite well in this role. Her portrayal as a religious character in Kevin Smith’s Red State can attest to what we may see from her in Asylum. A few other actors are returning to this fright fest, including Sarah Paulson, Zachary Quinto, Evan Peters, and Lily Rabe. Each of these actors will be taking on completely different roles, and I can’t wait to see what they do with them. Murphy claims:
“I don’t want to say what Zach and Lily are doing, or what anybody else is doing, until we get closer to [fall]. But I’ll continue to say that everybody is playing the opposite of what they played last year, which I think is why they’re all so into it. Like, I have talked to Zach and Jessica and they were very excited… and that’s a rare thing.”
But what other actors will we see this season. Asylum is already shaping up to have a huge roster, which includes the likes of Clea Duvall, Chris Zylka, Joseph Fiennes, Chloe Sevigny, Adam Levine, Mark Consuelos, and Lizzie Brochere. Blake Sheldon will also play the roles of Devon and Cooper, two separate characters. We can find them in the third episode of this season.
You want more information you say? Ryan Murphy has gone off on quite a bit since Asylum was announced. Other than being completely different than the Harmon story, we will see very conflicted characters this season. Jessica Lange’s nun will apparently be a big anti-hero.
Of course there will be a big Halloween episode. What’s a horror story in October without the biggest holiday of the year for goblins and ghouls?
Will you miss Rubber Man? Do not fear, a tweeted photo by Ryan Murphy depicting Adam Levine next to a painted wall with the words “Bloody Face” hints at a new “Rubber Man.” (Click to enlarge the picture)
One last big change will be the opening credit’s. Much of the first season’s opening credits hint at the story, an Murphy is going to do the same thing this season. The song may or may not stay the same – I hope it does, it’s one of the best parts of the show.
Going further into the over-arcing theme of this season, Ryan Murphy explains how sanity will play a big part of this seasons message:
“And I guess if the first season was about infidelity, the second season is about sanity. What makes someone sane or insane? Sometimes the people you think are insane are actually the most sane of all. It’s fun to write about people who society throws away… the new season is set in the sixties and Chloe Sevigny, for example, plays a character who was put in an asylum because she was a woman who likes sex, so her husband sends her away. At the time, you were able to put people away for that. Another character is institutionalized for being a lesbian. To me, there’s nothing more scary than somebody coming to you and saying they’re going to take you away and put you in a mad house and you have no legal rights and there you shall stay till the end of your days. That is a real horror. Everybody has felt people thinking, ‘You’re fucking crazy.’ Even somebody saying that to you is scary.”
Will Ryan Murphy keep audiences entertained with chilling fright or will he light a match and send this series burning to the ground like we have seen with Glee and Nip/Tuck in later seasons?
American Horror Story: Asylumreturns this October on FX.
Source: Bloody Disgusting