So I’ve been trying to psych myself up for the premiere of the new season of American Horror Story. While there was so much I loved about Season 1, I still feel unsettled by the somewhat tidy wrapping of it at the end (thereby allowing the show to be an anthology, which just makes me think of encyclopedias, for some reason). I hope that – should the show survive for the next few years – that we get to revisit the two Vivien boys – Ben-baby reared by his dead family, Tate-baby reared by his grandmother, the slice-happy boy he is. I’d also like the anthology parts and characters to spill into each other; I don’t want the only connection to be familiar faces in different clothing. Maybe something more interwoven like Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, where a major character of one story shows up minorly in another, and everyone gets a spotlight at some point.
I’m being wistful and digressing, I know. And I know that Ryan Murphy had planned an overhaul season-to-season for this show, and not everyone was thrilled about it (I wanted to add “or so he says, at the end of the season”). The show in and of itself was so innovative, so I don’t want to write Season 2 off simply because I wasn’t privy to the plan from the get-go . I’d hate to think my ego would prevent me from seeing a good show that will scare me so bad I can’t sleep, or watch it at night.
I’m pretty thrilled we get to see Jessica Lange again, among others (Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto). The casting was fantastic in Season 1, so I’d hold the same for newbies-to-this James Cromwell and Joseph Fiennes, who have proven themselves more than adept as actors in their bodies of work. As a general rule, I’m skeptical of (extended) cameos of non-actors, and since I don’t watch The Voice I don’t get all the Adam Levine hoopla. (I’ll admit I like Maroon 5). Yet, I wasn’t getting the same sense of creep that I did with the advertisements of Season 1. Maybe because it feels familiar and this year’s Rubber Man is All White Nun with Black Melting Eyes.
EW revealed four “terrifying” images in late August but of the four, Pic 2 was the only one that gave me a mild chill (dismembered body parts are unsettling, dammit). I think perhaps my reservation is that once you break barriers on a show, can you do it again without being rote?
The setting is different, if nothing else: instead of a haunted house we have a haunted asylum, and supposedly the storyline goes back and forth from present time to sometime in the 1960’s.
On Wednesday, their Facebook page unveiled the first 5 minutes of the first episode of Season 2, to whet everyone’s appetites since we’re a week away from the premiere.
It initially feels like standard fare – young couple, going through Blair Witch woods come up on a haunted house. No ghostly “get-out” warnings, they go in and…
This young couple, Teresa and Leo, are going on a sex tour of the 12 most haunted places in America, banging at each one. As they flirt and innuendo, Teresa tells us (and Leo) that no one ever got out, and that the most famous resident was a serial killer called Bloody Face. They then tangle a little with an electro shock chair, and I recall that the show was so good at the build-up, setting the mood with the right cutaways, cued music and sounds, that even though I’m watching this at work, bright florescent lights around, my lunch next to me, and only halfway through the clip, I stop to get up. I have to collect my bearings, cause something not good is gonna happen. And I’m already getting scared.
And even though I don’t see what causes Teresa to scream at the end of the clip, I’m already done with my food for the day, because my stomach has crept up near my throat.
And so, yes, as the blurb above the video says, the first five minutes will get me committed…to watching this season again. I’ll begin flexing my fingers and getting the right amount of splay across my eyes to see only so much. I have a week to prepare, and replace all my lightbulbs to make sure they’re in good working order. I’m already delightfully dreading it.