I think I first started getting into binge-watching shows back in Grade 10, when I started watching Being Human UK and fell in love hard and fast. Over the years, I’ve nearly perfected the art of marathoning shows, and now, here we are. Well, here I am. Having watched the entirety of American Horror Story in the course of two weeks.
I am exhausted, physically, emotionally, but it was so worth it! This is honestly one of the best shows I have ever watched, and in the course of these two weeks, I have fallen in love with the countless characters, the actors, and the entire idea of the show.
But before I get into why I absolutely adore it, why did it take me so long to start it? It’s not like I only recently heard about it. I had actually wanted to watch it for quite a few years, but the bad reviews scared me. Many said that the first season was fantastic, but the rest were awful, and that seemed to be the general consensus. And I just wasn’t ready to make such a commitment to such a risk. But what eventually turned me to it was, surprisingly, seeing X-Men: Apocalypse.
I absolutely adored Evan Peters as Quicksilver in Days of Future Past, but seeing so much more of him in Apocalypse, we got to see him shine and fully come into the character, and I was so impressed. So, I thought, why not start AHS? At least if it isn’t good, I know there will be at least one actor that I like. And so I pressed play and began watching the pilot…
Murder House was fantastic, but starting Asylum, I was scared because of the reviews I had heard. But Season 2 impressed me beyond belief, and the other seasons I loved just as much! I can understand why some people weren’t fans of Coven or Freak Show, if they were into the show only for the scares, but I genuinely do not understand why so many people hated Asylum!! I cannot wrap my head around it.
So many people have asked me to rate the seasons, from my favourite to least, and after much time debating it, I’ve realized it is impossible. It doesn’t seem fair for me to pit the seasons against each other because they are so different. Each I loved for completely different reasons. It’s what makes the show stand out, every season is like a fresh start, a clean slate.
That being said, it’s list time. Here are the reasons I loved the seasons (accidental rhymes, for the win), and some of my personal favourite characters.
Also, spoilers. So many spoilers. All the spoilers. You’ve been warned.
I feel like anyone who watches and loves the show feels a particular loyalty to Murder House. It kicked everything off! And it definitely had its scary and twisted moments. The suit itself was pretty freaky, and a lot of messed up things went on in that house. But the show wasn’t lacking beauty either. While the birth scene was horrific to watch, it was so beautifully done and just impossible to tear your eyes away from. But the cinematography wasn’t the only gorgeous thing. And yes, I’m talking about the one and only Tate Langdon.
Now yes, I absolutely adore Evan Peters, I think he’s just brilliant and so talented. So maybe I’m a little biased, but I am rightly so. Tate was such a complex character, and the introduction to him couldn’t have been better planned. If we had first seen his psycho side, it would have been hard to see the good later on. But seeing the good and sweeter side first, we had a soft spot for him, making the rest of the season that much more confusing for our hearts.
He’s twisted, really twisted, and does some absolutely horrendous things, but he also has a sweet, loving, and selfless side, which almost always appears around Violet. He’s so complex and so interesting to watch and try to understand. Evan has said he’d love to play Tate again, see what’s going on with him, and wouldn’t we all want to see that? I’d love to delve into that character and try and understand just what exactly he is.
Speaking of Tate and Violet, another reason I loved Murder House was the massive twist with Violet. It’s hard for a plot twist to genuinely surprise me, completely throw me off. But that one had my jaw on the ground. That alone makes Murder House a fantastic season.
Definitely the scariest/creepiest season for me. I don’t know if it was the nuns, the Asylum itself, the possession, Bloody Face, or a combination of them all, but this season actually gave me nightmares. I was torn because I needed to know what happened next, but I was constantly looking over my shoulder.
I thought it would be hard, seeing these actors as completely different characters, but it’s a testament to how talented both the writers and the cast are, because it was so easy to sink into this world. Bloody Face seriously scared the crap out of me. After his true face was revealed, less so, but that mask actually terrified me.
So many of these characters were amazing, and even more interesting were their arcs. I need to give a massive shout out and high five to Sarah Paulson. Lana Winters was such a strong character, and the way she got through not only the Asylum, but her time with Thredson was mesmerizing, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at once. Her change from the first episode, the ups and downs she faced were just incredible to watch. And then she does get out, and we see her later in life and she becomes this power-hungry woman! And while I would have loved for her to remain the protagonist, it was really interesting to see the change, and Paulson portrayed it perfectly.
And then you have the complete opposite arc with Sister Jude. Played by the amazing Jessica Lange, this was her one character that by the end I truly liked. While she started out as a vile and cruel woman, her descent into madness is heartbreaking, and her rise with Kit’s help is heartwarming. Kit Walker of course is another favourite, your classic hero archetype with a slight twist. These three together were the stars of Asylum. Strong and brave characters that had really wonderful arcs, I can’t understand how people could not love it.
While Coven wasn’t scary in the least, it was so enjoyable! I love witches, and my god, the outfits! Taissa Farmiga’s Zoe was someone I felt I could really relate to, and Misty Day and Nan were characters that I just loved seeing on screen. The Coven is pretty dark and chic, and the contrast between that and Misty Day, a very down to Earth witch, was wonderful. I was also so happy to see that Farmiga and Peters were paired up again. Their chemistry is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and Peters absolutely broke my heart over and over again. He has a talent for that, too.
Freak Show, I’ll admit, was hard for me to get into. The first couple of episodes were a little slow, but my loyalty to the show is unwavering by this point, and I wasn’t about to give up. So I pushed through, and am I ever glad I did.
This was the season I got the most emotional over, surprisingly, and by the end I was truly in love with the characters. I despise clowns, so Freak Show made the list for creep factor, but I just loved the dynamic between this band of misfits. I shipped Jimmy Darling and the twins from the beginning, and yes, gave a standing ovation when they finally got together. But the truth is this was the best season for community among the characters, and I think what made it so wonderful is that everyone can relate to being an outcast. So when they are accepted, it’s such a beautiful moment, and one close to my, and many others, hearts.
Okay, so I just finished Hotel, and wow. Just wow. It was extremely close in the creepiness of Asylum, and felt like it was going back to its roots, Murder House. Again, the first episode had me hesitant, but I quickly delve into it and just admired the perfection that was this season. I liked that the idea of vampirism was implied, but it wasn’t shoved down our throats. The implication was enough, and it was a genius move.
I’d like to start with just how amazing Gaga was. I’ve always been a huge fan, she’s a massive role model and just a wonderful human being, and such a talented singer. It turns out she’s a similarly talented actress, stunning us all with The Countess. At first she seemed pretty one dimensional, but as soon as we see her past, she actually seems to be a very sweet and innocent woman who adapted to her circumstances, adapted to survive. It was chilling to see her make the change from a heartbroken romantic to a cold, calculating woman.
Evan Peters also blew me away as James March. No doubt one of my favourite characters of the entire show, he’s so insane, it’s delightful to watch him. It’s such a fine line, between entrancing and over-dramatic, but Peters was not once over the top. He kept March real, which was very impressive. The interesting thing is Peters has a natural allure and charm, and brings that to his characters. So when he’s playing someone as completely off his rocker as James March, it’s just so mesmerizing!
His interactions with the Countess were also simply stunning, and he delivered some of the best one liners. Such as:
“I googled you.”
“That sounds obscene!”
“I’m dead, dear, not stupid.”
I could write an entire article about this character, and I very well might, but for now, suffice it to say that Peters somehow continues to make my jaw drop and my heart falter simultaneously.
Miss Hazel Evers was just the cutest thing ever, because all she wants is to get those sheets clean. Her excitement over the washing machine was actually one of the most adorable things I’ve ever witnessed, and her loyalty to the madman is really quite endearing, in a very messed up way.
Denis O’Hare also pulled an entirely new side of him out, and this is the first time I’ve truly loved his character. Liz was instantly likable, and grew to be a sort of glue, holding the characters together. Her relationship with the Countess was beautiful, if not confusing, and as James was one of the best villains, Liz was one of the best heroines.
I could go on and on about this show, and I am sure I could write a very large paper on the beauty of American Horror Story and its characters. There’s a very good chance that close to the Season 6 premiere, I’ll recap my favourite moments of the seasons, as I did with Game of Thrones. But for now, well, I’ve half a mind to start watching it all over again. It was in all honesty one of the most intriguing shows I’ve seen, and has earned a spot in my top five.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts! Was there a season you love with all of your heart? A season you couldn’t stand? Favourite characters? Comment below, let’s chat!
Thanks for reading!
Sincerely, Fiction’s Mistress