Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Construction of American Horror Story

         With Halloween approaching I thought it was only necessary to talk about a television series that has very quickly become one of the most talked about television shows. American Horror Story brings something completely different to the table in the world of television series. The creators use the classic characteristics of a horror story, but they have turned the enjoyment of suspense into a series which carries on for months. They began the series with the concept of ghosts, and then last season they created an insane asylum with mental ill individuals and aliens combined. Their next season will be called “Coven” and will include the classic pastime characters of witches.
         One thing the creators of American Horror Story do not do is hold back in any way. They have created a scene such as, “a sobbing naked man masturbating” and a line “about snorting cocaine off a high school girl’s nipples” (Hale, “They Said It Had Good Bones"). This series has become known for its unsettling scenes that make you question why you even enjoy watching the show. However, these strange and uncomfortable situations throughout the episodes have people crawling back for more of this common discomforting feeling. The creators have no shame in including any topic that may be considered taboo, even in our sexually expressive society today. This makes the viewer wonder what disturbing thing they will include next to make this series stand out even more from the rest of mainstream series on television today.
         One distinct feature of this television series is its use of episodic serials from season to season. Episodic serials simply means that from one season to another “each season is its own, different characters and setting” (Lecture 9-10-13). The suspense of which new creepy concept the creators will use in each season adds to the enjoyment of this television show. Each season brings something completely new to the table, so you will never feel like the same story is being dragged out. This eliminates feelings of boredom from the viewers, influencing them to then become uninterested in the show. I feel this type of series generates a higher view count overall due to anticipation from the viewers as to what the new seasons will bring. While the season's underlying concepts are fresh and new, there are reoccurring actors and actresses who appear again in season two, and most likely will appear in season three as well. The interesting thing about the reused actors is that they usually possess a completely new set of characteristics. This expresses the diversity and depth of the actors, as they express a wide variety of characteristics throughout each individual season. With some of the actors returning there are also many new actors and actresses who grace the screen with their talents to bring something fresh to the series.
         Within the individual episodes of American Horror Story there are large concepts to comprehend such as the infamous man in the black latex suit, or the mysterious aliens that grace the presence of Kit. While there are themes at large, there are also smaller, less important, themes that are present throughout the series which contribute to the overall larger concept. From the first season there was the teenage love between Violet and the ghost of Tate. There was then the reporter who was locked against her will in the asylum in the second season. Throughout each episode there are constant smaller storyline's that add to the overall appeal of what the larger picture is trying to portray to the audience. While the storyline's are interesting and draw the viewers back over and over again, this show has constant underlying meanings that are sometimes hard to keep up with. The viewer may not realize the connections until later in the season, or may never notice it at all.
         While each season has it own storyline, there are ways in which the writers have made a consistent effort to connect seasons together with or without the viewers noticing. While I am one to say that I have never noticed the subtle clues of what the concept in the next season may be, there have been many critics who have noticed these clues and interpreted what exactly the next season will bring. The creator Murphy says, “Go through it frame by frame. I planted it in there. I will never reveal it” (Ocasio, "‘American Horror Story’ Season 2 Details Revealed: What Happens Next"). If critics don't suffice in exposing these hints, the creators have come out and expressed what they feel the next season should bring. Although, Murphy will not tell exactly what clues are planted within the season he will express what season three can be expected to entail as he states:
I sorta feel like for the third version I want to do something that’s a little bit more ‘evil glamour.”’ Just something that’s a little bit more…one of the things that I missed this season was I really loved having that Romeo & Juliet youth story with Violet and Tate. I want something like that again and we’re doing something like that in the third season. And we’re contemplating shooting the show in a different place. We’re contemplating shooting it in a place in the country where true horror has been. We’ve got lots of delicious plans” (Yeoman, "‘American Horror Story’ Creator Reveals Season 3 Hints").

         American Horror Story is definitely a series that steps out of the box when comparing it to most television series at this time. The writers test the norms of what television should entail in our society today. While I'm sure there are large groups of individuals who may find the provocative and alluring themes of this series offensive, I feel that if you are looking for something different that brings excitement and suspense to your everyday television series, American Horror Story is definitely for you! Everyone should watch at least one season of this series and experience the tantalizing themes to determine if it is just the extra something you need in your television lifestyle.

Hale, Mike. "They Said It Had Good Bones." 'American Horror Story' on FX. N.p., 04 Oct. 2011. Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://tv.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/arts/television/american-horror-story-on-fx- review.html?_r=1>.
Ocasio, Anthony. "‘American Horror Story’ Season 2 Details Revealed: What Happens Next."
Screen Rant. N.p., Sept. 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://screenrant.com/american-horror-story- season-2-spoilers-aco-144926/>.
Yeoman, Kevin. "‘American Horror Story’ Creator Reveals Season 3 Hints." Screen Rant. N.p., Jan. 2013. Web. 24 Sept. 2013. <http://screenrant.com/american-horror-story-season-3/>.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.