Kirsty Capes reviews the second episode of American Horror Story season 6…
We’re in to episode 2 of the latest season of American Horror Story, and, I’m sorry to say, it’s already becoming rather formulaic.
I’m disappointed because I love AHS and I think it has always been able to deliver on real horror, alongside tough and sometimes morally challenging storylines. This season, though, so far, has been a bit of a disappointment.
I will obviously still be giving AHS a chance this season, as after all it is only episode 2, and there are plenty twists and turns to come. I’m not ready to put my qualms to bed just yet, though.
First of all, in my first episode review, I mentioned a few theories I had about the nature of season 6. Turns out, and I’ll eat my proverbial hat, that I was mostly wrong. It seems that ‘My Roanoke Nightmare‘ really is the title of this season’s entry in to the AHS anthology. Also, the show is persisting with the show-within-a-show format, the pseudo true-crime docudrama with ‘dramatic re-enactments’ and talking heads peppering the narrative. Lily Rabe is the real-life Shelby, and Sarah Paulson is her dramatic re-enactment counterpart. The same applies to André Miller and Cuba Gooding Jr with Shelby’s husband Matt. Cuba Gooding Jr is a real stand-out addition to the cast this season, and I’m enjoying watching his contribution to the show. Meanwhile, this episode we got more glimpses of Kathy Bates’ ghostly colonial woman character (hearkening to her role in AHS Coven – another indication that this season is going to start tying together some threads which links all seasons together in one universe) , and Denis O’Hare’s character, a doctor who previously occupied Shelby and Matt’s house. Lee’s story was also expanded, and we got to meet her daughter Flora, who has a penchant for talking to colonial ghost girls and getting lost.
For me, AHS isn’t working hard enough so far – both on its story and on its characters. The plot, so far, has been borrowing blatantly from other films, TV shows and even previous seasons of its own show, giving the impression that creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy are running out of ideas. Meanwhile, characters are two-dimensional and difficult to connect with. That’s not to say it’s all bad. AHS is still delivering the bone-chilling terror that we as an audience have become accustomed to, and there’s still plenty of hope yet for the season. I just hope that one of those signature AHS dramatic twists comes sooner rather than later.