10 Things We Learned From This Week's Premiere Of "American Horror Story Asylum"

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10 Things We Learned From This Week's Premiere Of "American Horror Story Asylum"

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | October 19, 2012 | Comments ()


"American Horror Story" is back y'all. And in case you were worried Murphy wouldn't be able to top last season's blood-soaked, hyper-sexed shenanigans, you can relax. This gooey gory glorious premiere was everything we've come to expect from the FX horror anthology. And maybe more. One could argue that, against all odds, creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk managed to cram in a surprising amount of social commentary between the naked bums, dank hallways and maimed pop stars. Given that two of our "heroes" are in socially discouraged relationships and that the interracial and homosexual natures of those relationships are responsible, at least in part, for landing Kit (Evan Peters) and Lana (Sarah Paulson) in Briarcliff Asylum. At the very least, who they've chosen to love had made them vulnerable. I also expect that Murphy and Falchuk will further explore the damaging and redemptive role religion plays in this institution. In Sister Jude, we have another complex, histrionic role for Jessica Lange and while she's neither purely villain nor purely hero, she will, most certainly, chew down the decaying scenery at every turn. I can't wait for Zachary Quinto's return.

10. New England Accents. They're Happening.: The series is set in Massachusetts in the 1960s and, despite the fact that the flat vowels of the New England accent are notoriously hard to pull off, both Jessica Lange and Evan Peters are going for it.

9. There Is One Hell Of A Makeup Artist Working On This Show: The actress who plays Pepper, the super creepy inmate who greets Lana upon her first visit to Briarcliff..

...is played by the gorgeous Naomi Grossman. Impressive transformation, no?

8. Just Because The Hot Redheaded Maid Is Gone Doesn't Mean We'll Have To Go Without Nymphomania This Season: Of all the new actors appearing this season, I'm most excited for Chloë Sevigny. No offense to Joseph Fiennes and James Cromwell but they don't have quite the same zing.

7. Sister Jude Really Really Likes Coq Au Vin: Like...a lot.

6. Ryan Murphy Hates That "Moves Like Jagger Song" Too: Oh man, I hated that song when Maroon 5 first recorded it, but then when that whistled refrain made it into a commercial that plays ad nauseum, "Moves Like Jagger" became my personal Hulk trigger. So, yes, damnit, I was glad when one of Adam Levine's tattooed arms got ripped off. And I hope it burns in hell.

5. This One...Is Either A Ghost, Bloody Face, Or A Metaphor: Her name's Grace...Kit's wife was named Alma (soul in Spanish), so something heavy-handed is going on here.

4. Lesbians In The 1960s Dressed Like Laverne De Fazio: Nice "L" pin, Lana.

3. There's A Twist In This Season. I'm Not Saying It Was Aliens. But It Was Aliens.: I did NOT see that coming. Real? Delusional? Spidery computer chip?

2. Ryan Murphy Knows Which Side His Bread Is Buttered On...If You Know What I Me-Oh You Know What I Mean: It wasn't too long into the episode before we saw our first butt. Dylan McDermott must be relieved that's no longer his burden to bear.

1. Jessica Lange Has Already Won Next Year's Emmy, Golden Globe, And, F*ck It, Give Her All Grammys While You're At It: Seriously, watch her go. Is there anything more magnificent?

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • googergieger

    "social commentary"


  • TheOriginalMRod

    That is lesbians with a capital L.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Aliens. Why'd it have to be aliens?


    Aliens, I love those guys.

  • Nadine

    I'm already saying so over on FB, I really, super, duper, hooper, looper, koopa major seriously hope it is not fucking ALIENS.

    Like, if Aliens are a delusion, fine, if they're being used because, hey, sixties! and such, fine. I really can not explain how pissed off I would be if there are actual real fucking ALIENS in this show.

    I personally think the aliens are a hallucination Kit suffered when what ever happened to Alma happened to Alma. I think it may turn out he's had this delusion his whole life, that it's what happens to him when he's being abused or something bad is happening. I just really don't want it to actually be aliens. I can't deal with Aliens. The worst thing about like, the X files, was the aliens.

    Also, i can not fucking believe number 9. That is straight up wizardry, right there.

  • googergieger


  • Nadine

    Basically, I know hallucinating Aliens is Era Appropriate because it's the sixties and everything, and Aliens were becoming a big part of popular culture, so Kit having this delusion totally fits.Kit seems like he was a smart kid, and he, for me, there's an impression he was the kind of child who probably read comics about space heroes, martians, shit like that. Like, he was a science nerd.

    Also the name/concept of the show is American Horror Story, and Alien Abduction is a big part of American Folklore going back decades if not more.

    But I just personally don't find the concept of alien abduction scary, I find it silly. The component parts are horrible, the abuse, torture, the 'probing' aspect, especially given abduction may be a delusion masking actual abuse that is happening(Kit was apparently 'probed' by the alien, or possibly doctor?). But once you tell me all of that happened because 'aliens' I just shut down.

    To me, any episode of The X Files that featured aliens was just a total wash. I do believe life exists on other planets, in some form. I'm undecided about strange lights in the sky, some of it seems explainable, other times it is weird as all get out.

    I don't think for a second aliens actually come and abduct and abuse humans and mutilate cows.

  • googergieger

    Well ignoring the one episode in, my question was more in regards to "why would you have a problem with aliens and not ghosts?".


    I mean first season you had ghosts with all over the place rules and an anti-christ as a result of it. Is it that you find that more believable or not silly? Cause really nothing at all in this show has been scary. Just entertaining, really. However not one ounce of it has terrified me or even given me moment to think. S'fluff.

  • Nadine

    I legitimately have no idea. I've been trying to word it for ages but I can't do it. I just like ghosts and monsters, and dont really like alien abduction, both in my media, and in terms of what I find creepy or weird IRL.

    As an example, I was a big X-Files fan back in the day, but i was, and still am, bored to tears by the entire Alien sub plot. All of it. I couldn't care less about any of it. I just have no idea why people find the idea of alien abduction real or scary.

    I know this makes me a hypocrite, because I do sort of find ghosts and monsters and dead thins a bit creepy, but I can't explain the exact reason why.

  • googergieger

    Well do you believe in ghosts and monsters?

    I mean I'm not scared of any of it. Ghosts, aliens, sodomy, all of the above, the whole shebang-abang. Only horror flicks I've ever really liked are either French ones that are comparatively realistic or genre mashers. Thirst, Let The Right One In, Tale of Two Sisters, etc...

  • Nadine

    Also your list of films there, yes, all of them, they are the ones I enjoy that make me stop and go 'oooooh yes'

    But then give me like, any movie that tries to make alien abduction into a horror thing? Booored bored bored

  • Nadine

    Good question, and I'd say...logically, no. I know the scientific reasons given for hauntings(sub sonic sound, the power of suggestion etc)

    But emotionally, yeah, I think I do. Like, in the dark, with a gap under the bed, or the cupboard door half open? I believe in monsters and ghosts.

    Like, as you say, I'm the same, I'm not especially scared, more thrilled by scary movies. The only time I ever, ever hid from a horror movie was the original [REC], the last ten minutes of which had be hiding behind my dads arm(the stuff in the penthouse/attic room, the monster, ah mah gahd)and whimpering.

    The idea of hauntings don't totally freak me out, or rather, I watch shows like Most Haunted(a show used to air in the UK similar to some on in the US now, where a team armed with night vision cameras hangs out in 'haunted' buildings and has mutual hysterics over dripping taps and creaking floorboards) and I laugh at them because they're patently ridiculous.

    But I am open to the idea of haunting and would/have been freaked out by strange noises in the dark.

    Lights in the sky, alien abduction...no fear for me at all.

    Ghosts and monsters...I'm interested, therefore, potentially scared.

  • googergieger

    Well chalk it up to cultural differences. Lot of our culture is obsessed with aliens shoving things up their butts. Personally I believe some really stupid rednecks over heard gay dudes talking about what they were going to do to each other later, and just jumped straight to "clearly they are talking about some type of species who did this to them". And then the smarter of their friends started saying, "Yes I too have been probed repeatedly, but was too scared people would think I'm crazy. And also this isn't an erection caused by me remembering those probings, it is part of that microchip they installed in me signaling the Aliens to where I am." Pretty sure that is how it all went down. In this comic I drew.

    Anyways, just except it as part of the over all story or a side story. The entire first series was random moments taken from other things I'm sure they've seen and random ideas they have had over the years and molded into an episodic twelve odd episode story. Sure the second season is going to be more or less the same. S'fluff. Except it for what it is.

  • 7. Sister Jude Really Really Likes Coq Au Vin: Like…a lot

    I think she likes Father Feinnes-as-hell rather more.

  • Luke Anthony Matthews

    My mom walked in during Jessica Lange's horny nun routine...and wondered what the fuck I was watching.

  • Uriah_Creep

    My mom is a devout catholic and would most definitely not approve. If, at any time this season, a crucifix finds itself anywhere near Jessica Lange's bathing suit area, I may have to abandon the show myself.

  • Quatermain

    Whoever did the makeup for Pepper has definitely seen Todd Browning;s 'Freaks.' Good for them, it's an underrated classic.

  • Skyler Durden

    I didn't realize it was makeup; I thought there it was an honest-to-goodness microcephalic. Combined with Addie from last season, it said something about the lengths that Ryan Murphy would go to cast unusually-abled characters.

    I'm weirdly bummed to know it is just an actress in makeup.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Watching Jessica Lange and James Cromwell share the screen is one of those unexpected treats that make you go "Fuck Yes Cinema!". The juxtaposition of the two characters is crazy awesome.

  • junierizzle

    I never saw season 1. Almost didn't check this out but I'm glad I did. I thought it was really fucking cool. I don't like Maroon 5 but when Levine greased up his fingers I thought, okay lets see where they go with this. It really was awesome to see him get mutilated, I must say. And aliens make everything better. That was the moment that hooked me.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    #9 still has my mouth gaping in disbelief.

  • Amazing what they can do with latex prosthetics, wax, and some false teeth, huh?

  • Pinky McLadybits


  • KatSings

    I love this show. So much.

  • Robert

    I saw everything but the aliens coming. It's Ryan "No Impulse Control" Murphy doing 1960s religious institution horror. Sisters of Satan, forbidden love, race relations, medical experiments, prison corruption, girl on girl action, gratuitous nudity, and Domenique all come with the territory. Aliens do not. Well-played, Mr. Murphy. You surprised a hardened horror cynic.

  • Groundloop

    I really liked season 1, and avoided all the previews for season 2, and I thought the premiere was awesome, though I'm not sure I'm digging the alien angle.

  • sherlockzz

    Jessica Lange's southern accent was way more successful than this year's Boston accent. Still love her acting stuff though.

  • Wednesday

    I disagree. My family's from Massachusetts and I've lived in Georgia for the past 30 years. The way Lange said "Lana Banana"? Sounded just like one of my aunts. Her Southern accent wasn't awful (so many people go for Tennessee Williams gothic) but it wasn't as good as this one.

  • sherlockzz

    Well, I was born and lived in Mass for forty years and her "Boston" accent was jarringly false to me. I'm no expert on the south so perhaps I couldn't pick up on the nuances you could and vice versa for Mass.

  • UMNomad

    Was it me, or did it turn a little Brooklyn when she was blackmailing the teacher?

  • John G.

    wait, I don't know what you mean.

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