The thing about American Horror Story, which will return this fall for its 10th season, is that every new season is like opening day for the New York Jets. They might start with one or two wins to open the season, but by week 6, you’ve already given up on the season and are left to decide whether to drag yourself through the motions for the rest of the year or just quit and try again next season.
With some exceptions (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, for one), it’s the nature of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s work. They’re great at coming up with concepts, they have great marketing people, and they provide just enough to get us to invest before they seem to lose interest. When you run as many series as they do, I suppose it’s unavoidable. As soon as they get one season off the ground, they have to turn their attention to something else.
I would like to think that American Horror Stories might be a smart workaround for Murphy. The spin-off series kicks off on FX on Hulu tomorrow, and the magic of Horror Stories is that it’s an anthology series, so every week is like opening season for the Jets. Or at least, that’s the idea in theory. I suspect, however, that the better episodes will be frontloaded and by week six, there’ll be an episode from the perspective of the window that Dylan McDermott crysturbated near in the first season of Horror Story.
Because that’s the thing: A number of the episodes will reference other American Horror Story seasons, especially Murder House, and the series will obviously bring back a number of the AHS regulars, both in new roles and possibly old roles, as well.
I’ll watch it, too, because I’m a sucker for a good horror tale, but I suspect I’ll be exasperated with the whole thing by August. If you want to watch good horror, watch Evil. But if you want to see the occasionally inspired moment while also feeling endlessly frustrated, I’m sure this will do the trick.
American Horror Stories debuts tomorrow on FX on Hulu with two episodes that return to the Murder House and Rubber (Wo)Man. Like I said, they’re very good at marketing.