Posted on Monday, February 4th, 2013 by Adam Quigley
Need a reason to watch American Horror Story? Want to relive its many warped highs and sordid lows? Baffled that it has an audience at all?
Wherever you stand on Ryan Murphy‘s dopey, perverse slice of camp horror bliss, here’s another chance to experience the staggering amount of insane plot turns its second season shamelessly exposed the world to in every episode.
In 60 seconds.
Watch the video after the jump.
In the second episode of Antisocial Commentary, Adam continues to explore the depths of male depravity, this time in the form of the ever-so-slightly-less-substantial American Horror Story: Asylum. Thankfully, what it lacks in profundity it more than makes up for in energetically assaultive weirdness.
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Defying the scales of good or bad in any tradional or moral sense, American Horror Story is a series that effortlessly coasts by on the strength of its sheer off-the-wall what-the-fuckery, generating suspense not through atmosphere or pacing or carefully calibrated moments of terror, but by defiantly challenging any preconceived notion about what the limits of storytelling should be.
As such, any level-headed attempt to critique it is probably missing the point, whatever the hell that point may be.
So instead, here’s a rapid-fire encapsulation of every deliriously wrong-headed plot development and trashy horror indulgence that the second season of this batshit crazy show had to offer, starting with this smug fuck.
Surprise limb removal
Surprise trap door
Surprise misogynist suicide
Nun sex fantasies
Semen in the face
Serial killer with the dumbest name ever
Copycat serial killers
Copycat serial killer killing copycat serial killers
Sexy devil nun priest rape
Metaphorical incest rape
Zombies (or whatever)
More surprise limb removal
More adult breast-feeding
Evil murderous nun
Evil murderous child
Evil murderous Santa Claus
Anne Frank being lobotomized
Botched coat hanger abortion
Angel of death
Nazi suicide (by oven)
Priest being crucified
Touching family reunion
And don’t go thinking the list ends there, because there’s still plenty more screaming…
And even a few mildly suggestive sexual innuendos.
But despite this show’s unrelenting penchant for the absurd, and the crude means through which it hilariously and hamfistedly assaults you with otherwise significant social themes, what’s most surprising about American Horror Story is how it manages to take everything you saw in those 60 seconds and actually spin them into a real story.
It would’ve been so much easier to take the LOST route and abandon its dozen-plus disparate plot elements in a sea of open-ended mystery and speedy narrative shifts, but instead it makes a genuine effort to tie them together into a cohesive, coherent serialized epic, effectively straddling the line between satisfying resolution and narrative ambiguity. More importantly, these elements serve a meaningful purpose to the characters, some of whom have arcs spanning 5 decades.
No matter how dopey and trivial and outright fucking gonzo American Horror Story can be at times — well, most of the time — its ambition and attention to detail is commendable. It may be trash, but it’s deceptively smart trash, recognizing its twisted appeal and reveling in every lurid moment of it, all the while slyly laying the groundwork for characters that it actually intends to pay off.
Leave it to Ryan Murphy, the creator of fucking GLEE, to show Damon Lindelof how it’s done.
Yes, I am still mad about LOST.