[From IMDB:] An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven and a freak show.
I briefly considered trying to come up with my own synopsis, and then I remembered that this is American Horror Story, and even attempting to make any kind of cohesive sense of it would be ridiculous.
And that’s exactly the greatest strength and weakness of American Horror Story, as you’ll know if you’ve ever watched it (which, if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you have): it’s an insane, often incoherent mashing together of any and every element vaguely related (if you’re lucky) to the theme(s) of a given season. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it manages to be kind of shocking bad – like, for example, whenever it tries to address anything about race, or women. In short, it’s a typical Ryan Murphy show.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I hated Coven. Oh, sure, it had its amazing moments, and I could probably find a thousand gifable moments from the series, but the overarching story was just so badly handled that I not only found myself hate-watching the show, but feeling justified in doing so as, week after week, some storylines went completely off the rails, others died a horrible death, and some of the more interesting ones fizzled out. It became a collection of gifable moments, and nothing more.
So it was with great trepidation that I came back for Freak Show, because I thought I was just setting myself up for more disappointment. Dare I say that things actually seem to have improved, though?
That’s not to say that things aren’t still insane. Of course they are. But the show feels less frenetic than usual, and the writers seem to be more in control than they were in the last couple of seasons. There actually seems to be some cohesion to the overall narrative, and most of the actors, both old and new, seem to be feeling more comfortable in their roles.
Everything is feeling fresher; and, thanks to some of the best set design we’ve seen so far, looking fresher as well.
Could this be a turning point for American Horror Story? I can only hope it is.