I get this uncanny feeling when I realize that American Horror Story has been running for nine seasons, now. Much like The Walking Dead, it remains in this sort of stasis from the moment I stopped watching it until now, and I have a hard time understanding that it moved on without me.
Alas, after dropping off with Coven, I have to internalize the fact that the sort-of-not-really anthology series is doing just fine–in fact it might be better than ever.
I’m surprised that the AHS team hasn’t tackled the slasher genre before, but now they’re set to go all in with American Horror Story: 1984, a season that will at the very least include a girl, a cabin, some woods, and a supernatural knife-murderer. That all sounds cool with me. Honestly, for the first time in six seasons I’m intrigued.
What I am not digging, however, is the music choice in the teaser above. Who chooses a sappy sad song instead of synth when you’re trying to push 80’s slasher vibes? It’s a weird and atonal choice, which evokes what’s been my biggest problem with American Horror Story, the fact that it conflates horror and melodrama in a way that doesn’t entirely work for me–especially when it seems that the horror can be outright forgotten in the trade-off. I also can’t help but wonder if they’re a bit late to the party with shows like Slasher already out.
Either way, this one looks like it’ll be worth waiting to see more from as we move toward its Fall premier. I hope it turns out well. I wouldn’t mind being excited about American Horror Story again. The first season was something special, back before it took on the Murder House moniker and we all thought it was going to be a self-contained event. The possibility of making a lot of money gets in the way of those things, though, and Asylum was cool in that it just seemed that Ryan Murphy and company were throwing whatever they wanted at the wall and seeing what stuck, but then its last couple episodes felt like a perfunctory waste of time. Coven looked to be treading the same water before I checked out.
Details beyond the teaser are scarce, and given how much AHS enjoys skipping around time the year might only be a fraction of the setting for better or worse. So much secrecy surrounds every season, and I’m not sure if it does the show more damage than good. Like when Coven dropped I thought that the idea of witchcraft and rituals and all the imagery associated with that would be exciting to see, but then they just turned out to be bitchy X-Men, and that didn’t do it for me. Maybe if I knew in advance I would have been able to adjust my expectations.
I just hope that since they’ve decided to do an interconnected universe it won’t be tough to dive into season nine without having seen most of the previous seasons. If it is, then that sort of defeats the whole purpose of the anthology series setup, right?