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Can't Talk | September 25, 2020

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First Impressions: American Horror Story

First Impressions: American Horror Story

On Sunday night I threw a fit over not being able to watch the premiere of The Walking Dead. I’ve been without cable for over 5 years now and, while I don’t regret it in the slightest, I’m at the mercy of legitimate online release.

I’m lucky enough that season passes are available for some series like The Walking Dead, but the episodes never release the same night as it airs. I don’t mind waiting a day or two for the episode to appear in my download queue. It’s the people who love to live tweet and spoil stuff for people like me that I can’t stand.

After perusing Netflix for a while, I hesitantly stopped at American Horror Story. I’ve been wanting to watch it ever since season 3 was dubbed “Coven”. I have a thing for witchcraft and the occult but I’ve been procrastinating getting started. While I absolutely love the horror genre in written form, when it comes to movies and TV series, I’m a complete and utter scaredy-cat.

I almost waffled, opting to rewatch the movie “Bridesmaids”. Come on, Kristen Wiig is hilarious. Laughing is fun. Comedy usually doesn’t result in nightmares. In the end, though, I decided to just do it. I jumped.

My understanding is that each season consists of completely different characters and story arcs, so if I really wanted to, I could’ve skipped to “Coven”. But because I have this chronological and completionist OCD thing going on, to the beginning I went.

Season one, also known as “Murder House” focuses on the Harmon family. After suffering a traumatic miscarriage, Vivien Harmon walks in on her husband, Ben, having sex with one of his students. In the hopes of a fresh start, Ben, Vivien, and their teenage daughter, Violet, relocate from Boston to Los Angeles and take up residence in a creepy yet affordable house. The previous owners both died, apparently a murder-suicide, but no biggie. I’d probably buy it too.

I’m fairly certain that for the first ten minutes of the show, I was internally screaming “ohmygawd” over and over again. Throughout really intense moments I purposely diverted my attention to my phone and twitter. I’m so brave.

When the episode came to an end, I let it roll over to the next episode. And the next. I was still horrified. I was still chastising characters for going into rooms when doors conveniently pop open. Idiots. But I couldn’t stop. It’s like an accident, horrifying and yet you can’t look away.

The initial episodes, when you don’t know who is who (or what), that’s the scariest. The unknown is scary. As the season progresses and I began to figure out some of the characters, their origins, and maybe their motives, I felt a little less tense. However, there were still some very startling moments. The mystery and the wonder of how it all might end really drives it all forward.

I’ve almost come to the end of the 12 episode season of American Horror Story: Murder House, and I really don’t know what the outcome might be. It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking.

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