-books -dates -Lists -Movies -Music -musicals and broadway 24 30 Rock 666 Park Avenue Alcatraz Alias America's Next Top Model American Horror Story American Idol Americans Are You There Chelsea? Arrested Development Arrow Awake Awkward Bates Motel Being Human Ben and Kate Bent Best Friends Forever Better with You Big Bang Theory Big Brother Big C Big Love Blue Bloods Boardwalk Empire Body of Proof Bones Borgias Boss Breaking Bad Breaking In Breaking Pointe Bridge Bunheads Camelot Carrie Diaries Charlie's Angels Chicago Code Chicago Fire Chuck Community Continuum Copper Cougar Town Cult Dark Tower Deception Defenders Degrassi Dexter Doctor Who Dollhouse Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Downton Abbey Elementary Emily Owens MD Enlightened Episodes Event Fall Falling Skies Family Tree Felicity Finder Firefly Following Fosters Freaks and Geeks Friday Night Lights Friends Fringe Game of Thrones GCB Gifted Man Gilmore GIrls Girls Glee Glee Project Good Wife Gossip Girl Grey's Anatomy Grimm Hannibal Happy Endings Harry Potter Hart of Dixie Hawaii Five-O Hell on Wheels Hellcats Hemlock Grove Heroes Homeland House House of Cards House of Lies How I Met Your Mother How to Be a Gentleman How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) I Hate My Teenage Daughter In Treatment Intervention Jane by Design Jersey Shore Justified Last Man Standing Last Resort Life Unexpected Lone Star Longmire LOST Louie Lying Game Mad Men Make it or Break it Man Up Mindy Project Missing Mockingbird Lane Modern Family Mr Selfridge Napoleon Dynamite Nashville New Girl New Normal Nikita Nine Lives of Chloe King No Ordinary Family Off the Map Office Once Upon a Time Originals Outlaw Outsourced Pan Am Parenthood Parks and Recreation Perfect Couples Person of Interest Playboy Club Pretty Little Liars Prime Suspect Psych Raising Hope Real Housewives of New Jersey Revenge Revolution Ringer Rob Rookie Blue Running Wilde Saving Hope Scandal Scrubs Secret Circle Secret Life of the American Teenager Sex and the City Shameless Sherlock Smash So You Think You Can Dance Sons of Anarchy South Park Southland Suburgatory Supernatural Switched at Birth Teen Wolf Terra Nova The Fall The Fosters The Killing The River The Voice Touch true blood Twisted Two and a Half Men Two Broke Girls Under the Dome Unforgettable United States of Tara Up All Night V Vampire Diaries Veep Vegas Veronica Mars Walking Dead Web Therapy Weeds White Collar Whitney Whole Truth Wilfred Work It X-Factor X-Files Zero Hour

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Mix Of Sex and Horror. And the Gimp from Pulp Fiction Finally Gets Some.

This is a show that you will probably either love or hate. Some of that might depend on how many of the references to classic American horror movies you can catch, but expertise on The Shining is not required. Ryan Murphy hasn’t been able to be as weird as he really wants to be for a while. The kids on Glee are sweet, often innocent, and they sing in a show choir. But with his new adult horror miniseries on FX, Ryan is free to make the teenagers psychos, cutters, bullies, and hipsters. The risk with Murphy is that he will get too weird. Does anyone remember the later seasons of Nip/Tuck? Sometimes when you go too overboard, things get unintentionally hilarious.

Was it scary? As you might expect, we have a high bar for scary, if only because we’ve seen so many movies and so much TV. You really do get desensitized. One of us has read nearly all of Stephen King’s books (and at a young age too). We’ve lived alone, walked at night, shot guns, jumped out of planes, jumped off of bluffs, helped film an amateur horror movie in the woods, and watched that video of The Hoff really drunk on YouTube. So American Horror Story hasn’t scared us yet, but it has intrigued us, which is something.

The haunted house is gorgeous. Leeard loves houses like that. Ern prefers small apartments, because there is less to clean. But the Harmon family already has a maid, so it’s all good. Actually, it’s far from good. That maid is a troublemaking ghost. We love this character, and we don’t want to say too much about her, in case people reading haven’t seen the show yet.

There’s tons of slightly kinky sexual material in this show so far, and we know there are people who will feel uncomfortable watching that. Mr. Harmon sleepwalks naked, masturbates and then cries, and is constantly trying to get some with his wife, who kind of hates him right now. The couple who lived in the house before the Harmons had a couple of gimp suits in the attic. They were gay men who ended up dead. Mrs. Harmon has sex with a ghost wearing one of those rubber suits, thinking he’s her husband. She enjoys it. We really don’t understand the gimp suit attraction. Other things about S&M are more understandable, but the second someone puts a wetsuit on, we think, “Now how is that hot?”

The scenes at Violet’s high school reminded us of darker versions of Glee scenes. They were over-the-top, unlikely, and funny. We enjoyed seeing the bully get pranked by Violet, her new friend, and some old woman who has “rotting old woman syndrome,” a common syndrome in old women (we know this from TV and movies). We should raise awareness.

Denis O’Hare’s character shows promise, as does Mrs. Harmon’s pregnancy. We also love Jessica Lange’s character, because she is hilarious. As rude, blunt, and strange as she is, she was right to tell Mrs. Harmon off. You never touch someone else’s child without their permission, and you especially don’t touch them in an angry way.

We weren’t sure if we would like the stuff with the troubled marriage, but the couple’s big fight scene was pretty good. We actually feel bad for both parties, and we look forward to getting in their heads. Connie Britton’s acting is better than Dylan McDermott’s though. Ryan Murphy loves having characters with Down Syndrome on his shows, and this is no exception. We like this character. We also like that Mr. Harmon is a psychiatrist. Bringing crazy patients into the haunted house can add to the creep factor.

Overall, this show tried to put every strange and scary thing in its pilot that it could. There were ginger twins, babies in jars, and the supernatural beings messing with people’s heads. There was a little blood, ominous music, and a kid who is two seconds away from shooting everyone he knows. This show needs to imply more, leave more to the imagination, raise a little mystery, let us wonder about the ghosts’ intentions, and drop some hints.

The show needs to be careful, or it's going to get too silly. Its M.O. is to heavy-handedly lay it all out there for us to see. Play some of those cards closer to the chest later on. Horror is all about the build-up. We understand that it might want to attract attention early to get and keep viewers. But now the show has to stay at this level and intensify from here. That might be hard to do. Overall, we liked this though, and we were entertained.

Episode grade: B+


  1. This show is one giant WTF? moment! Its weird pacing, over-the-top photography, and 1970s-era horror surrealism is enough to turn me off of it...but it's intriguing. The fact that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are at the helm does not inspire confidence, but the show is definitely not like anything else on TV. Are you guys going to do weekly updates about it?

    Also, how weird is it to see Connie Britton not playing Tami Taylor??

  2. Agree, agree, agree. Yes, and SO WEIRD.