|By Matthew Wedgwood (originally posted to Flickr as Chloë Sevigny) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
Oh Lord, this show. To its credit, it's a lot scarier this year. It didn't completely blow its wad immediately either. One of the things we complained about last year was the constant shock factor with no build-up. Each week was a tiny homage that just threw horror at us. That isn't frightening. This year, there seems to be more focus on the overall story. They do show a lot of things right away, but they seem to have saved a few things for later in the season. Shockingly, the aliens are scary so far. And Ryan Murphy didn't even show them to us yet! They probe too. ICK.
Adam Levine did a good job. Chloe Sevigny is our favorite so far. As for Sister Jude, we don't get her. She's just mean. The religious conviction doesn't make her behavior justifications believable. There's something undeveloped about it. Hopefully that gets fixed. Lange does a good job and the sexual desires are understandable. Once again, there are very few sympathetic characters on this show, but there are more than there were last year. So far, one of them seems to be the priest, Howard. Others include Lana, the gay reporter who was committed, and Grace.
We were so sad for Lana when her girlfriend betrayed her. It's always nice to see Clea DuVall though. Dr. Arden is creepy. The show is still bringing the kink, and it wouldn't be AHS without that sexuality, hate it or love it. One criticism we have is that the show jumped around too much. It was a little too packed, rushed, and all over the place. It's hard to accept so much weirdness, but that much weirdness at once? You have to draw things out a little if you want to scare people.
The change of setting and new monsters turned out to be great ideas. The show is also less depressing than last year. The tone is a little more enjoyable, there's no bummer of a crumbling marriage, and there's a little more humor. Okay, it's very very very black humor, but still. Overall, this was a good start to what might be a better season than last year's perfectly entertaining one. If this season can scare us where the last one didn't, it will be a triumph. Because no, last year wasn't scary. It was just weird and disgusting and a guilty pleasure.
Episode grade: B+