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A second chance

October 22, 2012

FX network is a cable channel for which I have a good deal of respect.  Their shows always tend to be edgy and push pretty hard on the boundaries of television story telling.  Their first original series The Shield to this day remains one of my all-time favorite television series and, this is from someone who general despises cop shows.  They are probably best known for their second original series Nip/Tuck that my wife watched regularly.  Last year, when they announced they would be doing a new horror series called American Horror Story I was definitely going to be checking it out.  The first two episodes where outstanding television.  Unfortunately, the series kind of lost its way after that and not even Jessica Lange’s amazing performance could keep me coming back.  I lost interest in the show for a number of reasons.  It started to feel like every episode fell into the trap of what two horror movies are we going to steal concepts from this week.  Also, it seemed like they were trying to stuff too many ideas into the series which isn’t necessarily a problem but, the ideas weren’t really gelling all that well for me.  Overall, I think the best description of my feelings came from a Facebook post by Derek Koch who described the show as trying to hard to be the new cool kid.  As a side note, Derek does a couple of podcasts.  One is called 1951 Down Place that talks about Hammer horror films and is available at:  He is also known as Brother D on his other podacst Mail Order Zombie:

Why am I giving the series a second chance?  The main thing that caused me to consider doing so was when they announced that the next season would be a completely new story line.  I’m a big fan of anthology series, which seems to be a series format that is no longer in vogue so, I kind of want to support it even if it’s on a seasonal level.  I also was very impressed with Jessica Lange’s performance so, when I heard she would be back for season two (along with a number of the other actors, it turns out) that kind of sealed the deal for me.  So, how was the first episode?  It showed a lot of promise.  There was a ton of stuff in the one hour but, it feels like this time they have a more coherent storyline.  Ultimately, with further episodes we’ll learn whether these feelings are accurate.  On a more personal level, I really liked the current day Weird NJ framing bit for the episode.  For those not familiar with Weird NJ, it is a magazine which, among other strange things,  features photo-log visits to abandoned structures around the garden state.  I’m pretty addicted to this magazine and read it religiously when it comes out so, this part of the show totally worked for me.  I’ll be giving it a few more episodes and see where it goes and whether or not it is able to hold my interest this time around.

  1. I’m still holding out on watching this second season. I gave up about mid-way through season one. I have all the episodes on my DVR and I’ll be starting it this week. What are your thoughts on season two so far?

    • Pretty good, so far. They are packing a lot of stuff into the story like the first season but, unlike the first season it is all holding together well. The one thing I am really enjoying is this framing sequence set in current day where the asylum is abandoned and one of the ten most haunted places in America. They are short little bits but, they keep coming back to it so I’m guessing it will all tie into the finale somehow. There have been a couple of clever twists that none of us saw coming and, we are still wondering how it is all going to get resolved in the end which is always a good sign of strong writing. I’ll be posting a review of the season here when it winds up.

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