Currently in its seventh season, “American Horror Story” (created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk) is a spooky anthology show, meaning each season stands on its own as a sort of mini-series. Every season has a different theme and different characters. Because of this, “American Horror Story” is one of the few horror television series that can continue for years without growing overly repetitive or unbelievable, though some seasons are admittedly much better than others. “American Horror Story” is one of my favorite TV shows, and since it is all about the dark and the horrific, October seemed like the perfect time to start my full-series re-watch.
The first season, “American Horror Story: Murder House,” serves as an excellent reminder why I adore this series. “Murder House” tells the tale of the Harmon family, who, in an effort to run from the trauma of a miscarriage and a slew of marital problems, moves to a new house with a twisted history of countless deaths. This season is not only about the couple and their teenage daughter, but about the spirits in the house and the human errors that are too big to turn back from.
“Murder House” is one of the most intense, skillfully planned-out seasons in the series. Throughout most of the season, it is hard to determine what exactly is going on with the strange happenings of this house, but by the end, we learn about each character’s backstory and about their intentions and everything clicks into place and concludes in the most brilliant, satisfying way. There were constantly new twists that, even the second time watching the season, I could never have anticipated.
What constantly blows my mind about this season is that each character is massively flawed but equally redeemable. Even the most unhinged characters garnered my sympathy. I was extremely invested in learning about the characters’ backgrounds, in watching them transform, and in witnessing them get their comeuppance. Also, it was fascinating to see the way these characters interacted with each other when their histories are so complexly intertwined with passion or murder (sometimes both).
This first season is a quality introduction to many of the themes that remain present throughout the rest of the series. “Murder House” is deliciously addicting, combining a complicated cast of characters, a tantalizing plotline and shocking observations of humanity.