SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the Season Six premier of ‘American Horror Story’, this article will contain SPOILERS! Proceed with caution!
If you’ve seen the first episode of ‘American Horror Story’ Season 6, you know the new season mixes things up, by presenting the show in a “true crime” reenactment format, with Lily Rabe and André Holland playing the “real life” couple Shebly and Matt Miller facing the camera (separately) and recounting the story of some horrific event that happened to them. They are later joined by ‘True Blood’ alum Adina Porter as Matt’s sister Lee. Their interviews provide the narration as the show switches back and forth between the talking heads and “reenactment” footage, in which Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. play Shelby and Matt and Angela Bassett plays Lee.
This is a format I am quite familiar with, as my roommate is always watching the ID channel which airs nothing but these kinds of shows, although those focus on true crime, not supernatural events. Even so, I thought it was pretty clever idea.
But it seems some viewers couldn’t quite understand what was going on.
The show’s creator Ryan Murphy explained:
“I was always gonna do the season, and John approved [the theme] a year ago. But as we were developing it, we sort of got into this mind space about how do we make it different? It’s Season 6—how do you make it fresh?”
For one thing, they kept the theme under wraps until the first episode aired, going so far as to release over twenty fake teasers to keep fans guessing. The press wasn’t provided with advance screener copies of the episode and FX didn’t even air the teaser for next week’s episode on TV, instead making it available online, but only after 11pm Pacific, after west coast fans had a chance to watch the episode untainted.
Besides the show’s format, a couple of other changes have occurred this season. Unlike previous installments, which consisted of 13 episodes, ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’ will only be made up of ten. Usually the show premiers closer to Halloween, which obviously isn’t the case here. Murphy has an explanation.
“Do I really want to be watching a horror show post-Thanksgiving when we get to Christmas? I really don’t. I always watch that show live, and I really love it in the beginning when it’s fall, when it‘s Halloween and before Thanksgiving. And then after that, I just don‘t want blood with my Christmas ornaments. I just don’t.”
Unlike past seasons, there will be no hiatus. ‘American Horror Story’ will air all ten episodes in one sequence with no break, with the last episode airing the week before Thanksgiving.
What does this mean for future seasons?
“We may not do that every year, but we did it this year. The show is so flexible, maybe next year we’ll put it on in the summer because it works so great. I don’t know.”
Like I said, I’m familiar with the interview/reenactment format and think this a clever idea for ‘AHS’ considering there are SO MANY of these kinds of shows on TV. And the idea of getting the whole series with no interruptions is also quite nice.
What do you think of the changes to ‘AHS’ this season?
Source: Vanity Fair