The Pilot For 'American Horror Story' Might Be The Craziest Thing Ever To Air On TV

american horror story

Has the backlash against the backlash to American Horror Story begun?

Few television shows are contested as hotly as FX’s haunted-house drama, from creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, which has wormed its way into numerous online debates, with viewers divided about whether they love it, loathe it, or love to hate it. (Even some of those who despise it, however, find that they can’t stop watching it.)

Here’s the plot boiled down: after suffering a brutal stillbirth, Vivien Harmon (Friday Night LightsConnie Britton) discovers her psychiatrist husband, Ben (Dylan McDermott), in bed with one of his students. The troubled couple—and their equally troubled teenage daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga)—decamp to Los Angeles, where they purchase a Victorian house that was the site of numerous grisly murders and which is as deeply haunted as they are. Scariness, in the form of ghostly maids, baby monsters, murderous burn victims, kinky phantoms in bondage wear, and deranged Southern belles, ensues.

Critics have been just as split as audiences on the show, which has already been renewed for a second season. AOLtv’s Mo Ryan called the show a “train wreck,” writing that American Horror Story is merely “a gloss on a lumpy, slapdash drama about relatively boring people.” The Boston Herald‘s Mark Perigard, meanwhile, wrote, “I loved the pilot, mostly because I could never predict where the story was going, a rarity in prime-time TV.” The Daily Beast’s Jace Lacob and Maria Elena Fernandez are also at odds about the show and teamed up to discuss the show’s merits and failings. (WARNING: The conversation below contains plot points from the show’s fifth episode, “Halloween, Part 2.” If you have yet to watch that episode, read at your own peril.)

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