American Horror Story

American Horror Story Asylum 2×01 – Welcome To Briarcliff

"Mental illness is the fashionable explanation for sin."

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American Horror Story was one of last year’s most pleasant surprises. I really didn’t think I would enjoy the show but I ended up loving the first season. It was dark, engrossing, and just plain twisted. I was even more intrigued by the fact that each season of the show would completely reset itself with a new concept and cast (apart from a few returning standouts). It’s just always gratifying to know you’ll be getting closure in the span of a few episodes. Now that season two has begun, does this season look like it will match the debut’s brilliance?

My first impression: hell yes! Just by keeping Jessica Lange around (and actually putting her center stage), Ryan Murphy has undoubtedly won me over for at least the first couple of episodes. Miss Lange is still as spectacular and mind-blowing as ever. She literally owns the character of Sister Jude and I can’t wait to see what she does next. In the premiere alone, Lange got to exhibit her steely resolve, her repressed sexuality (that scene with the red dress and the Latin choir was spectacular), as well as going head to head with disturbing Dr. Arthur. Suffice to say, it’s going to be a horrifying ride this year with these two whackos involved.

I was also quite intrigued by Sarah Paulson’s performance as nosy reporter Lana Winters. Although I kind of wish her incarceration happened at the end of the season, I’m fascinated to see what Sister Jude does to her next particularly with the knowledge of Lana’s lesbianism (which our favorite nun will undoubtedly feel like she can cure).

If I had any complaints, it would be that Murphy seems to have added an extra dimension with the inclusion of aliens. Seriously? Extraterrestrials? I don’t really think the show needs that layer but I’m willing to give it a shot and see if they manage to pull it off.

Finally, can I just say that the opening credits are even more disturbing than last year’s? I seriously doubt I’ll ever have the guts to sit through them again.

Conclusion
A frightening and superbly well-executed series premiere.

Nad Rating
B+

2 comments

  1. Absolutely frightening indeed! I have no idea what I just signed up for haha but I'm definitely intrigued. Already feel like I wasted my time on Hotel while I could've been watching this season instead. The biggest difference, obviously, is that this episode was indeed so well-executed! Maybe it was crazy and twisted but at least it's not messy and confusing.

    I love the cast too! The part with the dream sequence involving the red dress was epic! Definitely my favorite moment of the hour, but I still really can't stand Chloe Sevigny. Hate her character in Hotel and she's not all that better here. The actress I guess just annoys me a lot.

    I'll take my time watching this, but definitely intriguing enough to make me want to see more! Thank you Nadim for always knowing what to suggest! I always know to blindly trust your opinions πŸ˜€

  2. Messy is the word while describing Hotel. I am so happy you're giving this a shot because it's a better showcase for AHS' potential. Season two is widely considered to be the show's best (although I adore three as well but this one is certainly more consistent), so I'm sure you are going to absolutely love it πŸ™‚ Sadly I only reviewed the premiere and the finale that year so sorry about that! hahaha.

    I hate Chlore too. She sucks on Hotel. Thankfully from what I remember, she's' vaguely in Asylum πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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