Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Next on Netflix: American Horror Story. AKA, my new obsession

Next On Netflix: Where I take my guilt from all my Netflix procrastination and turn it into something I can justify.

I know I said I'd do this weekly, so far I have failed in this. Mainly due to last week being a very productive week in other things and, for the first time since signing up to Netflix, I barely had a chance to watch anything on it. 

However, all of that changed this weekend, due to Friday night's debacle or as I'm now calling it, my body's latest shameless cry for attention. As such, I was holed up in my room for the entire weekend with nothing to keep me company but Netflix. It was then that I decided I would try out the weird series on my home screen that kept popping up. This was American Horror Story. 

Now, apparently this show is pretty popular, so I'm still trying to work out how I had never heard of it prior to seeing it advertised on Netflix, but boy am I glad I found it. Guys, I binge watched the shizzle out of that show. I watched all three available series in three days and in the brief moments where I was unable to watch it, I sat there and thought about it, longing to be back to watching it again. I haven't got this obsessive over a series that wasn't written by Stephen Moffat for years... like every addictive fix, I have been crashing hard since I finished the marathon on Monday afternoon. 

Okay, so what I'm about to do now is going to be very hypocritical of me, so I'm going to put a warning on the following content. On Saturday, I announced that I had begun to watch American Horror Story, and friends of mine proceeded to talk about all three seasons in my comments feed. Now, what they had to say, reading back on it now, was not really very spoiler filled. They gave away the basic premise of the show, but not any of the content, and also discussed their opinions on it... I may have got the teensiest bit irate with them, as I didn't want to know anything, prior to watching it. I also full on stopped reading the comments for fear of them revealing anything that would spoil it for me. What I'm about to discuss now, having watched all three seasons, is pretty much everything they revealed in their comments. Having watched it fully, I've come to accept that they're not spoilers but rather a general premise of the show. My thoughts also are that this particular feature is meant to be set up as a review on recommendations to watch on the show, so therefore I would hope that you would be on here to find out some more about it. However, if you want to go in completely blind and just take my word for it that it will be the best thing you've watched in a while, then stop reading now, go forth and get obsessed. Just know that the title is the title for a reason. Some of that shizzle gets pretty creepy... if you hate that kind of thing, you won't like it. 

Okay, so here's the review. 

The basic concept of the show is that each season it tells a new horror story. This is done to such an extent, that there is no need to watch these series in any form of order. If you want to watch season 3 first, go ahead, no back story is needed, and there is absolutely zero links between the seasons. The only thing that happens to be the same is that they use the same actors. Although these actors play different characters at the start of each season. 

There are weaker seasons than others. For example, their season 1 would probably be their strongest, season 3 close behind, and season 2 not so much. I was suitably warned about season 2 in my announcement of watching it, however I wasn't as disappointed in it as the rest of my friends had appeared to be. 

Season 1 focuses on the storyline of a haunted house. A new family move into a house that has a silly amount of ghosts in it and a storyline is born. Season 2 is based in an asylum in the 60s. The overall concept of this particular season I can get on board with. However, they have a couple of subplots involved that don't really seem to mesh with the rest of the storyline. I think this is where they end up falling short of the standard that they have otherwise held in the other seasons. Season 3 is based around a witches coven. It opens up as a kind of Twilightesque teen melodrama with diary entries written by teenagers, but soon adds its spin on it that takes it away from being anything suitable for the younger generation. 

Certain actors have shown up in only one of the seasons or appear in cameos for multiple seasons, but there are a core set of actors who stay in the forefront and are simply amazing. Also, there have been some pretty big names who have turned up for a one off season; people like Kathy Bates (Season 3), Joseph Fiennes (Season 2),  and Zachary Quinto (Seasons 1 and 2) to name a few. 

My favourite people, and the ones who appear to carry the show, in my humble opinion, are three of the main forefront actors. They are in all three seasons and their performances make me squeal with excitement. These three are Lily Rabe, Jessica Lange and (just wow) Evan Peters. 

People, before you roll your eyes at my mention of Evan Peters, yes I am aware that he is beautiful and does only get more beautiful with every episode, but this isn't the reason for my choosing him in my top three (although it certainly doesn't hurt his case). My reason for adoring him so much is because he knows how to portray perfectly a mix of creepy and loveable, all in one go. It was like he was made for this show. He has played three very different characters in the series and each time he nails it. His performance is simply stunning and I cannot wait to see what he does in Season 4. Lily Rabe and Jessica Lange are pretty much up there for the exact same reason. They just throw themselves into their characters and are the three actors that, at the beginning of each new season, I was waiting impatiently to see who they would be this time. 

I need to be very clear before I leave you with this highly recommended watch on Netflix... if you are easily creeped out and don't like things of a scary nature, please don't watch this show. It is scary. If you, like me, are able to tolerate it, then I would recommend it. The scariness does tend to wear off after a while as you get to know the characters and, actually, by the time I was halfway through Season 2, I realised that the most scary part of the show was the opening credits... I always conveniently found I had something I needed to do on my phone whilst those were on... not nice. If you have zero problems with scary movies then you will probably adore this show, but you probably are also already aware of it...

It is one of the best things that I have watched on Netflix in a while, and I am seriously withdrawing from it at the moment. I'm even tempted just to go back and watch Season 1 again, although I fear that might be a little excessive. I hear rumours that Season 4 is based in a Carnival, which already blows my mind, without having to know anything else... 

Watch it. It's awesome. 

Peace out my lovelies. 

PS: 3 days to go until A World Reborn! I am officially beginning to freak out over this now... nerves are setting in... but do not fear, for I will ensure that no amount of nervous breakdown will stop me from releasing it... no matter how severe. I shall prevail!!

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