FALL TV PREVIEW: A LOOK AT ‘AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM’

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I was a big fan of last year’s big television hit American Horror Story, at least until the letdown that was the season finale. That said, I’m more than amped for this season’s story. Titled American Horror Story: Asylum, creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy (who also gave us the equally horrifying but not in the same way Glee) move the action to a Massachusetts insane asylum in 1964.  Right from the setting I’m hooked (you really can’t go wrong setting a horror story in an insane asylum unless it’s Gothika), but as Entertainment Weekly introduced fans to the who’s who of the show, I get even more stoked. You can check out the mini bios here.

Some of my thoughts:

As she did last season in her Emmy winning role as Constance Langdon, Jessica Lange should shine as the evil nun (Are there any other kinds? I kid, I kid!) Sister Jude. I do worry that Lange may essentially be playing the same character over again, but she has the acting experience and chops to bring different nuances to the character. Is it too early to call Emmy?

James Cromwell (looking creepily like Jigsaw from the Saw movies) joins the show as Dr. Arden, the customary mad-doctor-who-just-might-be-a-Nazi and who performed diabolical experiments on the inmates. These inmates are known as the Raspers and lurk in the forest outside of the institution. Considering how creepy the Infantata looked last season, I can’t wait to see the Raspers. And Cromwell rarely disappoints, so his performance might just garner his own Emmy. Time will tell…

Joseph Fiennes, another newbie to the show, stars as Sister Jude’s superior, Monsignor Timothy O’Hara who has his own sinister agenda (and supposedly red lingerie under his frock.) While I don’t really need nor want to see Joe in his skivvies, color me intrigued…

With a show filled with revered actors as Lange, Cromwell, Fiennes and Chloe Sevigny, why the hell would the creators cast Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine as one half of “the lovers”? My guess is to bring in the female demographic. Seeing as how much Dylan McDermott showed his ass last season, the ladies will be tuning in to see if Levine follows (birthday) suit. I don’t have much hope for his acting abilities but he could surprise me and turn out to be another Will Smith. Or he could be another Mariah Carey…

Sarah Paulson, who played season one’s psychic Billie Dean Howard, is one of several returning cast members (the others being Lange, obviously, Even Peters, Zachary Quinto, and Lily Rabe). This time out she portrays a journalist named Lana, who happens to be a lesbian (say no more, I’m in!) and is committed to the asylum by her own girlfriend. I’m guessing there won’t be any conjugal visits…

Finally, Chloe Sevigny also appears as inmate and nymphomaniac Shelley. The producers aren’t spilling more information about her character yet, but I think it’s safe to say that between her being a nymphomaniac, Paulson’s character a lesbian and AHS:A airing on FX, we’ll get to see some (decent) girl on girl action!

This season is also said to feature aliens (I’m skeptical), and a serial killer named Bloody Face who wears a mask made out of his victims skin along with black nightie and opera length gloves. Well if that doesn’t top Rubber Man I don’t know what will! Also, I’m calling it now:  based on the descriptions, Monsignor O’Hara is the killer.

All in all, it sounds like a very promising season, and Murphy and Falchuk do horror surprisingly well. (The opening credits alone last year gave me chills). Is it October 17th yet?

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Dave Zagorski

Dave Zagorski is a filmmaker who has yet to achieve his potential. He has written and directed two movies under his MAD Z Productions banner: “Killing Brooke” and a remake of the euro-horror exploitation movie “The Devil’s Nightmare.” He enjoys long walks on the beach, lesbians and putting his friends through hell on set. He hopes to one day win an Oscar, but until then he’ll make due with his son Oscar.