AHS Hotel: Checking In (S5E1) Recap

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Athena:

Hello and welcome to the inaugural post on our brand new TV recapping blog! We’ve previously recapped various episodes of Hannibal and Outlander on my personal blog, and we thought it was about time to combine forces. What better way to start than analyzing one of the most absurd(ly entertaining) shows on right now?

I want to begin by saying that I love American Horror Story. Despite all it’s flaws and wild inconsistencies, I’m so here for a boundary pushing horror series that prioritizes female characters (even if it also fails them sometimes). It’s an experiment. It’s a show that really tries. AHS is definitely a significant part of the horror renaissance that’s been happening on television in the last 10 years. Without a doubt it helped popularize the anthology format that we’re seeing more and more of.  I love the gore, I love the bizarre characters, I love the mystery and the unpredictable storylines even though these sometimes fizzle out.

In case anyone is curious: Murder House is my personal favourite season. Some of it is the novelty and charm of the first season. But everything about it just drew me right in. It’s my favourite to rewatch for sure. However I think Asylum was the best season. It was consistent, scary, and probably the most successful for a variety of reasons. So they both hold a special place in my heart. Which one was your favourite?

Because of it’s track record critics have been hard on this premiere and reluctant to become invested. But I thought they really knocked it out of the park with this one. This opener is full of cliches, tropes, on the nose references, and homages. I think AHS actually does an excellent job of working these to feed that horror craving. It gave me what I was looking for, what I hoped for, and some things I didn’t expect. However to enjoy AHS you really have to expect it to be AHS and not like the horror version of a prestige drama like Mad Men. I think people have lofty expectations for this series and tend to let themselves down. It’s one of those shows where you just have to chill out and enjoy the ride. (Not to say it doesn’t deserve criticism or we shouldn’t strive for better. I just think it’s okay for it to be what it is.)

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