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American Horror Story and Chill?

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Blood, gore, rape, orgies, missing children, plot holes, and an absent Jessica Lange were all surprising features greetings viewers when the FX original series “American Horror Story” returned Wednesday night at 10.  In regard to the particularly bloody premiere of  the new story “American Horror Story: Hotel,” I am intrigued, but not impressed. Fans new and old tuned in to see an unusual amount of blood and sex, even by “American Horror Story” standards.

If this episode was your first “American Horror Story” episode ever, I apologize. There is a high probability that you were turned off by the premiere and that’s completely understandable. As a devout fan who has seen all four previous seasons (which are all available on Netflix), I highly suggest that in the time between now and next week’s episode, you binge-watch a few seasons so that you get a feel for what is about to hit you. If you can only watch one season, start with first season’s “American Horror Story: Murder House.” It’s your best bet at understanding the style of AHS.

To the devout fans who are still mourning the absence of our beloved AHS series regular Jessica Lange and who are debating whether to continue devoting an hour of your Wednesday nights to the show, I suggest you give “AHS: Hotel” a chance. Despite Lange’s absence, and the eager anticipation of AHS regular Evan Peters’ as-yet undisclosed role, “AHS: Hotel” is worth the stress, time commitment, excitement, and memes that we’ve all experienced together for the past four seasons.

The premiere was rather busy. I understand what series co-creator-writer-director Ryan Murphy was attempting to do: establishing setting and the relationships between the main characters without establishing the plot. This tactic hasn’t been used in previous seasons and I’m impressed with Murphy’s new approach and execution. His goal of only establishing relationships among the main characters as well as between the main characters and the hotel itself was accomplished. I was astonished and proud to see superstar and new “AHS: Hotel” leading lady Lady Gaga apply the same passion and perfection she always possesses in her musical endeavors to her performance on the small screen. I was also highly impressed, as usual, with the cinematography and the techniques used in shooting.

However, I am not impressed with the dull characters outside of the hotel or fan favorite Kathy Bates’ performance. I was not disappointed that she was in a motherly role for the third season in a row (which she executes wonderfully) but I was more disappointed in her almost dry receptionist character. However, being the goddess that she is, I expect Bates’ performance to return to its normal standard of absolute wonder and perfection, as it always does.

So to all those who are either extremely disturbed, very excited, or just really confused, keep watching and everything will fall into place. Murphy knows exactly what he’s doing. As a longtime viewer, I’m certain you can put your trust in him and that he will provide a season that is worth our Wednesday nights.

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