FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum starts like a lot of horror movies. A couple enters an abandoned old asylum to have sex and we know that VERY BAD THINGS are going to happen to them. YAY! Except, as a person who didn’t see the first season, as a person who was virtually harassed into watching the premiere of the second season, it was hardly the kind of surprise storytelling I’d been told to expect.
I felt my eyes closing, I felt myself drifting off to the Land of Couch Nap and…it got better. We go back to 1964 and meet Kit. Kit is married to a black woman, and he pretends she’s his maid to avoid persecution. Kit wants to end the lie and tell everyone. Kit loves his wife. So do we. She’s hot and adorable. It’s a good little period scene about a time that is thankfully over (unless you’re gay), but nothing shocking happens. Until a UFO comes and the aliens stick things up Kit’s ass…I’ll admit that I was suddenly fairly surprised.
The next setting: Briarcliff Manor in its heyday as an asylum for the criminally insane. Eager lesbian reporter Lana Winters is there pretending that she cares about the asylum’s thriving bakery. What she really wants is an interview with Bloody Face, the Leatherface wanna-be who is moving in that day. Lana’s little ladder climbing white lie pisses off Sister Jude, who runs the asylum like Julie Andrews on crack would have run a daycare.
Jessica Lange’s Sister Jude is easily 75% of what makes the show worth watching. Forgive me for not having spent most of my life being obsessed with you, Jessica. You are insanely good in this show.
I liked the baby-killing pinhead. I liked the other freaky inmates of the asylum. I liked the asylum itself. I LOVED the smart way the show takes advantage of the very horrifically real Ghosts of Mental Health Care Past.
What nerved me?
The “We Went To Screw In A Haunted Asylum And Bad Shit Happened To Us” story line. I suppose it HAS to be there…or does it?
The fact that there are so many crazy things happening that it becomes amusing…in addition to the UFO, there’s a monster that a mad scientist doctor seems to have brought with him when he took the job at Briarcliff. Anybody remember David Lynch and his show Twin Peaks? Even David Lynch waited a few years before he went TOTALLY over the top.
However, the show was good clean nasty fun, and I give it Four Anal Probes Up Kit’s Ass!
I’ll be watching next week, for sure.