Fall TV Preview

FX's American Horror Story Will 'Transcend' Viewers' Perception of Horror

FX’s upcoming spookfest American Horror Story may be a creep show of the highest order, but at its core it’s a drama about “marriage and infidelity,” co-creator Ryan Murphy told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

That sentiment was echoed by leading lady Connie Britton, who plays one half of the show’s central couple (The Practice‘s Dylan McDermott costars as her husband). “I’m afraid of horror movies,” Britton admitted. “I’m afraid of the genre. I did the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street because I wanted to face my fears… This transcends my perception of horror. It’s not just horror. it’s about this grounded relationship.”

But make no mistake: Horror Story has its share of thrills, chills and gore. “[Ryan and I] are obsessed with the genre,” noted co-creator Brad Falchuk, who cited Rosemary’s Baby and Don’t Look Now among their influences. “[Our goal was], ‘How can we bust the genre up, while paying homage to all those things we love so much.'”

One complaint about the pilot — which drew a mix of cheers and jeers when screened for critics earlier this week — was that there were simply too many overlapping plots and mysteries to keep track of. It was particularly challenging to ascertain what was real and what was a hallucination — something Murphy said would be addressed early on. “[The premiere] has eight cliffhangers in it that asks that question,” he acknowledged. “[We] felt that we had an oblighation to explain a lot of things that were set up. By the third episode those mysteries are settled and the audience can be along for the ride.”

Murphy addressed talk that each season would feature a brand new ensemble. “It’s not necessarily true that the cast is [only around] for one year,” he said. “We’re keeping that open.”

Horror Story debuts with a 90-minute premiere on Oct. 5.

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  1. Sam says:

    Connie better only be around for one year. I need that David O. Russell project to happen. Murphy don’t suck another great actress into your spiral of doom!

  2. Drew says:

    Connie, yay! Murphy and Falchuk, nay!

    Two to one. I must pass.

    • tamara says:

      don’t dismiss it sdo quickly. Ryan did do Nip Tuck, which was superb in its early years.
      Pluas the writing team has some great talent. Tim Minear, who is a genre genious. He’ll keep Ryan&Brad in line, don’t worry. He’s never done or worked on anything bad in his career. All his shows got cancelled, but they were all great,

      I’m watching for Connie, Dylan and Tim Minear.

      • Drew says:

        Minear worked on Angel and Dollhouse. Proof that his name does not salvage truly horrible shows.

        Nip/Tuck was never great. It just got so bad toward the end that it made the early days look good by comparison.

        • Jelly says:

          That’s crazy talk. Both Angel and Dollhouse were great. Dollhouse found its legs in Season 2, and Angel was a cool detective show in Season 1, then really got going Season 2 and 3. 4 was a mess, but 5 was a nice change and brought it back to form.

  3. Kevin says:

    I’m sure the first six episodes will be great. But then the show will spiral into mediocrity as all Ryan Murphy shows do.

    • Sam says:

      I’m thinking that since this surely has an endgame already in mind, he might not resort to the laziness that usually happens around the sixth episode. If Nip/Tuck had a premise as strong as this one, it might have been quality TV and not just shrug-inducing guilty pleasure-ness.

      • tamara says:

        the first 3 seaosns of Nip Tuck were great, so it’s not like everything goes wrong after 6 eps.

        Also, as long as the writing team is talented (which for now it is), it’ll be good.

        Though if we hear Tim Minear dropped out of the show, thgen we’ve got problems.

  4. Mel says:

    Sounds like a mess so far.

  5. Keelo Corleon says:

    I’ll watch anything with Connie Britton. Now maybe my Friday Night Lights withdrawals will be easier to deal with.

  6. Darcy says:

    Eight cliffhangers and a confusion between what’s real or not? Sounds too The Event-like to be good. Add Murphy and Falchuk into the mix and I’m out.

    I don’t care who’s reading the lines, I care if they’re worth listening to.

    I’ll might give it those 3 episodes to prove itself, if that.

  7. Patrick says:

    Why is everyone always hating on Ryan Murphy? I can’t wait for this!

    • scared silly says:

      I am with you. I am counting the days till this show broadcasts. I adore Glee and I was a giant fan of Nip Tuck. Thank goodness for the FX network. I hope there are alot of plot twists and turns similiar to Damages. I want a show that engages me and keeps me paying attention and wondering what is next.

  8. Beth says:

    Tim Minear produced/wrote two of my all time favorite shows, Firefly and Terriers. He was also producing/writing on the Chicago Code which was getting pretty good. I would have tuned into this for Connie Britton anyway, but now I’m definitely on board.