There’s something about American Horror Story that just grabs viewers and keeps them enthralled. Maybe it’s the tightly woven storylines created by producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Maybe it’s the way each season is autonomous, yet hints at the hearsay possibility of a universal theme tying them all together.
That’s one of the more notable aspects of this ground-breaking series – the return of primary cast members season over season, somehow connecting each theme together like puzzle pieces of overlapping dimensions in space and time.
There is so much speculation circulating about this facet, and the showrunners feed the flame by never confirming, nor denying, the existence of a connectedness between the characters or the plots of each theme. With most of the actors having been in multiple seasons, only Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and Lily Rabe star in all six themes, teasing the audience with the ever-burning question – why?
Keeping the new theme a secret!
The showrunners decided to keep this season’s theme completely shrouded, drumming up excitement for the season premiere. The FX network and Ryan Murphy held back all the details from the press and then released two-dozen promo videos purposefully meant to misguide the audience, keeping everybody guessing and electrifying the social media buzz-lines.
Season 6 theme: ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’!
This season’s plot is revealed through a show with a show trope, with a documentary called ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’ that presents the details of supernatural events that happened in a haunted North Carolina house. Sarah Paulson portrays Shelby during the documentary’s reenactment scenes, with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Matt, and Angela Bassett as his sister Lee.
Shelby and Matt moved to North Carolina, escaping LA after the couple went through an emotionally damaging miscarriage. They find some videotapes left behind by the last inhabitants and discover horrifically disturbing footage unfolding in their house. The ‘real life’ Shelby Miller is portrayed by Lily Rabe, André Holland stars as her husband Matt, and Adina Porter as Matt’s sister Lee.
As with the first five seasons, there is no shortage of scream producing suspense and creepiness. So far, the characters have been showered with human teeth raining down from the sky, pig-headed human-like creatures, intruders with torches, and a super-creepy backwoods Kathy Bates, wandering around with a cleaver.
Nightmarishly high critic reviews!
Roanoke has already come in higher than Hotel in terms of critic and audience reviews. Rotten Tomatoes already has Roanoke at 77%, versus Hotel having earned only 64% over its seasonal lifespan. Viewers who can make it past the first season of #AmericanHorrorStory generally become hooked and are vocal about their opinions on the series. IMDb has a sky-pitched rating for the series overall, 8.2 out of 10, with an unprecedented number of voters chiming in, just shy of 200,000.
The series is not without the disappointed haters, with many commenters talking about numerous plot holes, overly-gratuitous blood and gore with over-acted scenes to match, and good actors confined to badly written roles. The pro-AHS camp takes those complaints as compliments, believing those elements are what literally define the horror genre, so thumbs up!
The premiere tells a tale rich with potential for the future!
This current sixth season premiered on September 14, 2016. Buzz about why this season didn’t debut in October, like every past season, has to do with a lining-up of the 9th episode on the 9th of November. Numbers like that may play an important part in the story, but again, that’s only an unconfirmed rumor, for now.
My Roanoke Nightmare premiered with a strong 2.78 demo rating, only down 0.21 from the Hotel season premiere last year. Roanoke caught the attention of over 5.1 million viewers for the debut, topping all the charts. Viewership dwindled sharply for the following couple episodes; a trend that seems completely normal when compared to previous seasons of the series, but will likely pick up toward the end of the season.
Even though there is no official announcement from FX about a seventh season yet, season 6 is receiving such high numbers and praise that it’s safe to say there will likely be a new #AmericanHorrorStory theme emerging next year in its seventh season.
#AHS: My Roanoke Nightmare airs Wednesdays at 10pm on FX.
Does the classic haunted house theme excite your senses? How do you feel about Cuba Gooding
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