Apocalypse brings American Horror Story back from the dead

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Apocalypse brings American Horror Story back from the dead

Photo courtesy of www.ew.com

Photo courtesy of www.ew.com

Photo courtesy of www.ew.com

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How do you rejuvenate and revive a show that seems to be dying a slow painful death? Short answer: Apocalypse.

American Horror Story, the iconic horror anthology series that premiered in 2011 with its debut season, Murder House, received critical and audience praise from the start. The show, at one point garnered so many viewers it became FX’s most watched show ever, first setting the record with Coven at 11.75 million average viewers and then Freak Show with 12.64 million average viewers. As time went on though, the popularity that American Horror Story enjoyed began to dissipate as the show lost its touch. The most recent season, Cult, scored only 9.01 million viewers in its premiere episode, the lowest of all its seasons.

Although a drop in ratings might not seem like a deciding factor in the success or quality of a show, it points to the idea that the show is failing to capture and enthrall its audiences.

This is the problem that American Horror Story began to have as the seasons went on. All of the seasons follow the same structure… a slow burn of events that lead to the last few episodes going out with a bang. This structure worked for the first few seasons of Horror Story but has become boring and repetitive in the later seasons. And as people watch the first few episodes and become bored with the show, they leave it behind for more exciting shows.

Apocalypse, the new season that premiered in September did the exact opposite, flipping the story arc. It starts off with a bang… literally. Its premiere episode depicts a nuclear war, an apocalypse for those who didn’t make it underground in time.

American Horror Story: Apocalypse is the anticipated crossover season, Ryan Murphy, the creator of the show promised for so long — a crossover between its debut season Murder House and its third season Coven. Both of these seasons were some of the shows most successful and best seasons to date.

Apocalypse starts with…  well, an apocalypse. Keeping it short and simple for those who don’t want any spoilers, the plot is very simple. There’s an apocalypse caused by the antichrist and a mysterious government agency known as the “Cooperative,” but for the sake of the world, there is a coven of witches ready and capable of standing together against the forces of the antichrist.

The season has a simple plot but makes the most out of it with intricate subplots that weave together and make the season a delight to watch and try to figure out what the next episode might have in store. An exciting and enthralling experience, the season does the most to keep its audience engaged and watching.

In its eighth season, the show finally seems to have reached a place in which it knows what’s best for itself. It adapts and works to have exciting moments that keep its audience ready and eager to watch the next episode. In the age of streaming, it’s hard to watch a show and have to wait a whole week for the next episode. Apocalypse makes it even harder to have to wait the entire week for the next episode.

The season is an absolute delight to watch, it’s hard to keep your eyes off of it. The aesthetic is on point and mirrors that of Coven and Murder House with beauty and a shiny polished, yet dark, aesthetic, but it’s mixed with a ravaged wasteland that nuclear warfare causes, making the season an edgy and stylistic experience for its viewers.

One of the reasons the show works so well and has survived up to eight seasons is the talented cast that it boasts. Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters return as series regulars, playing multiple characters in a fabulous and unique manner showing their acting chops and adaptability.

The return of many iconic American Horror Story characters, such as Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, and Emma Roberts, marks the first time all of these class acts return to the AHS screen. Many can argue that after Jessica Lange left the show after season four, it was never the same. Well, she is back and ready to steal the spotlight… even in just a few episodes.

The standout performance of the season did not come from the season iconic characters that we know and love, but instead a completely new character and actor that we were unfortunately not introduced to. Cody Fern portrays the antichrist in the season and is the mighty villain of the season. Fern’s performance of the role is devilishly good, making himself a character that we love to hate.

This season was definitely a hit for everyone working on American Horror Story and FX. Not only did it receive critical success but fans alike responded to the season. It is a great and solid entry into the show as a whole and might just be one of the best seasons to date. The hope for the future: replicate the astounding, enthrallment, and success of AHS: Apocalypse.

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