Thursday, November 03, 2011

american horror story [2011 --]

finally caught an episode of the cable channel fx new tv show american horror story. produced and created by ryan murphy of glee and another fx show nip-tuck i will admit to being a bit weirded out by the program. i'm not sure what the hell is going on. the premise of the show is about, i think, a dysfunctional family that is imploding by allegations of infidelity caused by the husband, played by dylan mcdermott, and who knows what else, who move into a house that was the scene of many murders. the victims haunt the house and torment mom, dad and their daughter.

murphy surely cooked up something on par with david lynch's twin peaks tv show that aired in the early 1990s. lynch's program, at least the first few episodes directed by him, were a kind of goth, hard-line, american surrealism where reality and fantasy blurred without distinction that brewed a special recipe of sinister cynicism. murphy's ahs is more of an internecine family abstract of softer surrealist leanings made more gooey, squishier even, because of the bloody violence of its characters. a body is soft and squishy particularly so when violence is done to it. we the viewers are often off balance because we don't know what, if any, reality the characters inhabit. does everyone see the same ghosts, as it seems to be the case, who disappear at will, or are the forces haunting the house and the family very real, flesh and blood entities?

too soon to tell where murphy will take this show. right now he's on a wild swing. glee is a pretty good show, at times bordering on inspired, and nip-tuck for a while had me spell-bound before that show became simply a violent melodrama. murphy is probably one of the ballsiest producers in television today. he is unafraid to tackle sexualities, gender issues, uncoded violent strategies along with a laundry list of hot topics. i will say this show freaked me good and had me looking over my shoulder in my own house. but then again who knows. i walked into nick's room this afternoon and looked at the fishtank. one of the goldfish was looking back at me. he had, i swear it, this look of malice in his eyes.


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