Written by: Ann Hale and Laura Dengrove
FX has done an amazing job of keeping Season 6’s theme a massive secret, showing over a dozen different promo clips, none of which seem to have anything to do with that last. It has been both frustrating and exciting at the same time trying to decipher these clips and find out what they all have in common to create the theme they have been teasing us with for over a month. This left me with the theory that the theme was simply Mystery and we were just too close to see it. However, after finally viewing the premiere episode, the theme isn’t mystery at all, but it is all about the Roanoke Nightmare.
Yes, those set photos spoiled all those months ago were accurate, and this season will be about Roanoke, well, at least in some sort of form.
The season is titled “My Roanoke Nightmare: A True American Horror Story“, which may be true but in this sense it is just famous actors portraying other famous actors in a Discovery Channel/TLC format.
The season is very much inspired by the show “A Haunting” and borrows many set ups from the famous horror Docu-show. However, while I’m sure the writers over at “American Horror Story” were patting their backs for this seemingly “original idea” I don’t think a call for celebration is needed just yet.
While premiere episodes don’t always tend to be the most exciting, and mostly serve as a filler and starter for the rest of the season, this episode left me mostly confused and distracted over the extremely new, and a bit cheap, format the show was in.
Let’s just say “A Haunting” didn’t exactly gain a following over its supreme visual effects.
I wanted to like it, and at some points I kind of did, but overall I was left severely disappointed by a season I truly felt had potential to be the best and most exciting since season one of the horror anthology show.
However, besides this distracting format, there were some true hidden gems in the episode that will keep me watching…for a little bit at least.
The acting in the episode truly had me believing in the fear, especially in the smallest roles of the episode.
In a promo for what is to come, Kathy Bates already has me loving her more and more. She gives this vibe, a vibe I haven’t seen since her “Misery” days, and she even gave it to me when the camera shows her emotionless face. She doesn’t even have a single word of dialect in this episode, yet I am already handing her the Emmy.
Another performance that was also small but also gave me chills was Denis O’Hare. I have been a huge fan of him since his “True Blood” days and in his little scene in a home video, and in the promo of what is to come, he will be a major player and one to keep your eyes out for come award season.
Side note: Cuba Gooding Jr. in one of the starring and main roles of the season really caught me off guard. The man is a great actor, but let’s just say I never thought I would see the name Cuba Gooding Jr. in the title sequence of “American Horror Story.”
All in all, the season has some real potential, at least from what i saw in the promo for weeks to come, and when Bates has some lines finally, but the show isn’t what she use to be. It lacks that feel that made the first season so special, and the third season so fun. I wasn’t a fan of Hotel, there I said it, but I was so hopeful for this season especially with Murphy keeping it a secret for all this time, but this just wasn’t doing it for me. Maybe it was because I got my hopes up, but that doesn’t mean it should dash them with a meat cleaver. The season could redeem itself, like I said, the promo for weeks to come was very promising, but as of right now I am very lukewarm about this premiere episode. Maybe I need to get use to the new format, maybe I need to get over the fact that Jessica Lange left two season ago, or maybe…just maybe, the season may be just be mediocre like its been for a very long, and sad time now.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10