The Downside to Binge Watching

So having gone under a minor medical procedure, I found myself with time on my hands and felt that time is best spent binge watching the first season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Bad decision.

Now don’t tell me. I already know that I’m behind the times. That AMERICAN HORROR STORY, or AHS for short, ┬ájust finished its third season and the fourth was just announced. But I just didn’t get around to watching all the episodes consecutively and it is just a show that needs you to watch them in order. But my experience is a big let down and that seems to be because I have a love/hate relationship with Ryan Murphy.

Creator and Executive Producer of NIP TUCK and GLEE, Ryan Murphy has great ideas, but they seldom can sustain and that is the problem with Season 1 AHS. It is built from a great idea – a marriage starting over in a house that seems alive – but the world is poorly built. The ability to suspend belief was way overestimated, particularly with the mixing of the “ghost” world and the real world. The violence is gratuitous and does nothing to propel the story forward. All it does is solidify that all the characters behave badly and are beyond any sort of growth. Kate Mara’s character is a total joke and truly demonstrates her lack of depth (she plays the exact same character down to the gruelingly annoying monotone voice in TRANSCENDENTAL), although it seems she is attempting to channel Glenn Close in FATAL ATTRACTION (a truly masterful performance NetFlix it today). I know there is a special line with horror – it straddles the ridiculous and campy with what is supposed to entertain you. The problem is, the characters are so stifled throughout the series that there is no room for entertainment. It’s just a boring string of bad decisions. Although I do have to give props to Jessica Lange. The series would be completely unwatchable without her.

The entire experience leaves me to think if I would have the same feeling if I watched them during their original air time? If I am able to digest the episode, and then wait till the following week, would I still feel that the series fails on so many levels? Probably not.

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