Tipsy the Prognosticator: American Horror Story: Asylum

How many colons can one girl fit in a blog title? This sounds like the beginning to a filthy poop joke, but let’s just skip it and move on. I wanted to rewatch the inaugural season of American Horror Story, but being unemployed I just couldn’t justify spending $40 on a dvd set that would make me hurl beer bottles at my television. I also couldn’t convince any of my friends to buy it and lend it to me, so let’s pretend my feels from the first season are accurate and relevant enough for a non-linear sequel.

The show started so strong; I was hooked before it even aired, having watched a ton of movies on FX on demand and fallen in love with the promo spots alone. Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, and some creeper in a latex suit? It was all relevant to my interests, and the first half-dozen episodes didn’t disappoint. I even awarded myself super nerd points for recognizing The House from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then it all went horribly, horribly wrong. And I yelled a lot. And my cats were scared. And maybe my boyfriend too. Hard to say for sure, but it was bad.

However, there was something so compelling about the show and the way it handled both fear and character development that has me still eager for the follow-up season, in spite of how the first season failed to thrill me. I’ve been watching the promos and want to make the following predictions.

  • The 46,000 people that died during the asylum’s time as a TB hospital are all still there, you guys, in some sort of cavernous or catacomb-y mass grave at the bottom of the ‘death chute.’ Also, the death chute is not as fun as a water slide.
  • The 1964 conversion of Briarcliff Manor into a religious-run asylum will be a cover for something far more sinister. I think it’s fair to assume this season will focus on the darkest elements of organized religion, and the terrible things people can do to one another in the name of a higher power. This is not a very insightful leap; the previews alone boast a statue-like figure with entirely black eyes, and a creepy hanging shirt in virgin-Mary blue with its arms extended in a hanging Christ pose.
  • Religious personnel aside, I’m expecting a huge abuse of the doctor-patient power dynamic. There is going to be a ton of uncomfortable sexual abuse, a lot of it probably disguised as ‘treatment’ for things like hysteria when it really has more to do with the perversions of the treater than the needs of the treatee. These people will be attractive, the filming will be effective, the scenery will be immersive, and it will be arousing in a way that makes you ask uncomfortable questions about your own character. Like the Rubber Man rape scene from season one, I expect I’ll spend a lot of time feeling squeamish and conflicted. I also expect some horrific abortion sequence performed by one of the offending doctors to prevent his patient from bearing proof of her violation. Most likely candidates here: Dr. Thredson and Lana Winters.
  • Tortures that seem really inventive, until you really think about it and it turns out they’re just a fetishized variant on things that actually happened because it turns out Man is the Real Monster again.
  • We are going to get a very wide spectrum of ghosts. After all, almost 50,000 people died at Briarcliff before it ever became an asylum. Some of them were probably creepy babies. Others, I’m sure, will have left a malevolent presence that will warp the minds of even the kindest-hearted occupants and staff. I’m expecting creepy babies, a gamut of sick people from the turn of the 20th century, a wide array of the insane and the socially marginalized, an assortment of priests, nuns, and doctors with unwholesome motivations, and the lingering remains of any person who may have trespassed during this place’s decades of inactivity.
  • There’s over a hundred years of history to the building alone, and if The House from season 1 is any indication, Briarcliff itself will be more of a character than a simple setting. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has some special ability to lure people to it, needing fresh blood to feed its psychic energy.
  • Nearly everything we are allowed to know about the characters before the start of the season will get turned on its head, and quick. Characters that start out fair and moral with a firm grasp on reality? They’ll go nuts. Characters that are batshitcrazypants? They’ll be best able to separate reality from fiction.
  • Bloodyface is going to be the colossal let-down that Rubber Man turned out to be. I’m already disappointed by the name. Bloodyface. Bloodyface? If I say this five times in front of a mirror, will I get filled with bees and killed with a giant meat hook?
  • Jessica Lange is going to be amazing. I expect to like Sister Jude a lot, in the same way I enjoyed Constance Langdon, where there’s not much redeeming about her character but that’s the best part.
  • Adam Levine will never get to put it in his nubile new wife’s ass, no matter what she says. I’d say he dies unfulfilled, but I’m sure a couple of ghosts will fuck him (crossing my fingers for Zachary Quinto, personally).
  • The soundtrack and music will continue to be stellar.
  • Adam Levine’s camera will survive it all and be the bridge to season three, where it will fall into the hands of a hipster who wants to work for Urban Outfitters, but accidentally ends up killing everyone s/he photographs and turning their blood to silver halide or something. Or maybe it will possess a photo lab; the show seems to like location-based themes, while an object like that wouldn’t provide as much continuity.

Check back later. I just might do a spoiler-filled blog about the first episode! Feel free to comment in the meantime with your own predictions, and even your opinions of Season one!

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