American Horror Story

Season 1 Episode 3

Murder House

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Oct 19, 2011 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
270 votes
  • Love it or hate it, this show is addictive.


    I think by now it's been established that this is a polarizing show that you'll either love or entirely despise. Online commentary seems to fall into one of two extremes, some considering it wonderfully intense and intriguing, others thinking it's one of the stupidest shows on television. Of course, it is pretty stupid. The writers are creating such a batsh*t little universe that it's hard not to laugh most of the time, the first residents of the house being this week's nuttiest creation. There's the disturbed Matt Ross character sewing up bats and fetal pigs in the basement, and his equally nutty wife roaming the halls in the modern day, shrieking at the sight of a kitchen appliance. Everything is being played so broadly that most of the laughs appear to be unintentional, but there's a method to this level of madness, and I think American Horror Story is carving out its own little niche successfully.

    After last week's questionable behavior, I actually felt a little bad for Ben this episode. The show is really piling it on him, first with his psychotic ex-girlfriend, then the revelations about his attraction to the elderly Harmon housemaid (Connie Britton's reaction shots in that scene were hilarious), and finally his drugged-out hallucinations during a patient's suicidal episode. Of course, none of this can disguise the fact that Ben is a horrible, horrible individual. While he's sure having a bad day, he's still the guy who plots to incite an abortion for his crazed lover, and then buries her in the backyard when Denis O'Hare hits her over the head with a shovel.

    I don't know what's funnier. Watching the actual show, or putting the events of each episode into text. Something about it just reads terribly. Heh.

    Like always, the strongest moments occurred whenever Jessica Lange appeared on-screen. We discover that she and Moira have somehow been stuck in the house since 1983, when Constance shot Moira dead along with her cheating husband. I liked all their scenes together, and Moira's sadness at the end was pretty affecting. Would the discovery of her body somehow have released her from the house?

    American Horror Story is still so preposterous and zany, but it's also hugely entertaining at this point. Maybe I like it so much because I'm naturally a fan of trashy soapiness? Scenery chewing just works for me in general. A-


    Read more at Unwelcome Commentary.