Wednesday, 12 July 2017

American Horror Story — Series 2: Asylum — Episodes 1, 2 and 3: Welcome to Briarcliff, Tricks and Treats & Nor’easter.

11th July, 2017

Oh, I hate my situation, right now!

Right at the moment?

The glasses prescription is in.

And I’d hoped, with the little cash I had left?   To pick myself up a new mobile phone.

I’ve seen a couple of halfway decent ones, at reasonable prices.

But, wouldn’t you know it?

The light in my kitchen has gone.   The neon tube.

Which I’ll have to replace, tomorrow.

Bang goes the phone idea … !

As does my rear.

Right at the moment … ?

Is doesn’t help that my IBS is playing up.

Although splat may be the more appropriate term, there.

Yes … that possibly IS a bit too much information, isn’t it?

What possibly isn’t … ?

Is the simple fact I have some time to myself.   And copies of series two of American Horror Story.

Yep: I’m impressed, thus far … !


Episode 1Welcome to Briarcliff — shows us honeymooners, Leo and Teresa — Adam levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum — spicing up their honeymoon by visiting the abandoned Briarcliff Asylum.   Only for something to rip Leo’s arm off.

Going back in time?   Going back to 1964, when Briarcliff was a working asylum, it shows us Kit — Evan Peters — coming home from his job at a gas station: only to see his wife, Alma — Britney Oldford — kidnapped by something.

Later?   Journalist, Lana — Sarah Paulson — arrives to do a story on how Sister Jude’s — Jessica Lange — management of the asylum is going.

Arriving just as the latest arrival does: Kit, accused of murdering three women.

Episode 2Tricks and Treats — opens showing us Teresa being attacked by a masked killer known as Bloody Face: cornering her in one of the asylum’s cells, and seeming stabbing Leo to death.

Back in 1964?   Back in 1964, Wendy — Clea Duvall* — is regretting signing her lover, Lana, into the care of the Asylum.   But, before she gets a chance to recant signing the order?

Is killed by the masked Bloody Face.

Lana, meanwhile?   Is secretly recording her time in the Asylum, and developing feelings for Grace — Lizzie Brocheré† — whilst Sister Jude is feeling uncertain of her vocation: after seeing Lana undergoing electroconvulsive therapy.

Episode 3Nor’easter — shows us Teresa being almost killed by Bloody Face: until help arrives in the form of Leo.  

Back in 1964?   Sister Mary Eunice — Lily Rabe — brings Sister Jude the morning mail: AND a newspaper that pokes Sister Jude’s guilty conscience.   The recovering alcoholic joined the Nunnery, after hitting — and abandoning — a school girl with her car.

Meanwhile?   Meanwhile, Dr Thredson — Zachary Quinto —  is setting up a movie projector in the patient's day room.

There’s a storm coming.

The staff distracting the patients would be good.

Lana, Kit and Grace?   Have other ideas.


Now … 

Am I impressed by what I‘ve seen of this series?

Actually, yes.

Asylum is going in a much darker direction than Murder House.

And, instead of showing us characters dealing with their own deaths, shows us a murder mystery.

Thus far?   Asylum is teasing us.   By keeping us guessing us who killer, Bloody Face, is, it’s offering its own take on the Supernatural Killer theme: AND a whodunnit.

And throwing us the twisted emotional lives of its central characters.

I’ve ALSO got to give ths show a lot of kudos for coming up with a novel way of treating an old problem.

I’ve noticed many continuing dramas — the successful ones — feel the need to change: mostly to keep the show as fresh as possible.

Famously?   Dr Who has found a way to change the central character every few years: that, and the change of the back of house production staff has contributed to it’s long time success.

Eastenders and Coronation Street?   Change production staff just as frequently: but, not being SF, introduces new characters and retires older ones to keep themselves fresh.

Star Trek, on the other hand?   In introducing us to Star Trek: The Next Generation came up with the idea of introducing spin-offs in a shared universe.   Different characters and productions crews with each, but allowing cross-over stories to take place to reassure us we’re in the Federation.

Gives us completely different stories per series.


That’s keeping my attention!

*        She played the Invisible Girl in Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, so you know.

†        Who I’d last seen as Coco Marchand in The Strain.   (I keep thinking she looks like a cross between Joan Jett and Suzi Quartro.   Showing my age, there!)

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