|So that just happened.|
If anyone tuned in to this Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk production because they're fans of the duo's other show, a crazy little thing called "Glee," they're probably feeling more than a little traumatized this morning. Though "AHS" has the self-referentiality and teenage angsty-ness familiar to Gleeks, it's got the queasy mixture of sex, violence, and the grotesque more common to Cronenberg or Lynch (not Jane, David) productions.
It might just be my naivete and the length of time it's been since I watched anything "edgy" on TV, but I have to say I was surprised at just how graphic the imagery and language got in the pilot. We had a feral basement-dweller, creepy twins, cutting, S/M, the King of Mississippi, and Jessica Lange, who is a walking, talking Grand Guignol horror film all by herself. And since I can't improve on Alisa's commentary regarding a particularly notable scene, I'll just quote her: "I could have gone my whole life not ever needing to see Dylan McDermott masturbate followed with a short cry."
It seems like "AHS" is going to follow the pattern of movies like The Shining in that it's going to be Harmon family vs. blood-soaked haunted house, but I have to admit, I'm curious to see a) how all these disparate story lines and characters play out, including whether Dylan's one and only patient is human or a manifestation of the house itself; and b) if the second episode can possibly maintain this crazed carnival of psychosexual creepiness. The pilot set that bar pretty high.