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TV review: ‘American Horror Story’ finally reveals its new theme, changes for the better

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The long-awaited speculation of the season six theme of “American Horror Story” finally came to rest on Wednesday night. This year, creator Ryan Murphy and the gang are take the show to Roanoke, North Carolina, the site of a failed colony that disappeared in the 16th century.

There’s been a lot talk over this season, mainly because the creators haven’t answered any questions from the media. Up until Wednesday, no one even had any idea who the cast was, what the theme was or what the time period was. Being the mastermind behind the entire scheme, Murphy introduced the premiere episode with a message saying, “Tonight we answer the question that’s been haunting everybody. Think you’ve figured it out? Let’s wait and see.”

The official title for this season is “My Roanoke Nightmare.”

This season already shows a lot of promise in the sense that it’s something we’ve never seen before on the show. “American Horror Story” has been widely known as a show that throws blood, guts, sex, gore and vulgarity at the viewers, but “My Roanoke Nightmare” had hardly any of that in its season premiere.

I like to think American Horror Story has finally reached its adulthood. It’s no longer trying to throw ridiculous things at you, like a guy getting sexually violated by a creature with a pointy metal dildo or a murderous threesome including Matt Bomer and Lady Gaga. For the past two seasons, it felt like Murphy was basically yelling at us every episode, “WOW ISN’T THAT DISGUSTING? DON’T YOU FEEL APPALLED WE COULD SHOW THAT ON TELEVISION?!” But this season goes beyond that to finally show horror doesn’t necessarily mean gore.

One of the main differences for this season is that it’s being told like a true-crime documentary instead of its regular narrative. The story is told by an interracial couple, Shelby (Lily Rabe) and Matt (André Holland), who move out to the middle of nowhere to escape the craziness of city life. There, they find their new home is being terrorized at night by the ghosts of angry villagers. At first, they think it’s just the neighbors who are trying to scare them away because they’re a mixed-race couple. But they soon realize what they’re experiencing can only be described as supernatural.

While Rabe and Holland are telling the story from a confessional perspective, the story is also being shown as a dramatic re-enactment. Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. play the couple in the flashback scenes.

It’s so refreshing that “American Horror Story” is going in a different direction than usual. After a while, the same actors with the same basic storyline put into different time periods got exhausting. While some have expressed their distaste for Murphy’s use of the confessional style, it’s important to note not only does it add another layer to the tale but it also adds more room for humor. Let’s face it, the main reason we all watch trashy reality shows is for the hilarious confessionals.

The most iconic quote of the episode goes to Angela Bassett’s character, Lee, who is entirely skeptical of the hauntings. Lee, being fed up with Shelby constantly being scared, said her brother married “one jumpy b—-.”

Now that we have knowledge of what season six’s theme and cast is, let’s make a couple predictions for the rest of “My Roanoke Nightmare.”

  • Since the story is being told as a documentary, we know Shelby, Lee and Matt all come out of this alive.
  • Shelby, Matt and Lee will find a way to put the ghosts at ease and by the end of the season, their house won’t be haunted anymore.
  • The hillbilly neighbors will actually help Shelby and the gang in some way.
  • Lady Gaga will play the token “head b—-” again.
  • They’re going to bring someone in to exorcise the house.
  • Lee will relapse in her substance abuse.
  • Evan Peters will play someone’s love interest.

“American Horror Story” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

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