American Horror Story

OJ Trial of the Century

Ryan Murphy, pioneer of the drastically-different-yet-eerily-similar Glee and American Horror Story (they’re both just so cheery), has announced his latest TV venture. And it’s something just as offbeat: a 10-episode TV adaptation of Jeffrey Toobin‘s “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which will form the first season of his newly minted American Crime Story spin-off series. Which we all saw coming, obviously. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy is recruiting some top courtroom talent for what’s being titled American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (screenwriters of The People vs. Larry Flynt) are scripting the first two episodes, while Murphy will direct an unknown amount. The People v. O.J. Simpson, which started off as a Fox miniseries before being shipped over to FX, will focus on the trial — and the hodgepodge of media crazy that followed it — from the perspective of the lawyers. And as you can assume from its American Something Story moniker, the series is an anthology, with each successive season covering a different real-life crime. Presumably others as hotly-debated as the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman.

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American-Horror-Story-Logo

FX’s American Horror Story looks to be dead-set on continuing to explore the creepiest creepy creep shows that America has to offer – and for their next season, the ostensible miniseries is hightailing it to a literal creep show. Over at /Film, they’ve got wind of a report that the fourth season of the series will move its setting (as they move setting and plot every incarnation) to a carnival. Send in the freaks (and the clowns, too, why not)! The outlet reports that writer and co-executive producer Douglas Petrie recently appeared on the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast, and despite first sticking to a tight-lipped stance, saying ”I can’t say anything” to questions about the show’s next season, he was waylaid when another guest mentioned that she had “heard” that the next season would take place at a carnival, to which Petrie replied, “Yes — that was the, it — it does not have a title.” Got you, Petrie!

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paulson

In Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave the main Louisiana plantation we see, run by Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), is an authentically cruel environment. McQueen makes you feel the heat, tears, and fear there. Among all that sweat is Marry Epps, an Ice Queen played by Sarah Paulson. She’s unfazed by the sweltering brutality, engaging in it in a way that’s as terrifying as her husband Edwin, if not more so. McQueen and Paulson turn her movements into moments of pure tension. She’s a villain seemingly without remorse, making her a character most actors might shy away from. Paulson, though, isn’t afraid of taking on the challenge. Speaking with her, it was obvious that under the right circumstances she’d be game for almost anything.

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american_horror_story_coven_a_l

Creepy, crawly, clever American Horror Story doesn’t have a problem garnering positive responses – Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s FX show has snapped up plenty of critical accolades (including thirty-four Emmy nominations over just two years in categories that run the gamut, from Outstanding Miniseries or Movie to Outstanding Main Title Design, winning four awards along the way) and posting ratings that are some of the network’s very best. It’s a bonafide hit that attracts both a dedicated fanbase and a wonderful string of actual talent. The show uses a nifty technique – call it a miniseries and change things up every season! – that guarantees that it will be at least different, if not totally reinvigorated, with every season. And yet, knowing all of that, I’ve never been able to be interested in American Horror Story in the slightest. Call it fallout from my disdain for Glee, chalk it up to a first season plotline that sounded absolutely tired (a haunted house story? Please), blame it on a natural aversion to people in rubber suits, but I jumped off the AHS ship before that thing even left the dock and I haven’t looked back. At least until the series’ third season, Coven, started rolling out some of the most incredible, horrifying, gorgeous, and mind-bending commercials ever to play on a television network (yes, we can pause for a minute so that you AHS fans can berate me for not feeling the same way about the previous two seasons’ commercials). […]

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AHS

Now that the seemingly months-long summer session of the Television Critics Association press tour (or just the “TCAs,” if you’re feeling the need for brevity) has finally concluded, it’s time to check back in with the television-centric conference for another look at recently-announced projects we’re actually eager to see. Around the tour’s midpoint, we explored eight new titles introduced at the TCAs that we would like to see, oh, right about now. With the back half of the tour including talking head panels from networks like CBS, The CW, Showtime, Hulu, Fox, FX, Disney, and PBS, it certainly seemed as if there would be plenty to get pumped up about when it comes time to gather around your small screen, but the pickings do seem awful slim. Perhaps it’s hard for us to get excited about a predictable string of half-hour comedies that feature both fantastic comedic talent and tired fart jokes, and maybe we’re already burnt out on historical offerings after the first half of the tour, but the last few days at the TCAs haven’t rolled out too much to get jazzed about. At the very least, the stuff we’re excited about is all very, very different, and if we’re struck by television-based ennui, we can attempt to get out of it by thinking about the surprising width of new offerings, even if they’re not very deep. And, hey, we might finally watch American Horror Story this year. (And maybe even some new stuff.)

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Boiling Point

Halloween is nearly upon us and for once I’m not railing against the studio system for a lack of horror in theaters. It seems five years of complaining has finally gotten through to them. Just kidding, they don’t listen to me. But October has been a pretty good year for horror in terms of movies actually being in theaters. In wide release this month we’ll have Sinister, Paranormal Activity 4, and Silent Hill: Revelation. Throw in a couple of limited release titles and this feels like at least quadruple the amount of horror films we normally get. And even if you longed for more horror, you’d only have to turn on the TV. Switch the set on, and it’s more horrific than ever! The Walking Dead! American Horror Story: Asylum! AMC’s programming of monster movies! Well heck, what possibly could I be mad at with this quantity? Why, quality, of course.

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We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. You gotta give Ryan Murphy credit for one thing, he sure as hell doesn’t believe in doing anything “normal,” and his triumphant return to adult television in the new FX series American Horror Story fits right in with the rest of his filmography, and the creepy child would agree. What can honestly be said about American Horror Story? Well first off, there’s no way to properly market this show. It’s honestly one of the most twisted things this reviewer has ever seen attempted by a mainstream television network. Here are a few adjectives and phrases I would use to describe the series: bloody, creepy, hyper-sexual, campy, crazy, ummm…okay…, WTF?!, where the?, huh?, holy shit, behind you! If any of that sounds appealing, then you are going to fucking love American Horror Story.

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This week begins what will be a host of premiers over the next month for all the new and returning shows of the fall season. Regardless of what your thoughts may be on this year’s crop, one can’t deny that the main theme across the board seems to be diversity. Shows from all walks of life are dancing (sometimes with stars) around the schedule this year, and perhaps it would be a good idea to pick out some favorites that you should definitely give at least a DVR record. So here are five new and five returning shows that you should be checking out.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news thingy, that publishes link thingies, some of which are sort of interesting. You should really read on, as it can only get better from here. We open tonight with television, and one of the big stories out of the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour happening this week. Glee and Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy debuted a first look at his upcoming FX pilot, American Horror Story. Word from NPR’s Monkey See is that it’s a “sex-filled gorefest” and subsequently “flat-out crazy.” The image above is a first look. Nothing too crazy yet, especially for the seasoned horror fan or the sexually liberated.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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