• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

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  • Summary: Set in 1952, a freak show run by Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) comes to Jupiter, Florida. Also set to appear: Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis, John Carroll Lynch, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, and Gabourey Sidibe.
  • Genre(s): Horror
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Oct 7, 2014
    100
    Freak Show looks like a beauty, with a wealth of fascinating characters and a little smattering of heart helping to balance out the grisly appointed rounds of a so far unidentified clown with a hellish half-mask.
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Oct 7, 2014
    83
    Whom to vote for--Dot or Bette? Or will Paulson end up splitting the vote? The special effects are so seamless and Paulson's performance so memorable that it's not a completely incidental question. Then, of course, there's Lange.
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Oct 8, 2014
    80
    There’s enough talent and intensity here for me to step behind the tent flap, to see if all this can cohere into something super freaky.
  4. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Oct 9, 2014
    70
    It’s hardly [his crowning achievement], lacking the aggressive whimsy and emboldened storytelling that’s made him the pied piper to a nation of TV-watching weirdos, mocked and ignored. But there’s a seriousness with which he’s given this first Freak Show outing that actually piques more of a curiosity than trotting out the expected onslaught of spooks, one-liners, and cheekiness could’ve possibly be done at this point in the American Horror Story run.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Oct 8, 2014
    60
    The overall narrative is a bit lacking, just as you don’t go to a circus show in the hope of seeing all the various acts tied together through storytelling. Yes, there’s a murder to hide, a few secrets for each of the major characters, and Murphy’s overall arc of the outcast who holds more humanity than the “normal people,” but I hope the actual storytelling of American Horror Story: Freak Show improves in subsequent episodes.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Oct 7, 2014
    60
    It still has plenty of clever touches in word and picture.... But it’s not particularly scary, and doesn’t even feel that creepy or freakish, despite the sideshow setting and the obvious attempt to emulate one of the eeriest of American movies, Tod Browning’s “Freaks,” from 1932.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Oct 6, 2014
    50
    Freakshow boasts some extraordinary performances by actors who labor in vain against a sometimes plodding script, weighed down with underwhelming horror moments, way too obvious metaphors about tolerating differences and a pervasively airless claustrophobia.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 37
  2. Negative: 6 out of 37
  1. Oct 8, 2014
    10
    Por mais que seja difícil de assistir, por se tratar de temas delicados e mostrar a sociedade daquela época como realmente era com relação ásPor mais que seja difícil de assistir, por se tratar de temas delicados e mostrar a sociedade daquela época como realmente era com relação ás pessoas com anormalidades, essa temporada promete ser bastante agonizante. Expand
  2. Oct 29, 2014
    10
    I'm in love with this season so far. The freaking Clown , Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, it's just the whole show. They deserve an Emmy!!! II'm in love with this season so far. The freaking Clown , Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, it's just the whole show. They deserve an Emmy!!! I was always like the walking dead or American Horror Story and now I realize, definitely American Horror Story. It's never getting boring!! Expand
  3. Nov 15, 2014
    10
    I think it's gonna be my favorite season of AHS. I'm just in LOVE with it !
    And Jessica Lange, still the Queen of this show, she's an amazing
    I think it's gonna be my favorite season of AHS. I'm just in LOVE with it !
    And Jessica Lange, still the Queen of this show, she's an amazing and talented actress!
    Expand
  4. Oct 29, 2014
    10
    This season is just so amazing and to all the haters you can't be serious, I mean after watching 3 episodes. Really ?? This show hasThis season is just so amazing and to all the haters you can't be serious, I mean after watching 3 episodes. Really ?? This show has everything in : Horror, Humor, great camera work and talented actors !!
    I don`t know any other GOOD horror show except American Horror Story!!
    Expand
  5. Oct 9, 2014
    8
    The first episode sets the tone of Season 4,darker and "freakier." The characters are more pronounced and seem to be well connected unlikeThe first episode sets the tone of Season 4,darker and "freakier." The characters are more pronounced and seem to be well connected unlike previous seasons. The dynamics and chemistry between the actors are stronger and balanced. Expand
  6. Oct 10, 2014
    5
    It's amazing how many different ways Murphy and Falchuk have found to rewrite the X-Men comics they read as kids. This is yet anotherIt's amazing how many different ways Murphy and Falchuk have found to rewrite the X-Men comics they read as kids. This is yet another "everyone worth being is an outcast" story, like pretty much everything Falchuk has ever done. It's becoming painfully stale, predictable, and formulaic.

    I also don't know why these guys would invite such a direct comparison between their campy little show and the masterpiece that was Carnivale, but that is exactly what they've done; I spent the entire sixty minute AHS:FS opener being incessantly reminded that I was not watching a much better program that HBO cancelled years ago.
    Expand
  7. Oct 28, 2014
    0
    I've watched this show from this its beginning, I am utterly disappointed with this season. Glee is dead, there is no reason AHS should haveI've watched this show from this its beginning, I am utterly disappointed with this season. Glee is dead, there is no reason AHS should have singing for an empty tent, or at all really. What a sad rip off of the classic "Freaks". And now there's Lord Voldemort!?! Ryan Murphy just stop it. I had a bad feeling when I heard you were directing so I guess my instincts were right. Expand

See all 37 User Reviews

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