American Horror Story : Season 1

  • Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 910 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 910

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 24, 2016
    5
    I am consolidating all 5 seasons into 1 review.

    Let me 1st say that seasons 1 and 2 deserve a solid 8/10 and 7/10 respectively. They were very good and I enjoyed them very much. Then things started to go downhill... The 1st season was full of suspense and the acting was great. The second season continues the high quality even though it had more cliches than the 1st. Still it was a good
    I am consolidating all 5 seasons into 1 review.

    Let me 1st say that seasons 1 and 2 deserve a solid 8/10 and 7/10 respectively. They were very good and I enjoyed them very much. Then things started to go downhill... The 1st season was full of suspense and the acting was great. The second season continues the high quality even though it had more cliches than the 1st. Still it was a good from start to end.

    The witches in season 3 were okay but I felt like the season dragged on for too long with almost nothing happening for several episodes.

    The 4th season was just plain bad. It was filled with cliches, the characters were not interesting in any way, the acting felt forced and it was soooooo slow. I couldnt watch the last 5 episodes and ended up fast forwarding through them just to get to the ending only to realize that I just didnt care.

    Then came season 5 and I had to put a fork in it. I couldnt get past episode 5 before laying this series to rest. The Hotel season is not just boring, but it felt like I was watching the same episode 5 times. Nothing happens in any of them and the scenes all look similar. Sex, blood, and murder and that its. The season feels very cheap going for boring shock value over plot and characterization.

    Give it a shot, if for only the first 3 seasons. You can try the last 2 seasons but they were really bad.
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  2. Nov 3, 2015
    6
    I was and I still am a huge fan of American Horror Story. I enjoyed every little piece of every season. If Murder House had a powerful classy theme with representative characters, Asylum had the darkest and the closest figure to what the title would mean, besides the mistery and effects and, of course, along with Freak Show which had an ambitious and more realistic theme, I cannot seeI was and I still am a huge fan of American Horror Story. I enjoyed every little piece of every season. If Murder House had a powerful classy theme with representative characters, Asylum had the darkest and the closest figure to what the title would mean, besides the mistery and effects and, of course, along with Freak Show which had an ambitious and more realistic theme, I cannot see anything spectacular in the fifth season. Not so much of a mistery, acting is blended and unbalanced. The visuals are still entertaining and the story is going in a good way but straight and simple. It misses almost everythink that in the past, The American Horror Story franchise was known for, as different from classic dramas and horror movies. I really appreciate the effort they put in every aspect, but this ' huge innovation ' turned out to be a mistake.

    Pros:

    - Likeable story
    - Iconic characters
    - Fantastic setting, visual and effects

    Cons:
    - Blended acting
    - Lack of ambition
    - No veteran actors ( Jessica Lange, Gabourey Sibide )
    - No originality
    - The mistery fades away in time.

    All in all, a somehow enjoyable season, with some good elements, but, others, went down to ashes.
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  3. May 29, 2015
    5
    This is the worst season of AHS. I just hate haunted house stories, its just dumb and not scary. Still this season could be ok but after 6-7 episodes the ammount of ghosts in this house was just ridiculous, and the plot got weaker every episode.
  4. Jan 27, 2015
    5
    I couldn't watch this, like i really tried. Editinf was so awful it really put me off and the plot seemed so convoluted to try be a "crazy" story that it just seems boring and stupid. Props for tryingg to make an actual scary tv show, but i find this show kinda lazy. Never got past season 1 but may try season 2 soon if i can. It seems in a way more like girly horror than actual genuineI couldn't watch this, like i really tried. Editinf was so awful it really put me off and the plot seemed so convoluted to try be a "crazy" story that it just seems boring and stupid. Props for tryingg to make an actual scary tv show, but i find this show kinda lazy. Never got past season 1 but may try season 2 soon if i can. It seems in a way more like girly horror than actual genuine horror. The Babadook is genuine horror. Everyone knows almost every teenage female likes horrors and so this is a good medium for them to chat about them. I will probably get feministic hate for that comment but thw matter of fact is, it's true. Expand
  5. Oct 31, 2014
    5
    Honestly the only season that was worth watching was 'Murder House' and 'Asylum'. The story is not as freaky as expected. Only 3 episodes this season, hope the rest are worth watching.
  6. Oct 22, 2014
    4
    The most frightening and intriguing part of the show is the psychotic clown; the actual "Freak Show" is more or less a filler for the rest of the program.
    The core strength of AHS Freak Show is that the performers are the relatively "normal" ones, while the other townspeople are the "monsters."
    However, the most crippling part of Freak Show is the "extra treats" used to bring in the core
    The most frightening and intriguing part of the show is the psychotic clown; the actual "Freak Show" is more or less a filler for the rest of the program.
    The core strength of AHS Freak Show is that the performers are the relatively "normal" ones, while the other townspeople are the "monsters."
    However, the most crippling part of Freak Show is the "extra treats" used to bring in the core demographic; blood and sex. Every episode so far has plenty of it. The clown shoving scissors through the back of someone's neck and decapitating him; the twins have a chat about masturbation; Lobster Boy is drafted by a group of women for his "talented hands"; etc. It's been done, and its mundane in the year 2014.
    If it's not already obvious, Dandy will likely be the white-faced, fanged clown that was depicted in the opening AHS Season 4 trailer.

    Interesting format for the 4th season; considering other programs have been universally criticized for broadcasting on this topic.
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  7. Jan 7, 2014
    5
    Dark Shadows and Once upon a Time had a baby and they called it-American Horror Story.
    I can't believe that people prefer this Programme over Walking Dead or Grimm, The pilot clip plus the Home invasion were good starts but the rest of the season was mediocre with things and scenes done before in other shows or even on the Big Screen. Now, Coven-S.3-(Different rate) is far superior
    Dark Shadows and Once upon a Time had a baby and they called it-American Horror Story.
    I can't believe that people prefer this Programme over Walking Dead or Grimm, The pilot clip plus the Home invasion were good starts but the rest of the season was mediocre with things and scenes done before in other shows or even on the Big Screen. Now, Coven-S.3-(Different rate) is far superior than S.1- having several powerful female characters incl. Angela Basset who does a great performance as the Voodoo Queen. Ok Topics touched on the shows are the Basic things Americans and their Idiosyncrasy can't get over with (e.g) Racism, Nazism,Slavery,Satanism (Well Witchcraft) lunacy, so, and so.etc
    Still I can't comprehend the recent BUZZ over this T.V. show
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  8. Oct 26, 2013
    6
    This show is different. Really different.
    It took nearly whole seson one to figure out if I like it at all.
    Truth be told, the first thing that drew my attention was the cast. Can't be that bad with that cast, I thought. After the first episodes, I wasn't that sure anymore. And now (that I started watching season two) I'm completly in love with Jessica Lange's acting and the strange
    This show is different. Really different.
    It took nearly whole seson one to figure out if I like it at all.
    Truth be told, the first thing that drew my attention was the cast. Can't be that bad with that cast, I thought. After the first episodes, I wasn't that sure anymore.
    And now (that I started watching season two) I'm completly in love with Jessica Lange's acting and the strange ways the stories go.
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  9. Oct 24, 2013
    4
    Estoy de acuerdo que el termino horror aclara el tono de la historia, pero los lugares comunes son abundantes, y no existe un verdadero respeto hacia el papel o personaje como fantasma. (más allá de tener "superpoderes como gasparin"

    Dos o tres momentos celebres, no más. (aplausos para Moria)
  10. Oct 21, 2013
    5
    For the first few episodes this show seems good. It starts, some weird stuff happens, and then its ends. That's all it is, but it's somehow good. However, after a few episodes the novelty wares off and the fact that nothing actually happens makes it boring. It does have a story but it's too slow paced, instead focusing on random creepy things happening and trying to use the music and toneFor the first few episodes this show seems good. It starts, some weird stuff happens, and then its ends. That's all it is, but it's somehow good. However, after a few episodes the novelty wares off and the fact that nothing actually happens makes it boring. It does have a story but it's too slow paced, instead focusing on random creepy things happening and trying to use the music and tone to make ordinary things seem disturbing. Expand
  11. Jul 23, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just watched in on Netflix and after the 3rd episode I had to write a friend, "1st one sets it up, 2nd one explains it and the 3rd one goes down!" Was so excited, should've known I was jinxing it.

    1st off, how in the hell can a gay man write a story that is so blatantly and homophobic? Why is it EVERY Hollywood gay couple on TV requires one man must be a complete flamer? And to top that off, the gay couple is the ONLY home owners murdered by anyone but their family, much less having a poker shoved up your ass. I was blown away. The most obnoxious anti-gay scene I've ever seen on TV was written by a gay man. F'you Ryan Murphy.

    2ndly, you could totally tell they had NO idea of where this story was going with most of the characters. There were so many plot holes, so many aspects that weren't cohesive and so many characters acting out of character.

    Sorry, but this show, while still excellent for what's on prime time these days, was a huge disappointment since it seemed to be setting itself up to be one of the best shows in a long, long time.

    The only comparison I can come up with is the first couple of season of The Walking Dead. At least TWD had consistent story telling.
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  12. Mar 24, 2013
    6
    From the very start American Horror Story is an absolute mess. Almost every episode see’s the writers throw event after event on screen resulting in a script and direction that are all over the place as well as a plot with more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Despite the fact that this should by all rights make the show unwatchable I continued viewing all the way through to the finale asFrom the very start American Horror Story is an absolute mess. Almost every episode see’s the writers throw event after event on screen resulting in a script and direction that are all over the place as well as a plot with more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Despite the fact that this should by all rights make the show unwatchable I continued viewing all the way through to the finale as within a few episodes I did genuinely want to find out about the shows central mystery and, aside from the occasions when it gets bogged down in trying (and failing) to realistically portrayal a marriage breaking down, it could certainly never be described as boring. Try not to think about it too deeply and you’ll probably enjoy yourself. Expand
  13. Jan 14, 2013
    6
    It's a good show but the last 2 episodes are rather boring and the ending was just awful. The entire build up all season and for such an anti-climatic ending really sucks.
  14. Jan 3, 2013
    6
    The first season of American Horror story caught me by surprise. This is the first show of it's kind that I have seen. I have long been a fan of the horror genre, but have failed to find anything of it on the small screen that looked appealing. So when I heard of it on Facebook I didn't wait a second longer than I needed to.-

    -After watching the first few episodes, I was genuinely
    The first season of American Horror story caught me by surprise. This is the first show of it's kind that I have seen. I have long been a fan of the horror genre, but have failed to find anything of it on the small screen that looked appealing. So when I heard of it on Facebook I didn't wait a second longer than I needed to.-

    -After watching the first few episodes, I was genuinely scared, not shocked by something jumping about, but actually frightened inside. The atmosphere was spot on, but what really drove it were the characters and mysteries. Unfortunately, for the story to move forward it was required to be less scary. What I mean when I say this is that the mysteries and spooky things needed to be solved and explained. The way that they were solved and explained were truly great, but unfortunately for the genre of the show, the explained is not scary. True fear lies in the unexplained.-

    -Is this to say that the show was bad in it's later episodes? The characters were evolving, the plot was moving, and threads were being tied. The show was doing the right thing. However, this is a horror show, with the very word being the second in the title. Because of this drop of fear the show did lessen in quality. But do not take that to say that the show got bad. It got less good, but never fell into bad.-

    -After stories lose their starting fear, they usually rely on the 'fear of the situation'. The second season of this show has that down to an art form, but in this first season I feel little or no fear in the situation. The only time I felt this fear was in the second to last episode, where in the big plot twist occurred.-

    -The first season of American horror story was not bad, on the contrary it was quite good. It started with a lot of momentum, but even after losing that momentum it remained a great and memorable show. If I had to pick the best things from the show it would have to be Jessica Lange, who gave a stellar performance, and the opening music/intro. Wow, the opening music and intro. No matter how many times I hear it, it gives me chills.-
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  15. Oct 23, 2012
    5
    I'm no stranger to movies, shows and videogames that take a lot of analysis to fully appreciate, but I can't fully wrap my brain around this one. Not every story needs to resolve perfectly, but at the end of this story I didn't feel like I knew much more than I did at the beginning. It was more of a mashup of little horror stories that they tried to pile into one canon, one house even, andI'm no stranger to movies, shows and videogames that take a lot of analysis to fully appreciate, but I can't fully wrap my brain around this one. Not every story needs to resolve perfectly, but at the end of this story I didn't feel like I knew much more than I did at the beginning. It was more of a mashup of little horror stories that they tried to pile into one canon, one house even, and it just didn't work for me. There was no solid direction nor point, tons of characters that didn't bring anything important to the plot except to add yet another unnecessary layer to the already mile-high stack of them, and if that's not enough the majority of the characters are two faced and change motives at random just to throw the audience off. I didn't think it was all bad, as it did have some glorious moments and clever scenes... but I'm not sure if I'll be checking out season 2. I didn't hate it, just feel kind of indifferent. Expand
  16. Sep 22, 2012
    6
    A wildly uneven show with a lot of potential. AHS throws a lot of horror themes at the wall, but not all of it sticks. Some episodes were intriguing, well-acted, suspenseful (that I'd rate a 7 or 8), and others were wandering, incoherent messes (that I'd rate a 4 or 5). Initially, the subplots and narrative turns keep you involved, but eventually they just seem to be thrown at you justA wildly uneven show with a lot of potential. AHS throws a lot of horror themes at the wall, but not all of it sticks. Some episodes were intriguing, well-acted, suspenseful (that I'd rate a 7 or 8), and others were wandering, incoherent messes (that I'd rate a 4 or 5). Initially, the subplots and narrative turns keep you involved, but eventually they just seem to be thrown at you just for the sake of it, and it got exhausting to keep up toward the end of the series. If they keep the plot twists at a moderate level, and keep the narrative a bit more coherent, this could be a great show. Fingers crossed they have this figured out come season 2 Expand
  17. Jun 21, 2012
    4
    Jessica Lange is amazing in this show and that mostly accounts for the 4/10 rating. I love horror. The thing is, horror works best when the viewer is invested in a protagonist who is experiencing the horror. Since everyone on this show is annoying , sick, or otherwise warped, it becomes more of a stylish exercise in creepy images than an actual story one can get into. I was reallyJessica Lange is amazing in this show and that mostly accounts for the 4/10 rating. I love horror. The thing is, horror works best when the viewer is invested in a protagonist who is experiencing the horror. Since everyone on this show is annoying , sick, or otherwise warped, it becomes more of a stylish exercise in creepy images than an actual story one can get into. I was really disappointed. I so wanted to like this show. Expand
  18. Apr 5, 2012
    5
    Upon watching the first episode I am both confused yet still interested. To me, this isn't a horrible show, but, I do not understand the plot. Some of the characters are annoying and they throw a lot at you in the very first episode. We are introduced to so many characters at once that it is hard to keep up. Overall the story and the jumpiness of the camera work make it hard to keep upUpon watching the first episode I am both confused yet still interested. To me, this isn't a horrible show, but, I do not understand the plot. Some of the characters are annoying and they throw a lot at you in the very first episode. We are introduced to so many characters at once that it is hard to keep up. Overall the story and the jumpiness of the camera work make it hard to keep up with what is going on. I will continue to watch the show but for now I'm giving it a 5/10 because I have no idea what's going on. The show features 2 of my favorite actors and I want to see more of them. Expand
  19. Dec 27, 2011
    4
    I watched the entire season and was not impressed in the least. Why would I want to watch a show with ghosts who act just like living people? What is the point of being dead if you have the same issues when you were alive? Death is more of the same **** Really? Really!?!
  20. Dec 2, 2011
    4
    Intriguing, but ultimately do I really want some of this stuff in my head? Troubling enough that I deleted all the recorded shows after watching only two. The world is warped enough, I could just watch the news, only without the emotional trauma.
  21. Nov 24, 2011
    4
    I'll give the show this, it does not have a very obvious initial twist. One can predict things that happens in the middle of the show, yet not towards the end. Sadly, the show does not know how to pull off horror in an effective way. If you were to take the basis for the story and instead of focusing on the events going on around the protagonists you focus on the psyche of them, you couldI'll give the show this, it does not have a very obvious initial twist. One can predict things that happens in the middle of the show, yet not towards the end. Sadly, the show does not know how to pull off horror in an effective way. If you were to take the basis for the story and instead of focusing on the events going on around the protagonists you focus on the psyche of them, you could have a potentially good show. However, it takes the former direction and creates a forced, blatant, and apparent horror rather than a subtle, creepy type horror that slowly builds up until it forces someone to want to stop watching. This show isn't worth my time. Expand
  22. Nov 17, 2011
    6
    Aside from a scene near the end of the pilot, this show isn't scary at all and classifies more as a thriller than horror show. Some episodes are very dull. It is still worth a watch for horror lovers like me.
  23. Oct 11, 2011
    5
    Very style over substance but still missing major creep factor. What gives with McDermott always being shirtless throughout the entire show. Connie Britton must be missing Kyle Chandler right about now. Ill watch more and further judge but this feels like Halloween tv packaging...this will not sustain a second season.
  24. Oct 7, 2011
    5
    The creators of this show employ a whole lot of horror gimmicks to scare the crap out of you. It works. Of course, there has to be some sort of pleasure to compensate for the anxiety of watching a horror show. In example, with most horror movies, at the end you have the pleasure of solving the mystery or watching your favorite character come out okay. In contrast, by the end of the pilotThe creators of this show employ a whole lot of horror gimmicks to scare the crap out of you. It works. Of course, there has to be some sort of pleasure to compensate for the anxiety of watching a horror show. In example, with most horror movies, at the end you have the pleasure of solving the mystery or watching your favorite character come out okay. In contrast, by the end of the pilot episode of American Horror Story, nothing was explained and no one was deemed safe. Personal cost: anxiety. Benefit: get to marvel at some talented actors and directors. Hmm. I can get the same benefit by watching most HBO or AMC series without nearly as much anxiety. The show needs more payoff.

    Further, a mystery surrounding just one house can't possibly support 60 episodes. David Lynch might be able to get away with piecing together a bunch of random spooky scenes, but Twin Peaks had an eccentric, languid beauty that was a pleasure to watch and makes this show appear manufactured. Still, American Horror Story is certainly more creative than most stuff on TV, and the actors are fantastic, so it deserves some recognition.
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  25. Oct 7, 2011
    5
    Choppy editing; old lady sex; gimp mask; self harming...

    It is either amazing or try-hard trash.

    I need to see another episode to make up my mind...
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. 80
    The show may be ridiculous, but the humiliation and panic feel real. And there's something to be said for surprise.
  2. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Oct 5, 2011
    50
    American Horror Story, from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk of "Glee" and "Nip/Tuck," is a very standard creep-fest, an aggressively stylized mash-up of familiar haunted-house movies including "The Amityville Horror," "The Haunting," and "The Shining."
  3. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 5, 2011
    91
    I loved the pilot, mostly because I could never predict where the story was going, a rarity in prime-time TV.