American Horror Story : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
American Horror Story Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 1053 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: After a miscarriage and nearly breaking up, Ben and Vivien Harmon (Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton) move from Boston to Los Angeles with their daughter to start a new life in a house with an eerie past.
  • Genre(s): Horror

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. 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.
  2. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Sep 30, 2011
    88
    It's funny and moves blindingly fast, barely giving you time to blink or gulp--Dark Shadows for the PlayStation age. [10 Oct 2011, p.39]
  3. 80
    The show may be ridiculous, but the humiliation and panic feel real. And there's something to be said for surprise.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Oct 5, 2011
    60
    The hot mess of American Horror Story is berserk to a fault, though it does have an unnerving originality compelling us to watch while we cringe, or perhaps smirk.
  5. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Oct 5, 2011
    60
    American Horror Story is a big ol' brooding, baffling, ridiculous and occasionally compelling mess of a show.
  6. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Oct 5, 2011
    50
    The scariest thing about American Horror Story, the highly anticipated FX series from the guys who brought you "Glee" and "Nip/Tuck," is that almost everything in the entire show has been cribbed (or crypt-ed, in this case) from every other American horror story.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Oct 4, 2011
    10
    It doesn't work as a character drama and it's tiresome more often than it's freakily scary.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 143
  1. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    Just the right amount of thrills. It's not often a TV show written as good as a great horror movie comes along. Great casting, acting andJust the right amount of thrills. It's not often a TV show written as good as a great horror movie comes along. Great casting, acting and directing. Recommended. Expand
  2. Dec 4, 2011
    10
    really like this series, great characters, acting and sense of foreboding. the characters all feel natural in their world, no one dimensionalreally like this series, great characters, acting and sense of foreboding. the characters all feel natural in their world, no one dimensional parts. The story might be similar to The Shining, but with layers of detail that keep coming, with each episode about different people who stay as mysterious as the story itself Expand
  3. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    This show did a good job at keeping viewers wanting more. Other than the show "Supernatural", this is the only show with a horror theme onThis show did a good job at keeping viewers wanting more. Other than the show "Supernatural", this is the only show with a horror theme on basic cable. The Pilot is one of the best I've seen the fall season so far. This show is an example why well written shows and good actors makes for great television. Expand
  4. Oct 12, 2011
    9
    I'm looking forward to seeing where this show goes. So far, good acting, compelling storylines. Definitely drew me in. All that and JessicaI'm looking forward to seeing where this show goes. So far, good acting, compelling storylines. Definitely drew me in. All that and Jessica Lange, too! Expand
  5. Apr 19, 2014
    8
    This is overall the weakest season of American Horror Story, but is still extremely enjoyable.
    The acting in the show is pretty good, yet not
    This is overall the weakest season of American Horror Story, but is still extremely enjoyable.
    The acting in the show is pretty good, yet not great. It never reached the level of acting that existed in both Asylum and Coven, as actresses such as Jamie Brewer and Taissa Farmiga were still coming into their own during the filming of this season. This being said, Frances Conroy and Jessica Lange deliver some of the best performances on the show.
    The season's concept comes across as rather cliché. I mean, its a house where people die, its hard to get much less original. This being said, it is executed rather magnificently. The cast holds up the concept well and the flashbacks to previous owners of the house gives great context while being visually engaging. The character development is nailed in most every instance, and the ending of the season is marvelous in how open ended it was. I was still able to predict the majority of what was to happen within the season, though this did not do a ton to diminish its quality.
    Its an enjoyable season and great for a first. I would recommend this to most anyone, especially because it embraces the concept of 'horror' better than any of the other seasons.
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  6. Jan 21, 2014
    7
    Just finished watching S1 on Netflix.

    The show started out strong but by episode 3 I had begun to lose interest. The show relies on
    Just finished watching S1 on Netflix.

    The show started out strong but by episode 3 I had begun to lose interest.

    The show relies on scaring you more than telling you a good story, which is a shame because the cast, especially Jessica Lange, is highly talented. As the season progressed, the writing became sort of lame and in turn made the show very predictable. (I am speaking specifically about the final episode, which could not decide when it should end.)

    There were a few good twists in the season, but at times it was hard to keep up with every backstory of the characters involved.

    The main question I walked away with after watching the show, was how some of the spirits in the house age over time but others do not. For example, Tate Langston should have been nearly 40 years old but was still a teenager, while Moira the maid had aged normally.

    Overall, the acting is great, which is what kept me watching because the story itself I felt left much to be desired. I'm gonna give this one a seven based mostly on the acting.
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  7. Oct 12, 2015
    0
    parents, do not let your kids watch this crap. It is so blatantly disturbing and dark, why would you want to be exposed to that. How could aparents, do not let your kids watch this crap. It is so blatantly disturbing and dark, why would you want to be exposed to that. How could a fine actress like Kathy Bates be a part of this? I love a good scary movie, but this is bullcrap. Take it off the air. Expand

See all 143 User Reviews

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