• Network: FX
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 5, 2011
Season #: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  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: Clark Collis
    Oct 8, 2014
    83
    AHS may no longer have the element of surprise on its side, but it remains, to quote the lyrics of a certain David Bowie tune performed by Lange, the freakiest show. One of us? Count me in.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Oct 8, 2014
    80
    Humor, terror, sex, death, camp, karaoke: No show on television has all these ingredients but American Horror Story.
  5. 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.
  6. 80
    It's magisterially trashy: sweet, glorious madness.
  7. Reviewed by: Geoff Berkshire
    Oct 7, 2014
    80
    Homicidal clown Twisty (John Carroll Lynch puts the horror back in Horror Story, and runs neck and neck (and neck) with Paulson’s Tattler twins as “Freak Show’s” most intriguing breakout character.... Elsa initially comes off as more cartoonish and less complex than Lange’s previous turns. That changes for the better once Lange lays bare the vulnerability beneath Elsa’s hardened exterior in a few poignant scene.
  8. Reviewed by: Zach Hollwedel
    Oct 9, 2014
    75
    Freak Show starts off strong, offering more than just a taste of the spooky, bloody, quirky season to come.
  9. Reviewed by: Justin Clark
    Oct 7, 2014
    75
    The balance of story potential is more evenly spread this time out [compared to Coven].
  10. 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.
  11. 63
    Based solely on the premiere, American Horror Story: Freak Show might rate a rave, or at least a "great if you like this sort of thing." But since the first season, I've learned that Murphy and Falchuk don't reliably follow the path they start down, often seeming to prefer to gross viewers out than tell a coherent story.
  12. 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.
  13. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Oct 8, 2014
    60
    Even when Freak Show collapses under its undiluted excess, it does remember at least one essential truth of terror: Nothing's scarier than a mean, ugly clown.
  14. 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.
  15. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Oct 7, 2014
    60
    It boasts strong performances, largely from actors you've already seen, in material that's as over-the-top as ever.
  16. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Oct 8, 2014
    50
    The over-long season premiere--it's 63 minutes without commercials, so expect it to run close to 90 minutes on air; set yoru DVR accordingly--feels disjointed and the characters seem underdeveloped.
  17. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Oct 7, 2014
    50
    Freak Show is certainly telling a weird story, but it’s not all that scary and, worse yet, the characters are already launching into tedious monologues about civil rights for geeks.
  18. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Oct 7, 2014
    50
    This new AHS iteration of is, as always, a gorgeous-looking production featuring many excellent performances.... The fundamental problem in the opening hours is the lack of an original storyline to move the show beyond a series of gaudy shock reveals.
  19. 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.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 503 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 503
  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. Full Review »
  2. Oct 10, 2014
    10
    I find clowns scary as hell. Can't wait for more! What about the David Bowie musical number? This is classic horror, mind blowing. I don't seeI find clowns scary as hell. Can't wait for more! What about the David Bowie musical number? This is classic horror, mind blowing. I don't see how anyone can find it cliche and a waste of time. Full Review »
  3. Oct 9, 2014
    10
    I just now this season is gonna be awesome! The first episode is already intriguing and it was the best premiere episode of any season. AlsoI just now this season is gonna be awesome! The first episode is already intriguing and it was the best premiere episode of any season. Also because Twisty is the scariest AHS antagonist yet! Full Review »