The FX hit show “American Horror Story” returned for its fourth season on Wednesday, which drew in over 6 million viewers during its 90-minute airtime.
Over the course of the past three years, Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” obtained somewhat of a cult following, with many of its viewers having been faithful to the show since its debut season, “Murder House.”
Every year the show has a new storyline, with the same cast returning to play different roles. The theme this year is “Freak Show,” and it features Twisty the Clown as the primary antagonist.
Nightmares come to life as people watch the silent Twisty murder civilians and kidnap children.
The highly praised Jessica Lange, who has been a consistent cast member throughout the years, returned this season as the ringleader of an unsuccessful freak show.
Similarly, there is Sarah Paulson who played conjoined twins Bette and Dot. Kathy Bates took on the role of a bearded lady, and a fan favorite Evan Peters played Lobster Boy, a name he received due to a deformity of his hands.
Another appearance in this season’s “American Horror Story” is the world’s smallest human Jyoti Amge. The India native is 20 years old, 23 inches tall and only 11 pounds.
In addition to Amge, who plays Ma Petite, viewers can expect to see a three breasted hermaphrodite portrayed by Angela Bassett, Amazon Eve who stands at 6 feet 8 inches, Legless Suzi and a little boy who enjoyed biting the heads off of chickens.
“American Horror Story” stays true to its past techniques, evoking fear from its audience by providing a disturbing form of shock-factor. It’s definitely not a show for the conservative or faint of heart because it seems as though, like past seasons, “Freak Show” will have no boundaries.
While gore and violence is a common theme in the series, so is sex. Within the first hour of the first episode there are several sexual encounters with different characters, including arguably the most interesting, the conjoined twins Bette and Dot.
Small controversy arose surrounding the show and its portrayal of the “freaks.” Most of the deformities that are featured in the show are daily struggles for those who may have them in reality.
Real-life bearded lady Jennifer Miller spoke out on the portrayal of bearded women in the media and debunked some of the stereotypes, including one that the woman who portray them in film are often bigger.
“Real-life famous bearded ladies were not bigger, but on television they always have that maternal vibe,” said Miller in an interview with cosmopolitan.com. “And that’s interesting, that the bearded lady becomes a motherly woman, often. It’s probably because she can’t be the sexy one. Mother, goddess, whore — you know?”
This stereotype is no exception to “Freak Show,” because the bearded lady (Bates) is the mother of Lobster Boy (Peter).
Once viewers were able to stomach the disturbing parts of the show, the series becomes visually appealing. “Freak Show” is set in 1952 Florida, so every outside character’s appearance is very believable for the time period.
The show is filmed like a photograph in full contrast, and the eerie music in both the opening theme and throughout the show sets the scene for the perfect creepy carnival.
The uniqueness of a horror-drama centered television show may be a reason for its large amount of viewers, or it may be its strange and twisted plotlines. Whatever it is, it’s a hit.
Join the battle between the “freaks” and the “outsiders” and tune into “American Horror Story: Freak Show” next Wednesday for it’s second episode.