The Entertainment Pulse: “American Horror Story” seasons ranked

By Jack Greenwood

Staff writer

AHS fans were split this year, when show runner Ryan Murphy announced the new season was to be inspired by the 2016 Presidential election. Many fans were excited to see what direction the show would go, while others wanted an escape from the real life horror happening in our government.

On Tuesday, the new season concluded with an ending of true AHS fashion – lots of blood and death! But where does this new season rank amongst the others? Is AHS still able to deliver stellar seasons without the commanding performances of Jessica Lange? Here is where I believe every season ranks for now: SPOILER WARNING

7. MURDER HOUSE (1): Okay I’m probably in the minority for putting the opening season in the last slot but hear me out. This season was by no means bad – none of them are. The first season introduced us to the world of AHS and gave Jessica Lange a career resurgence. However, I have put the first season here because of its lack of development for its main two characters, Mr. & Mrs. Harmon. They remain the same type of characters throughout the whole series, the scarred heroes that we are led to root for. Aside from Lange’s character Constance and Evan Peters character, Tate, not a lot of characters evolve in this season.

6. ROANOKE (6): Roanoke introduced a brand new format to AHS fans. The series is told as if in a horror reenactment for the first half of the season before switching to reality-show-gone-wrong in the second half. While this season delivered plenty of gore and terror, I can’t help as see this season as all too similar to Murder House. A group of ghosts, trapped in a cursed house. I will admit, the format makes it original. But its similarity to the first season lands it here.

5. ASYLUM (2): Again, another opinion of mine that is probably in the minority. Personally, I loved everything about Asylum. Sarah Paulson joined the main cast and gave us Lana Winters, a character that we remember years later. Zachary Quinto and James Cromwell also joined and gave us a spine tingling villains. Let’s not forget Jessica Lange giving us the steely eyed Sister Jude. But one thing caused this season to be tainted for me: Aliens. The alien concept seemed so thrown in there and so unnecessary that its almost the only thing I can remember from this season. None of these seasons are bad, but if there is one that could’ve been perfect, it was asylum. So close.

4. HOTEL (5): Some consider this season, the first without Jessica Lange, to be its worst. I humbly disagree. Global pop sensation, Lady Gaga joined the main cast and gifted us with vampire heiress, the countess. The gorgeous scenery, neon lighting, vampire concept, allusion to H. H. Holmes and top rate performances by Gaga, Paulson, Peters, Angela Bassett, Denis O’Hare and Kathy Bates made this season better than expected. The only issue I had with this season, was that too much of the attention was laid on Det. John Lowe, played by Wes Bently. The character should’ve been a supporting character, and his screen time reduced. But other than that, this season doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

3. CULT (7): We finally reach our brand new season. This season brought in a plethora of newer faces including Billie Lourd and Alison Pill, both of which gave grade-A performances. But the one thing that made this season really work was the performance by veterans Paulson and Peters. These two have never been given a season the way Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates were, to have a story revolve around them. This season they finally got their turn and boy did they deliver. This season also was the first in which no supernatural creatures were introduced, a bold choice. It also gave stellar reenactments of several other cults including the Manson family and SCUM. Of course, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were also part of the plot, but done in small doses. Overall, this season was new and fresh and breathed new life into this series.

2. FREAK SHOW (4): The final season featuring Jessica Lange sent her out with a bang. No other season had this great of character development and storyline. There was not a weak cast member in the bunch, although newcomer Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott was a standout, giving a nightmarishly brilliant performance. The season had plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge, all while giving great character back stories and even some song and dance numbers. This season is also one that is underrated and deserves to be at closer to the top. Aside from a finale that seemed rushed, this season was pretty close to perfect.

1. COVEN (3): Finally, we reach number one and to be honest no one should be surprised. Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates both won Emmy’s for this standout season about a Coven of witches in New Orleans. The season also brought in newcomers Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts and Gabourey Sidibe and gave us as supernaturally good a storyline as a true AHS fan can hope for. From the fight for power to be the supreme, to the crazy romances and witchcraft, Coven is never without surprises and plot twists. Not to mention, Frances Conroy and Lily Rabe also gave us their best characters in Myrtle Snow and Misty Day. This is the season that AHS came close to perfect.

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