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FX’s upcoming horror drama American Horror Story will not play out like The Killing.

The series from Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk revolves around Ben and Vivien Harmon (Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton) who move from Boston to a creepy haunted Los Angeles mansion after an affair and miscarriage. Described by Murphy as a “psycho-sexual thriller,” the series serves as a metaphor for marriage and will set up a number of mysteries in the 90-minute premiere.

“As a pilot, it has eight cliffhangers in it,” Murphy said Saturday while promoting the show at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills, noting that the series has an “obligation” to explain the mysteries of the series to the audience. “By the third episode, all of those big mysteries are settled and I think the audience can just be along for the ride.”

The pilot, screened this week for critics at TCA, includes a mysterious creature with fangs and sharp claws that attacks a girl in the basement of the Victorian-era home in which the Harmons now reside, a creepy guy in a full-body rubber suit and characters including Denis O’Hare’s Larry the Burn Guy, a pseudo reformed killer who used to live at the estate.

Further deepening the mystery, Jessica Lange’s nosy neighbor Constance has an as-yet-unexplained back story with Moira, the housekeeper who comes with the house who appears as either a young sexual woman (Alexandra Breckenridge) or an older, dutiful woman (Frances Conroy) to various residents.

American Horror Story premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 10 p.m. on FX.

"very, very over-the-top, but wildly entertaining." - NPR

There is so much going on in the first supersized episode that I wouldn't list it all even if there weren't spoiler problems. Suffice it to say it's got everything from a creepy neighbor (a fantastically wackadoodle Jessica Lange floating in and out) to a creepy maid (Frances Conroy) to creepy things in jars. Jars, I tell you! - Linda Holmes

A housekeeper appears unbidden one day to say she’ll begin work at Big Scary House, as she has for previous (dead) owners. She’s played by Six Feet Under‘s Francis Conroy… most of the time. You see, when Vivien looks at the housekeeper, she sees nice, wrinkly Frances Conroy. When Ben looks at the housekeeper, he sees a hubba-hubba young woman in a sexy version of a maid’s uniform, snapping her garters at him and pushing her black bra up for his approval.

"I can say with certainty that Ryan and Falchuk have upped the stakes (not a pun — blessedly, there’s not a vampire or a werewolf in sight) for TV horror. Unlike most scary TV shows (and movies), which rely upon the rhythm of a few quiet scenes followed by a boo! fright every 20 minutes or so, AHS is pretty much all-scare, all the time. - Entertainment Weekly
Edited by Rick, Aug 25 2011, 03:10 AM.
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American Horror Story: Discussion · Primetime Discussion