TV

We’re Obsessed With ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’

by Jessica Marshall

Welcome to Obsessed, a new weekly feature in which we shamelessly gush about our latest pop-culture preoccupation. This week, we’re fangirling over FX’s “American Horror Story: Asylum.”

I love a good scare that lingers long after I’ve switched off the TV. One that leaves me hesitant to turn out the light before bedtime or to fully close the bathroom door while I’m using it (so that I’m not cut off from escape should something horrible seep out of a netherworld behind my mirror and try to eat me, of course).

When I started watching “American Horror Story” last season, it didn’t really scare me at all. I didn’t think twice about turning the lights off after each episode, and I even felt brave enough to utter a few Bloody Marys into the bathroom mirror with the door locked. (Only two though and the light was still on…)

The show made me grimace with its weird and twisted nature, sure—a family with trust issues moves into a suburban L.A. home known locally as, “Murder House,” and inevitably falls victim to the aptly named house’s malevolent mysteries, one of which involves a ghost in a shiny black S&M suit—but was it scary? Not really. Rubber Man didn’t end up haunting my dreams. In fact, the only scary thing about the show was that I just couldn’t stop watching it. I was obsessed. And I didn’t know why. Sure, Dylan McDermott’s copious naked scenes were a draw, but that wasn’t quite it.

It wasn’t until about halfway through the season—when I woke up in a cold sweat at 3 a.m. one November night—that I understood the nature of my obsession with the show. I was scared by it. Terrified, in fact. Not because I was afraid of Rubber Man or Hayden the psycho dead ex-girlfriend, but because the show (and its twisted characters) is not afraid of me. Each week the plot’s ante is upped with something weirder and more ridiculous like it’s playing a game of truth or dare with the viewer, but never backing out of a dare. It mixes classic horror tropes without fear. I can’t predict the plot, I can’t explain it, and I don’t know if I fully understand it. And I LOVE it. So scurrry!

So naturally, prior to this week’s premiere of the second season, “American Horror Story: Asylum,” I was positively quaking in my wedge booties. What does this new, bizarre season have in store to shock me with now? After watching the premiere, I’m confident that there is plenty. This season opens with a whole new story taking place in an asylum for the criminally insane in 1964, and brings back some of the stars of the first season (Jessica Lange, Lily Rabe and Evan Peters) in brand new roles.

If you haven’t watched the show before, you can start with this season, as the plots are completely unrelated. And if you’ve ever had a secret fantasy of watching Maroon 5’s Adam Levine have steamy haunted-house sex with Jenna Dewan-Tatum and then get torn limb from limb a minute later, then you may become obsessed too.

Are you obsessed with “American Horror Story: Asylum”? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!