October 18th, 2012
10:05 AM ET
[Editor's Note: If you don't want to know what happened on the season premiere of "American Horror Story: Asylum," stop reading now.]
"American Horror Story" is back, and already better than last season.
Mind you, I thought that the first season (which was more of a mini-series, especially as far as the Emmys are concerned) often veered into self-parody, only finding its way toward the end.
Stop me if you've heard this one: Wednesday night's season premiere - now with the subtitle "Asylum" - featured an amorous couple (the new groom played by none other than "The Voice"/Maroon 5 star, Adam Levine) exploring an old, abandoned house. Before long, their curiosity got the better of them.
Aside from providing the first of more sex scenes than I could count (this show has more sexual themes than last season, if that's possible), one could say Levine gave us a disarming performance. Yes, quite literally.
So far, nothing here was groundbreaking in terms of horror scenarios. When it came down to it, our couple was just there to provide a then-and-now perspective on the mysterious, staircase-filled asylum of the title. (And perhaps the Maroon 5 haters out there enjoyed seeing Levine's character getting killed off – or was he?)
Flash back to 1964, where we have the always enjoyable Sarah Paulson returning to the series in the much larger role of Lana, a reporter snooping around the asylum to find out about the deranged serial killer, Bloodyface. (As we've already seen, snooping around the asylum is a very bad idea, as Lana discovers when she winds up committed.)
We also met the rest of our cast of characters in the asylum, among them:
I liked how this season started with much more of a structure and, well, a purpose than the series premiere.
On the other hand, I fear the show may be covering a lot of the same ground and themes from last season, but maybe that won't end up being the case. One theme I'm not a fan of is the show's apparent obsession with disabilities and deformities, such as the microcephalic girl introduced this season, and last year's girl with Down syndrome.
Overall, what remains about the show is its complete and utter lack of subtlety. When the young bride from the first scene comes face-to-face with Bloodyface, it turns out that he has - get this - a bloody face.
Despite these tendencies, I am intrigued by this new incarnation of the show (and still waiting to see Zachary Quinto's character introduced), so I'll keep watching.
Did you check out the premiere? Will you tune in again, or was it all too much for you? Share your view on video or comment below.
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