American Horror Story: Freakshow is the fourth season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology thriller TV series and the show’s premiere on Oct. 8 broke ratings records for the FX network. The series has always proved to be a popular show and receive positive ratings, but the Freakshow premiere has now made FX network history.
The latest season is set in the 1950’s in the town of Jupiter, Florida. The plot is focused on a failing freak show act headed by wannabe star and ring-leader, Elsa Mars, played by Jessica Lange. Although Elsa’s show includes magnificent sights to behold such as a bearded lady, the smallest woman in the world, a lobster-handed man, and a three-breasted woman the act is still lacking in its viewers and is facing eviction. Elsa then discovers the likes of a two-headed woman named Bette and Dot Tattler who very well may save the freak show and give Elsa her chance at stardom.
American Horror Story is one of the first TV series in a long time that has been written as an anthology. Each season has a full arc of episodes that rounds out the story with a very good stopping point. The subsequent series of episodes features many of the same principal cast members, but all in roles and settings that are vastly different from the season previous to the current one. Murder House, Asylum and Coven are the three subtitles of the seasons leading up to Freakshow. Themes present in these adaptations include insanity, possession, witchcraft, voodoo and spirits. Each season shines brightly in their own light, being that they are all very different from each other.
The opening night of American Horror Story: Freakshow had over 10 million viewers tuned in plus those that use Live+3 DVR playback, amounting to a ridiculously high view count. The season’s premiere is now considered FX’s most watched telecast in history. Not only has the American Horror Story anthology consistently performed successfully in ratings for the network, the show has also garnered a great amount of award wins and nominations. The show’s leading lady, Jessica Lange has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy for her role in every season of AHS, winning two of them. It is anticipated that the actress will receive yet another nomination for Freakshow.
Due to the success displayed so far, the series is confirmed to have a fifth season in the works already. Ryan Murphy stated that he knows what the theme will be and that there are hidden Easter Eggs within the first two episodes of Freakshow that hint at where the fifth season will be located. The only bit of information Murphy has given on the subject is that actress Sarah Paulson “really loves” the part she will play. One can only imagine what this hint could mean.
One must congratulate the entire American Horror Story team as they break ratings records for FX. Freakshow is now playing on the network with new episodes on Wednesday nights and if one misses an episode, it can be streamed online with FX Now.
Opinion by Cody Collier