In its premiere episode, released this past Wednesday, American Horror Story: 1984 felt like trying to lose the show's past expectations and mold itself into something new.
Ryan Murphy's serious series is set to become an anthology, with every new dive into the era of a new horror genre / trope. But ever since the announcement that all seasons have been set in the same shared universe, fans have been expecting connections, crossovers, and scarred cameos.
Last year American Horror Story Apocalypse was the culmination of all these crossovers. The dove period in the mythology of the series, entertaining fan favorite shows and theories. Jessica Lange is back! Wizards from the Covenant are back! No one really cares about the aggregate plot, until they can see their faves back in five minutes.
But after the soft Apocalypse 1984 was a deep breath. , a step away from the troubled web of myth by creator Ryan Murphy. In the absence of regular mainstay series, especially Evan Peters, who said in April that he was "sitting on this one," AHS uses 1984 as an excuse. to recreate oneself in a way that is out of age.
[ Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for the first installment of American Horror Story: 1984 ]
Let's Get This: Technology has a connection to times past, but it comes in the form of real-life serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka the Night Stalker. Played by Anthony Ruivivar, Ramirez appeared in the fifth season of the show, Hotel at a gathering of celebrities serial killers who gather at Hotel Cortez every Demon Night. In 1984 he appeared to Zach Villa, younger, alive, and well. It was his presence in the city that prompted our group of young brothers to seek refuge at Camp Redwood. Absolutely anything tied AHS to the luggage of this preexisting lore. There is no mention of Hotel Cortez, or any of the other AHS staples in California (Murder House for example). However, it is not just the absence of name drops, but a tonal shift that marks the difference. After Friday the 13th-esque opening, where a killer mask decides on an entire cabin, the first phase opens with an upscale aerobics class. Each member of the main cast was introduced with their name in the tubular & # 39; 80s font. Each of the five characters is an almost cartoonish representation of a slasher flick stock victim.
We have the dumb jock Chet, the promiscuous girl Montana, the tokenized black friend Ray, the mysterious group leader Xavier, and the mysterious newcomer Brooke – with clues to know of the latter two than they allow. The other characters are cartoons: Trevor is the director of horny activity with a very well-known pornstache; Margaret is the tall, conservative camp director who claims to have survived the massacre at Camp Redwood by God's grace; and Rita, the worthless narcissist who has no time for anyone's nonsense.
The rest of the first phase plays on self-awareness. In two separate instances, Montana and Ray – whose character tropes usually mean that they choose first – end up in vulnerable situations, where they probably meet the end of it as a movie and not the first episode of a period. The gang ends at a solitary gas station, where the grizzled attendant talks to them frankly about leaving the camp. A depressed hiker warns Brooke about the bad things that are happening.
A sense of self-awareness with the absence of AHS mainstayers sets 1984 to the end an indefinite period of the show's past, one that uses connections beyond a worship rather than a crutch. Cult and Roanoke the sixth and seventh seasons, both tried slipping into a new format, but 19009003] Cult was too-on-the-nose nostril, Roanoke is surprisingly second half, and the fact that Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are main characters never allows either to be completely different.
Forever & # 39; t 1984 did not begin to summon the ghosts of the Tate family or refer to one of Jessica Lange's characters, it could be a superb, redwood-breath. American Horror Story Needed .