After an onslaught of media attention, derived from weekly teaser videos, the fourth installment of American Horror Story proved popular after drawing the largest audience for a ninety minute broadcast. According to Cinema Blend, these ratings have already ensured that American Horror Story will be returning for a fifth season.
Now, just how is a show that thrives off our feelings towards social taboos such as rape, murder, and perceived physical and mental handicaps, able to gather such a dominant audience? The answer is simple, one controlling theme. Whether the show invests itself in physical mutation, witches, or simplistic brutality, each season shares a single bond with all the rest, “How does the majority view the minority?” In this season the theme is clearly conveyed through the freaks themselves, and their relationships with those who were born without handicaps. Nobody could make the lineage clearer than Even Peters himself, when his character Jimmy says, “I wish they wouldn’t call us that (freaks).”
Freak Show’s season premiere, although widely anticipated, received mixed reviews. Some felt the show attempted to be crude and vulgar which apparently is frowned upon by some. Others felt the show matched their outlandish expectations and managed to satisfy all aspects of their imaginations. And some just watched it for the murderous clown, Twisty.
Personally, although not enthusiastic about the first episode as a whole, these critics who viewed the season premiere as poorly-handled and uneventful should continue watching. “Monsters Among Us” stood, much like most pilot episodes, to introduce the characters, themes, and overall conflicts that will occur throughout the season. The potential seems nearly limitless, and Freak Show should prove to be just that – a hectic means for us to obtain our entertainment.