American Horror Story season 2 - Asylum
The posters for the new season got me interested in a series I'd only seen a few episodes of here and there. Decided to start with season 2 because I liked the premise. Overall, I loved it. The cast is phenomenal. Jessica Lange gives an incredible performance. It's as big and bold, ferocious and heartbreaking as one could hope for. Cromwell, Paulson, and Fiennes bring A-list firepower. Quinto is terrific. And Murphy gets great work from some lesser known actors. Evan Peters, who I'd only really seen as Quicksilver in the X-Men movies, is surprisingly good. And Lily Rabe as a demon-possessed nun is the unsung heroine of the season. I thought she was devilishly fun and frightening.
The season has an odd and gutsy structure. It starts very, very big with huge events and myriad storylines moving at a breakneck pace. Gradually the storylines thin out (thanks in part to numerous deaths), the pace slows down, and the focus narrows almost entirely to Paulson's decades-long family struggle.
If I have complaints, it's in a few repetitive storylines (keeping characters in the asylum), and some of the stories best villains have relatively anticlimactic demises.
This was a lot of fun. Will probably continue with Coven and Freakshow and then circle back to the first season.