AHS: NYC showcases a very real kind of horror story

AHS: NYC – Pictured: Russell Tovey as Patrick. CR: Pari Dukovic/FX
AHS: NYC – Pictured: Russell Tovey as Patrick. CR: Pari Dukovic/FX /

American Horror Story is back with its eleventh season in AHS: NYC, a season that has chosen to look at a much more grounded and real-world horror story. However, does this mean this is a season worth checking out, especially after releasing a lackluster season of the spinoff series? Well, let’s take a look at the season as a whole.

Taking place in the 1980s, AHS: NYC focuses on the horrors and atrocities facing the LGBTQ+ community at the time, and showcases the need for communities to come together, especially when dealing with an apathetic police department. AHS: NYC puts the focus on a few different gay characters with diverse backgrounds and situations and how they navigate the situation that is presented to them in this time period.

One of the most intriguing things about AHS: NYC actually has nothing to do with the content of the episodes but instead with how they were released. FX had chosen to air two episodes a night, which was, without a doubt, the right choice, as this is a season meant to be binged. AHS: NYC has some extremely slow-paced episodes, which would’ve been a problem had FX chosen to release one episode a night. Thankfully though, the slow pacing of the season is easier to take with two episodes, so if you haven’t checked out this season yet, I think that watching this season at your own pace is the way to go, as some episodes can feel a bit sluggish.

So, how does the actual content come across from AHS: NYC?

AHS: NYC is a mixed bag, as there are some really intriguing and exciting things going on here; I mean, to have a whole season based around gay life in the 1980s is incredible. Not to mention that some of the messages here, involving community and coming together in the face of adversity, are great to showcase. However, these messages can’t help but come across as flat and not as well executed as they could’ve been.

Community is, without a doubt, the biggest messaging here, as LGBTQ+ individuals are forced to work together and solve crimes against their community themselves, as the police are of no use. This is a great message, and one that is sadly based in reality, yet the messaging here can’t help but fall flat as most of the crime is being perpetrated by this very same community. That isn’t to say that no crime that occurs against the LGBTQ+ community happens by members of that group, but AHS: NYC doesn’t offer enough of the counter to make up for this weird omission. The balance is way off within the season, with a focus on gay-on-gay violence that makes the messaging of community feel odd.

It also doesn’t help that there are some unlikeable characters here, with way too many flaws to make them sympathetic. Of course, not every character needs to be perfect, but unfortunately, within AHS: NYC, there are scenes where you are supposed to feel something for the characters. Yet, given the character’s unlikable nature, you simply don’t feel the way the show intends you to.

AHS: NYC – Pictured: Patti LuPone as Kathy Pizzaz. CR: Pari Dukovic/FX /

This all being said, the season does provide some positives; for instance, the mystery here is actually pretty intriguing. Even though it can get to be pretty obvious what is happening at times, the mystery itself provides enough twists and turns that it leaves you wanting to come back and see what happens next. Also, while there are some unlikable characters, there are still some characters you will root for, and are interesting to the point that you wish the season would’ve taken a look more at them than they do.

Something else that is worth noting is that this is a season that is very disconnected from the rest of the American Horror Story world. There are some extremely brief connections, but aside from that, there is very little connecting tissue to the other AHS installments. Even when it comes to alums, AHS: NYC only offers a few returning cast members, with notable missing actors being Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, and Lily Rabe. On the bright side though, this allows for the season to be contained without distractions when trying to tell its story. Hopefully, next season will contain more connections, but as for this season, it’s okay that it doesn’t.

At the end of the day, AHS: NYC is a season that is meant to be binged. This is a season of the horror anthology show that certainly has its problems. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching, as there is an enjoyable story to be had, with issues that are easier to overlook when binging this latest American Horror Story season.

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Have you watched AHS: NYC yet? If so, let us know what you thought down below!