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Poll: Seasons 1 - 6 of AHS

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Vote For Your Favourite Season of AHS So Far   POLL OPEN

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1. Asylum (Far and away my favorite. James Cromwell plays a big part in this decision.)

2. Murder House

3. Hotel

4. Freak Show (The musical numbers. Why, God, why?)

5. Roanoke

I didn't watch Coven, so I can't rank it. But even having never seen it, I feel like it still ranks above Roanoke. I was really incredibly disappointed in Roanoke, which only had one episode I legitimately enjoyed. 

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Murder House - the best

Roanoake - great return to form. I enjoyed the meta vibe to it all. Mediocre finale.

Coven - went off the rails a bit towards the end but a great season overall

Asylum - pretty good but felt like it was playing too many angles 

Freakshow - great premiere and finale and awful in between

Hotel - pure drek

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Asylum - Aliens, nazis, nuns and a serial killer.  Who could ask for anything more?  Awesome performances from Lange, Paulson, Cromwell and Quinto.

Murder House - Rulebreaker.  I can still remember the way I felt when I found out Violet was dead.  Heartbroken.

Roanoke - Reality show satire with a body count.

Coven - Great start, awesome female energy, fell apart in the last quarter

Hotel - Started season with 2 ninety minute episodes.  Totally indulgent with moments of brilliance.

Freakshow - Had to force myself to finish this season, it was rough.

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It's funny.  One of the most interesting conversations is what series a real fan (and not a hate watcher) likes the best.  I really did enjoy Hotel and it is still the only one I have watched more then twice.  I think I am on my fourth viewing.  I am not saying it's the best (i have it at #3 probably right in front of Murder House) but it was the one I enjoyed watching the most.  Asylum and Roanoke are my two favorites.  I loved the Asylum storyline from start to finish but I think Roanoke told a tighter story.  I am looking forward to watching Roanoke a second time when I have the time to binge.  I didn't like Coven and Freak Show at all.    Coven felt too messy to me and Freak Show was just bad.

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I rarely find the show scary; Asylum is probably the only one that scared me occasionally. It's more torture porn to me, which doesn't scare me, just makes me cover my eyes while it's happening. The only enjoyment I really get from the show is from its characters/acting performances.

1. Coven

2. Asylum

3. Hotel

4. Freak Show

5. Murder House ~ I never finished the whole thing because I found it pretty dull (and I can't take Connie Britton), but on instinct I'd say it couldn't be as bad as Roanoke was.

6. Roanoke

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It is interesting to read what other fans like/what draws them to the show. For me...

1. Murder House. It was new and different, I love haunted house stories and I felt it provided shocks and scares with the torture porn.

2. Asylum. Sister Mary Satan is my favorite AHS character. I am fascinated with asylums and their terrible history, the name game was insane but in a good way. But the whole thing kind of fell off the rails at one point and I couldn't stand the Grace/Tate(whatever his name was) story.

3. Hotel. Terrible story, this is where I think the show was getting a little too self indulgent. It was visually stunning and reminds me a bit of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover which beautifully stylized and brutal to watch. March was a great character, Liz was a great character.

4. Coven. I love witches. I love stories about witches. I love stories about witches in training. I hated this season. There was some decent elements but the storyline left me dull. My Lange fatigue was starting. I felt like the whole thing was written for La Lange without much thought beyond "she is supreme!"

5. Freak Show. Never actually saw it but unless it is an entire season of watching someone processing annuities (my day job) then it can't be worse than Roanoke.

6. Roanoke. I tried. I hated the format so it was already off to a bad start but I hoped the storyline would help me get past it. It didn't. The whole thing was just far too self indulgent for my taste. Ryan is not as clever as he seems to have convinced Hollywood he is.

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The titles are easy enough to remember but that's not the way I rank them.  (1=best)

1.  The gothic one with the insane asylum musical number.  Fanfuckingtastic.  

2.  Columbine Kid:  The one with the rubber suit -- not at all because of him (but he was memorable).  Because of the Columbine kid.  Tate?  He was AWESOME.  Columbine is so fucking ghastly that if you are going to do a horror story, Dylan Kleibold and Eric Harris should be your go-to monsters.

3.  David Bowie:  Anything at all ever as an homage to David Bowie, genius.  Even Life on Mars.

4.  I can't stand reality tv unless it involves really talented super-chefs*:  Reality show with a body count.  (™, someone above.)

5.  Killer Klowns:  I really liked Twisty until they de-fanged him but loathed the ManBaby with the passion of a 1,000 flaming suns**.  So -- whichever one that was.  BUT, also, see #3 because "Life on Mars" -- holy shit, genius.


*Hey, I grew up on Julia Child, don't judge.

**This is too bad because Finn Witrock has grown on me outside of that particular role.  So has Zachary Quinto.  OTH, I do not like Bomer much.  Boy, this director/producer has a casting type, huh?

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1. Murder House. Great start to the series before Murphy started to chase every stray thought in his brain.

2. Roanoke. Loved it. Tightest season since Murder House.

3. Asylum. The alien storyline was a mess, and it jammed too much into one season, but it was scary and the acting was great and "The Name Game" is the best.

4. Coven. Mostly because of Myrtle Snow.

5. Freak Show. Had tons of promise and the scariest villain of all until they tried to make me feel sorry for him and subbed in the spoiled brat caricature.

6. Hotel. Hated it so much I bailed early in the season. What a mess in every way save for Liz Taylor.

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1. Murder House. Pretty perfect, although unlike most everyone else I thought Tate was one of the weaker elements. He was good but I preferred the other characters.

2. Asylum. Hey, even like the aliens. Murder House and Asylum ranks pretty equal, this was just a little bit messier. 

Here's where it gets tricky. Coven started great but ended terribly. Freakshow went up and down for me, while Roanoke started average but got pretty awesome (with episode six being one of the best of the whole series).

3. Coven. 

4. Roanoke. 

5. Freakshow. 

I think. I'd have to rewatch, really  

6. Last, and certainly least, Hotel. So boring. 

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1) Coven

(I'll never understand why this season is so despised. The most common complaint I see is that there was 'too much' that they threw everything plus the kitchen sink into this one and to me *every* single season of AHS is like that. Roanoke was probably the most contained season and even that one was all over the place in terms of the ground it tried to cover. 

One of the best things about Coven was that it generated fantastic discussion about American history, race, culture, and violence. In terms of discussion I think that Coven and Asylum had the most interesting posts from viewers. Coven also had fascinating character backstories. In terms of character backstories I think that Coven and Murder House were the strongest. 

More than anything though? The real reason that I liked Coven was because of the humor. It was easily, easily the funniest season of AHS and humor goes a long way with me. It wasn't just Kathy Bates either although she was comedy gold. Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Leslie Jordan, and, yes, even Emma Roberts were all very funny this season, so that's why it wins for me.) 

2) Asylum

(The only reason this season didn't get the number one spot is because of the maddening music. I think all of the musical choices were excellent for this season and worked for the story, but it does keep me from wanting to watch the series again because that song is something that sticks with you. Like, I don't even want to mention the name of the song or look it up because it'll probably stay in my head for the next day and a half, lol. I would watch the episodes again though during its original run though, so that alone tells me that it was a strong season for me.

I think Asylum was easily the scariest season and had the most terrifying villains. While other seasons might be able to top Asylum in terms of gore, when I think of what various individual characters went through on that show, I think season two was the most disturbing because it seemed the most realistic even with the inclusion of the aliens. I also think that this season probably had the best finale episode.

I also think that this was Jessica Lange's strongest season in terms of acting. I thought it was a difficult role but damned if she didn't do the impossible and make me feel sympathy for her nun character. 

3) Murder House 

(This season was enjoyable and was what first got me into the show, so I'll always have a soft spot for it. There's a lot of good but there's also a lot that I can pick on. Dylan McDermott's laughable crying scenes, that annoying as fuck character Hayden, the unexplained kid of Constance's (there were four but we only met three), the unnamed driver who killed the daughter, whiney Violet, etc. OTOH I thought Tate was a fascinating character (although cringed that he was romanticized by a lot of viewers) and loved the character of Constance.

That being said, this was the first of six AHS finales that I haven't cared for. I thought that such a lame, cookie cutter ending was very disappointing to see after such a fun and original freshman season. If I'd only known that this would actually be one of the better finales in the run of AHS.

4) Freak Show

(I didn't hate the musical numbers. I love David Bowie and even liked the Lana del Rey scene, so that wasn't my issue with this season. I just found the plot to be completely absurd at times. Like the idea of the twins considering separation given the way their bodies were. It never made sense that they'd even consider for a moment that it would be a realistic option. That so much time was spent on this as even remotely being possible took me out of damn near every episode. I also didn't really care for the Kathy Bates character in this one. Her accent was annoying and I didn't find her relationship with the Evan Peters character to be particularly interesting. 

The main saving grace for this season were the Motts. Dandy Mott and his mother were such great characters that I wish the season had been more about them and the backstory with that family. He was such a chilling character and they used a lot of fun props and sets with him. 

I think a problem with this show too is that I didn't really connect to many of the supporting characters even if I did feel sorry for them. The tattoo girl, the Angela Bassett character, the strong man, the guy with the disabled arms--not one of them had a story that was particularly interesting or exciting. 

5) Hotel

Even though I have this ranked fifth, I didn't dislike the season and think that it was equal to that of Freak Show. This was a case where I liked the characters more than I liked the actual story. I also remember reading a comment from a poster that said some episodes or scenes with Lady Gaga had a feeling of an ambitious fragrance commercial and I'm inclined to agree. The look of the season was great, the costumes were fun, and there were a few standout characters, but overall, I don't feel that there was much substance. 

6) Roanoke (BORING. Good Lord, I'm still amazed at how boring this shit was for me. The first half of the season was the biggest waste of time and only needed one or two episodes tops to cover the ground that it did. No interesting long term characters. The best bits were from characters who had a tiny amount of screen time and the humor didn't kick in until the middle of the season and it only lasted for two or three episodes. There were no risks, there were two scares, and most of the backstories sucked or weren't even provided. All in all the biggest failure in AHS's run to date. It's the only season where I haven't watched any of the episodes again.

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Since this gets more traction then the all episode talk and it technically belongs considering how people view each season.  I read somewhere that each season technically had a theme.   Its interesting if its the theme itself that people disliked or how Ryan Murphy and co wrote it.  

Season 1:  Infidelity

Season 2:  Sanity

Season 3:  Oppression

Season 4:  Discrimination (Aren't Oppression and discrimination the same thing or at least parallel?  Which is probably why I find these two the least interesting because I find seasons focused mainly on either or both boring.)

Season 5:  Addiction  (Which is probably why I found this season interesting where others did not.  Addiction is my addiction.  I loved Addiction storylines.  

Season 6: Exploitation:  (Which again is probably why alot of people disliked the season.  I know alot of people get turned off by exploitation storylines.  I do not.  At least when they are done well.)

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I will always love Asylum for introducing me to one of the nuttiest pre-Hayes Code movies ever made - The Sign of the Cross.  And Sister Satan's regretful yet immortal line as she's summoned away from the viewing:  "Just as the lions are about to eat the Christians!!!"

And the knockout exit scene where James Cromwell rides her corpse into the crematory.

Edited by spiderpig
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  • 2 months later...

AHS got off to the best start possible with Murder House and Asylum. I really enjoyed those two seasons.

Coven was a good and interesting season as well.

I didn't care for Freak Show at all, and was relieved when I finished watching through that season.

Hotel picked things back up, as I found the several stories they followed to be entertaining/interesting.

I have yet to see Roanoke; I'll be surprised if it surpasses Asylum on my list though.

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  • 3 months later...

Freak show was by far the best, then murder house and asylum kind of equal. Hotel was okay, I didn´t finish coven and I couldn´t stand anything about Roanoke, it was just the worst.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love all the seasons for many reasons but also get annoyed with it for many reasons.

I think the first season had the best balance though. Smaller cast and the Murder House was the main focus Though Ben and Vivien both got on my nerves. I am actually glad Dylan and Connie never really have not been back on the show.  I could stomach a small role but that's it.  The Halloween episodes were fun its a shame they stopped doing that.  Jessica Lange is great but it was good when she was a great supporting character. Tate is one of Evan Peters best roles. 

Asylum was good and had some genuine creepy moments thanks to James Cromwell. I would not want to run into Dr. Arden. The Aliens were not the best but it was not awful either they took Kit because he was sweet and has a nice butt lol.  Kit taking Jude to his home in the finale was a beautiful thing. I had tears when Jude died. The Name Game sequence is still great to watch.  I almost always forget  Joseph Fiennes was on S2 until I watch it again he was a waste.  

Coven was hit and miss. I got so tired hearing the word Supreme.  At times it did feel like it was geared for a 15yr old girl.  I loved Misty and we did get to hear great one liners at times. Knotty Pine!!! Myrtle Snow was awesome. Zoe was a drip and I hated Madison.  Evan as Kyle was fine when he had something to do. I think it would have been better if we had seen more of him alive before they killed him off. I know some feel he was not needed.  Hey Evan got credit for being on that season while leaving to film his famous Kitchen scene for X-men so good for him. 

Freak show started real good and I liked all the characters. I was surprised Twisty left so soon but knowing Ryan that may have been a good thing.  Wes was great as Edward Mordrake I feel he works better in a smaller role.  Maggie sucked she could be used as a cure for  Insomnia. Her and Jimmy were boring.  Watching what happened to Ma Petite was awful.  Michael Chiklis is a good actor but Dell was not the best character. The only scenes I liked with him were when he and Jimmy started to bond.  Elsa may be my least favorite Jessica Lange character. 

Hotel had great characters Mr.March, Liz Taylor, Miss Evers, and Iris. March and his killing and the ghosts of the Hotel should have been the main story. Lady Gaga was not strong enough to be main and plus I thought the Vampire story was weak. Finn Wittrock's Valentino accent was not good.  Donovan was awful they wasted Matt Bomer.  I didn't care Alex Lowe either. John was not compelling enough to be a lead.  Mr.March is Evan's next best role on the show and Liz Taylor was Denis O' Hare best one.

Roanoke is my least favorite season. I almost wanted everyone to get killed off.  It was great to see Lily Rabe again but I could not stand Shelby. God.  I though Sarah's English accent was terrible.  It did have a few creepy moments but still could not get into it. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/1/2017 at 2:28 PM, peacheslatour said:

In this order:

Murder House

Freak Show





I was not happy when Jessica Lange left.

This is exactly my order.  I'd watch any of the top three again at anytime and also have no problem watching Asylum if the mood is right. No desire to watch Hotel again and didn't even finish Roanoke.

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On 9/1/2017 at 3:28 PM, peacheslatour said:


I was not happy when Jessica Lange left.

I liked Jessica Lange fine but the show became less an ensemble and more "The Jessica Lange Show" which made Coven and Freak Show less interesting for me.  I really enjoyed Hotel because it was an ensemble again.  Roanoke was just my speed and the kind of comedy horror I like.   Still Asylum will always be my favorite.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I first saw the show while Coven was being aired, and I didn't care for the Southern Gothic cliches and the superhormonal female-dominated storyline. Freakshow was the first season I saw that I liked (I'm sorry, I know it doesn't get much love), probably because of Evan Peters and Finn Wittrock. Hotel was a bloody mess, except for Dennis O'Hare (he's great in all of them! How could I not have noticed him before AHS?) and Sarah Paulsen. I didn't bother watching past the first episode of Roanoke. I finally bought the first and second seasons on Amazon, and I enjoyed them immensely. But I guess my first love, Freakshow, stayed with me. 

I don't think I will persevere with this season. I spend too much time on Twitter and I'm all "politicsed" out. But happy viewing, everyone!

Edited by Banshee
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It's weird but there is something about Ryan Murphy that just "gets me".  I am politized out myself and haven't felt political shows like Scandal or House of Cards and even OITNB has gotten way too political for my liking but AHS has always just gotten me.  Everything about the pilot was on target for for me.  I am so very much in for the season.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Roanoke for me.


I was always underwhelmed by AHS. It promised this subversive, psychosexual drama that would push boundaries and test its audience, but in reality it was all rather safe, pedestrian and trivial. It is also left wanting when compared to shows in the same vein, such as Black Mirror or Twin Peaks, which have a purpose and are constructed with affection; rather than this gratuitous corporate pseudo-shocking imagery thrown into a banal story.


Roanoke was the first series with a plot that raised some interest in me, although ultimately it was handled poorly.

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On 11/23/2016 at 11:15 AM, sugarbaker design said:

Asylum - Aliens, nazis, nuns and a serial killer.  Who could ask for anything more?  Awesome performances from Lange, Paulson, Cromwell and Quinto.

BWAAAAHAAHAA! Yes! Every god-awful nightmare you could think of (and a few you couldn't) wrapped up in an oddly cohesive story. It's the only TV show that I can remember, and I've already been around too long, that literally made me scary nervous every time it came on.  I wish I had the words, man, I wish I had the words.

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For me:

1 - Asylum wins hands down.  I did NOT like the alien storyline, but I'm going to overlook it because this was the only season that truly terrified me.  Nothing scarier than insanity.

2 - Murder House.   Good all around horror story.  Excellent acting.

3 - Freak Show.  LOVED Twisty, but the season completely collapsed after his demise.   Really bad choice on RM's part to off the scariest AHS character of all time.

4 - Coven.  Jessica Lange was delicious.   But that's about all I got.

5 - Hotel.   Bailed halfway thru the season.  It was nonsense.   Cool soundtrack though.

I can't comment on Roanoke, as I didn't even attempt it after Hotel.   Jury is still out on Cult.  But I have a feeling it will fall near the middle. 


This thread makes me want to go rewatch Asylum in all it's glory. 

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On 10/16/2017 at 7:14 AM, Pindrop said:

Roanoke for me.


I was always underwhelmed by AHS. It promised this subversive, psychosexual drama that would push boundaries and test its audience, but in reality it was all rather safe, pedestrian and trivial. It is also left wanting when compared to shows in the same vein, such as Black Mirror or Twin Peaks, which have a purpose and are constructed with affection; rather than this gratuitous corporate pseudo-shocking imagery thrown into a banal story.


Roanoke was the first series with a plot that raised some interest in me, although ultimately it was handled poorly.

See I never liked Black Mirror or Twin Peaks but I think American Horror Story is some of the best storytelling of the genre.  Black Mirror to me is way too full of itself and pompous while AHS just tells an admiting often crazy story.   As for what season  I like best I am starting to thing Cult may jump to the top.  The only one I actively disliked was Freak Show. The rest were good to great each in their own way.  The top two for me were Asylumand Hotel but I did appreciate Roanoke for the pure home invasion story

Edited by Chaos Theory
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For now

1. Murder House

2. Asylum

3. Roanoke

4. Coven.  This is at #4 not because I liked it 4th best but because I hated the other 2 slightly more. I admit that most of my hate stems from strongly disliking Emma Roberts.

5. Hotel

6. Freak Show. I hate that this was the note that Jessica went out on. Terrible, especially the ending. Her hell was getting to headline Freak show in the hereafter by warbling out David Bowie tunes in a Hogan Heroes bad German accent. Sounds like more a hell for the audience if you ask me.  

Edited by islandgal140
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  • 2 months later...

So, after finally watching the first two seasons (I binged over the holidays,) I can give my ratings. I broke the rules a bit and included Cult.

1. Murder House - the most consistent and entertaining. 

2. Asylum - the best characters (Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto, Jessica Lange and especially James Cromwell were fantastic) but some of the story lines were boring and it went on two episodes too long. 

3. Cult - the most cohesive.

4. & 5. Hotel & Freak Show - I could place these in either position. Very nice to look at, some great characters and story lines, but ultimately meandering.

6. Coven 

7. Roanoke - I liked the reboot in the middle, and Kathy Bates was great as usual, but I kind of didn't care. Too much screaming from Sarah Paulson. 

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I'll try...

1. Murder House - it was fresh and new and interesting. Fell apart a bit at the end, but unlike most of these, it wasn't till the very end.

2. Asylum - if only for Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Satan. Also loved Jessica in this. Could have done without the aliens but Cromwell's Nazi doc was fascinating in a disturbing way.

3. Hotel - purely for the visuals. The story bit, and I hated what they did to Rudy Valentino, but it was stunningly beautiful to look at.

4. Coven - it started out promising but seemed to wonder off and get lost.

5. Cult - had promise, got bored and stopped watching

6. Roanoke - could have been a lot better than it was. I ended up stopping right around the time it turned into a totally different show.

Freak Show will go unranked because I didn't watch any of it. I have a thing about freak shows. Wasn't interested in seeing it. (it might have been the two Paulson thing too. I just don't get the hype about her as an actress)

Murder House and Asylum are definitely the only two I would ever consider rewatching.

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