How the “American Horror Stories” Spinoff Could be Brilliant

Earlier this week, American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy announced yet another series to add to is laundry list of production credits. American Horror Stories (emphasis on the plural) will reportedly be an anthology series more so in the sense of Creepshow or Twilight Zone.

Each episode will be its own story, rather than separate season-long arcs. Honestly, this is probably the best thing that could happen for AHS, and we’ll get into just why this is!

Fixing AHS’s Biggest Flaws
Even diehard fans (myself included) of American Horror Story need to admit that the series can often suffer from too much “narrative clutter”.

Personally, my favorite season has always been “Asylum”, which contains a haunted asylum, a devil-possessed nun, alien abduction, a serial killer, a former Nazi, a Santa Claus murderer, and a decades long story arc involving a wrongfully imprisoned woman shutting down the very corrupt institution that once held her.

Granted, it was fun to see Ian McShane play a homicidal St. Nick, but it really wasn’t necessary, and only took away time from the other million subplots.

Now if that sounds like too much going on, it’s because it is. For many seasons of AHS, it feels is if the writers try to cram as many subplots into a season as humanly possible.

And this can often lead to storylines feeling like they went nowhere, simply because they didn’t have the time to properly play them out.

This new episodic format however, will allow the writers to tell as many stories as there are episodes, and to give each story the full attention and focus that it deserves.

Making Use of its Cast
One of AHS’s greatest strengths has always been its ensemble cast, which includes a myriad of up and comers, as well as seasoned superstars of the silver screen.

The only drawback to using bigger names though is that sometimes it’s tough to get them to commit for a full season due to their busy schedules.

And let’s not forget the very strange “Apocalypse” season which featured Sarah Paulson playing 3 roles and Evan Peters playing 4! It just felt like a gimmick that really took use out of the story.

But with each episode being its own contained story, the cast would then change week to week, and American Horror Stories could very possibly get even more famous names to star in just a single story!

Exploring Different Time Periods
This may seem like a minor or insignificant reason, but it hits at the very core of AHS. “Asylum”, “Freak Show”, and “1984” were all essentially period pieces, but every other season also recreated decades from the past via flashback.

It’s quite clear that the writers enjoy setting stories in the past. It can be fun for production and costume design, and also is quite conducive to infusing a social/political theme from a historical perspective.

And with this new format, each episode in a season could be a completely different time period. They could even delved into ancient Native American stories, or venture far into the future with Sci-Fi Horror! The possibilities are truly endless.

They dabbled a bit into the 1700’s with “Roanoke” and it would be really cool to see them go back there.

We’re still a long way off until this new series will actually debut, but it will be interesting and exciting to see.

What do you think? Is this spinoff a good idea, or is Ryan Murphy stretching himself too thin? Let us know in the comments!

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