Is American Horror Story on its last page?

George Bell discusses the impact of losing the stars of AHS.

George Bell
15th October 2019
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW "Curtain Call"- Episode 413 (Airs Wednesday, January 21, 10:00 PM e/p) --Pictured: Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars. CR: Sam Lothridge/FX Credit: IMDb, Copyright 2015, FX Networks
Premiering in 2011 and spanning over 9 seasons, the horror anthology series American Horror Story is arguably one of the biggest TV shows of the 21st century, up there with shows like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad. The writing, directing and cinematography are part of what makes it great, but it’s the recurring actors and actresses that make it so iconic.

One of the great things about American Horror Story is the numerous actors it introduced us to and launched into stardom, like Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, and Jessica Lange. These and many others have appeared in multiple seasons and as a result, have become unanimous with the show. So, what happens when they decide to leave?

In April 2019 it was announced that Evan Peters was not going to appear in the upcoming ninth season which is significant, as up until then he had starred in all previous seasons. Last year he said that playing all the dark roles has been exhausting so when asked at Wondercon he stated he will “Sit a season out” (see the tweet @CandidlyCarlo), so he may still return in the tenth season.

From the looks of it though, her main reason is likely because of the numerous projects she has on at the moment

Also, during the lead up to season 9, Sarah Paulson announced she too will not be starring in the upcoming season, so much like the characters within the show, the actors are dropping like flies. From the looks of it though, her main reason is likely because of the numerous projects she has on at the moment, with TV shows like Netflix’s Ratched and the recent The Goldfinch, so we may yet see her on the show in later seasons.

However, there is one actress who has sadly hinted that she will not be returning to the show, Jessica Lange. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly Lange said “I don’t think so. I feel I got the best of it in those first four seasons. Great characters. It was exciting to do. I worked with some of my favourite actors but I can’t see that we could ever get back to that.” While it is sad to see a legend like her go, you can still catch her in other projects like The Politician on Netflix by the same director of AHS, Ryan Murphy.

Review pages like Rotten Tomatoes have given higher ratings to older seasons like Asylum, Coven and Freakshow (84%, 83% and 79% respectively) while more recent seasons like Cult and Apocalypse are scoring closer to 75%. Could this be a sign that the talent is leaving the show and start of a downward decline or simply a coincidence?

I think while some of the original talent is leaving, maybe changing the feel of the show, this opens the way for new, fresh talent to join the show like in earlier seasons. And with additions to the cast like Billie Lourd and Cody Fern coupled, with promising reviews of Season 9: 1984 could this be the start of a whole new batch of great seasons for American Horror Story, or a blip in a TV show slowly coming to an end?

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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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