What’s Next for AMERICAN HORROR STORY?

If you haven’t seen the season one finale of American Horror Story, go watch it now. If you haven’t seen all of season one of American Horror Story, go watch it now. Don’t come back here until you do. Okay, welcome back! Wasn’t that finale EXCELLENT? Wow, what a conclusion! And I think you’ll agree that it left the possibilities for season 2 wide open.

According to showrunner and co-creator Ryan Murphy, that was exactly the intent. In fact, one of the biggest shockers of the entire season is what he had to say about it after it was over, during a question and answer session with reporters yesterday: American Horror Story was packaged from the start to be an anthology series. Season 2 will feature a mostly-new if not entirely new cast, setting, storyline, and horror. It won’t even be a house.

“Every season of the show will be a different haunting. That’s always been the plan. Every season of the show will have a beginning, middle and end, and all new characters and setting.

“There are all kinds of different American horror stories to tell. There are serial killing stories, prison stories, true crime stories…Each year of the show is designed to be a little miniseries unto itself. The only thing we’re not open to doing is a season on vampires.”

It is still possible that we’ll see Dylan McDermott or Connie Britton again, but they would have different roles. Nothing is set yet, however. As reported by Deadline, “We’re still negotiating with a handful (of the cast members) about returning,” Murphy said. “We’re also meeting with new actors whom we’ve targeted roles for. I will say that Connie and Dylan will not be playing the leads of the show in the second season. We’d love for them to come back and do something, maybe a smaller role or a cameo.” According to FX president and GM John Landgraf, however, “we haven’t yet picked up the option on anyone.”

Murphy has always been a big fan of Halloween (like Chad!) and loves the idea of this series airing in the fall and during Halloween, so it looks like we won’t be seeing this new and different season 2 for several months.

So, the story of the Harmons, Constance, and the Murder House is over, as it was always intended to be. Murphy told EW that he is in fact excited to have people go back and watch the entire first season now, having seen the conclusion, so that they can pick up on all the clues that were sprinkled in throughout the season. Constance was always going to be the survivor. Vivien will now be the matriarch of the ghosts. Moira got a happy ending, as a family member and a woman, no longer a servant. Violet will never talk to Tate again, and Tate and Hayden got what they deserved: to  be alone. “That’s what we wanted for them. Alone and tormented.”

[The Shakedown]

Wow. Okay. I still had hope for Tate. And that’s the beauty of ending the presentation of the story at this point; we’re all allowed to make up our own minds about what happens to everyone in their future. In my mind, he gets a happy ending too.

I love the idea of this series as an anthology. Think of each season as a multipart episode of The Twilight Zone. It’s brilliant, and I completely trust this series and its format to co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. American Horror Story was my favorite new show of the season throughout its run, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year.

American Horror Story returns with Season 2 in 2012 on FX.

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