American Horror Story: Freak Show (aka season 4) is a new anthology of Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy’s creepy horror-themed series about Americana life – and as usual, some twists, turns, odd, and downright scary things are expected of it.
Previous anthologies of AHS focused on a troubled modern-day family living in a haunted house (season 1); a 1950s asylum that housed everything from madmen and serial killers to aliens and demons (season 2); and warring covens of witches deep in the Bayou (season 3). Each of these outlandish premises has masked deeper social critiques of American life, society and history, adding nice depth and layers to the series’ weird or gruesome exterior.
American Horror Story: Freak Show will be going with the following premise:
American Horror Story: Freak Show begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.
The first thing of note is that we’re once again taking a trip back into the past – to tumultuous era of the 1950s, where the many issues of American inequity bubbled under the surface of a happy All-American veneer (until the cultural revolution of the 60s) – all while the threat of nuclear annihilation hung overhead. For the specific purposes of Freak Show, however, the 1950s were also a time when America began to cross over into the corporate consumer culture that rules today; when mom and pop stores began to be replaced by supermarkets, department stores, restaurant chains, etc. On the entertainment front, television was of course the big factor in changing the way people sought out their entertainment – or rather, why they stopped literally seeking forms of entertainment outside the home.
All of this summates to a thematic arc to Freak Show which examines what America has lost in its turn towards the modern age. Of course, this show being what it is, there will be a whole lot more than just that going on; murders and conflict amongst oddball freaks (like Sarah Paulson playing conjoined twins) are just some of the other elements you can expect in the mix.
Courtesy of Hypable, we have some additional details about the season to share:
A two-part Halloween-centric episode will air on October 21 and October 28, where fans will meet Wes Bently’s character, Eddie. Kathy Bates, no stranger to characters seeking revenge at her expense, will be the target of Eddie’s rage.
Bates and Angela Bassett are set to create another twisted relationship after Coven‘s eternal war as Effil Darling and Desiree Dupre. Michael Chiklis will play Wendell del Tolito, husband to Basset’s Dupre, and ex-husband to Bates’ Darling.
Evan Peters will return to play Jimmy Darling, the son of Wendell and Effil. Emma Roberts will play a character named Maggie. Sarah Paulson is playing conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler.
At Comic-Con, it was announced that John Carroll Lynch will play the villain in Season 4. This villain is going to “scare the s**t out of you,” says Tim Minear, executive producer of American Horror Story.
Patti LaBelle will take up a small role on the show as mother to Gabourey Sidibe and local town resident who uncovers a thing or two about the clown killer, Twisty.
Also joining the cast this season is Jyoti Amge, the world’s smallest woman. Murphy tweeted a photo of Amge and Lange earlier this week.
American Horror Story: Freak Show will premiere Wednesday, October 8 @ 10pm on FX.