One of the advantages to American Horror Story being an anthology series with a new story each year is that the various seasons can take place not only in a variety of locations, but also a variety of time periods. Indeed, each year while waiting for show creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk to reveal the theme of the season, fans speculate on when it will take place as much as where it will take place and what the characters will be facing.
Despite having that freedom, only two seasons have taken place completely in the past, Asylum was set in 1964 and Freak Show in 1952. Several of the other seasons have flashed back to times in the past, an easy thing to do when ghosts and vampires are a part of the story. Still, the show is usually about the horrors of today. And the upcoming seventh season is no exception. The season's theme is the 2016 Presidential election, so clearly the main focus will be in modern times. However, it seems as though some clarification is needed to explain exactly what that means.
Murphy spoke to E! News about when the events in the series kick off and what fans can expect. And it is not actually happening during the campaigning that lead up to the election. The show will begin with the election itself, and be based around the fallout which occurred afterward. Murphy elaborated on that idea:
"I think people literally think Sarah Paulson is playing Hillary Clinton, and I wanted to clarify that that is not true. Horror Story is always about allegory, so the election is allegory. It's our jumping off point. It is about the election we just went through and what happened on that night and the fallout of that night, which to many people, from all sides of the camps is a horror story. And you know, that show is always so fun when it's about the zeitgeist and what we're doing now."
Paulson has been a regular cast member of American Horror Story since the first season and will be starring in season 7 alongside Evan Peters, who has also been around the series since day one as well. From the description Murphy gave, it sounds like Paulson and Peters will play people affected by the election and its aftermath, rather than people who were directly involved. When asked whether Clinton or Trump had been cast, Murphy said this:
"No, not yet. We're halfway through the writing and not yet. But it's really, really fun. It starts on election night is all I'll say…It's very scary that night for many people. It's fun, you will like it. It's really a season that will have a lot of people interested and I think there's something for everybody in that season."
This seems to contradict Murphy's earlier statement that President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would not appear at all. Perhaps the writers have changed their minds, or Murphy is simply trying to keep everyone on their toes.
Murphy has also said that some of the surviving characters from Freak Show will return for season 7 but has not revealed who they will be. All the seasons takes place in a shared universe and crossovers are common. Though with the 65-year gap between the two stories, those characters should be pretty old by now, and might not even be played by the same actors.
American Horror Story season 7 premieres this fall on FX.
Source: E! News