In 2021, a new show was released from the minds behind American Horror Story (2011-) and American Crime Story (2016-). The show would be a direct spin-off of the former and would also serve as the third installment in the American Story anthology franchise created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Thus American Horror Stories was spawned as a self-contained anthology series in which each episode told its own story without needing a “season-long story arc as featured in American Horror Story.”
The first season consisted of seven episodes, some of which tied back into the original American Horror Story, with the two premiere episodes and final of the season harkening back to “Murder House,” the iconic location of season 1. Other American Horror Stories episodes dealt with “a banned movie that causes its viewers to kill themselves, a killer Santa, a woman who would do anything to get pregnant, and a nightmare camp trip.”
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While the first season had its fair share of terror, season 2 seems to be dialing it up a notch and throwing in some familiar faces to the mix. Classic Ryan Murphy!
AHS Season 2: The Stories
While there isn’t much known about the episodes specifically, there are some details that have been released about the newest additions to American Horror Stories. For one, the titles of the eight episodes have been released:
Episode 1: “Dollhouse” – July 21, 2022 Episode 2: “Necro” – July 28, 2022 Episode 3: “Aura” – August 4, 2022 Episode 4: “Drive” – August 11, 2022 Episode 5: “Bloody Mary” – August 18, 2022 Episode 6: “Facelift” – August 25, 2022 Episode 7: “Milkmaids” – September 1, 2022 Episode 8: “Lake” – September 8, 2022
The plots will be similar to the first season in that they will be contained in each episode. The franchise has worked hard to keep most of the details about each story a mystery for viewers to be surprised and blindsided by the horrors.
AHS Season 2: The Cast & Crew
Some of the cast of this newest season are faces that fans of Murphy’s American Story universe will recognize, including Cody Fern (AHS, 2018-), Max Greenfield (AHS,2015), Nico Greetham (AHS, 2021), Denis O’Hare (AHS, 2011-), and Gabourey Sidibe (AHS, 2013-). There are also a couple newcomers making their debut in the world of American Horror Stories. These newbies include Alicia Silverstone (Senior Year, 2022), Dominique Jackson (Pose, 2018-2021), Bella Thorne (Paradise City, 2021-), Judith Light (Tick,Tick…Boom!, 2021), and Quvenzhané Wallis (Swagger, 2021).
O’Hare is one of the most notable of the second season’s cast as he has appeared in six seasons of American Horror Story all the way from the initial season. Fern “made his debut in the franchise in the eighth season” and has appeared in every season since the first season of American Horror Stories. While that is all the cast that has been confirmed, everyone who is familiar with Murphy knows he likes to bring back characters as well as cast members. But fans will just have to wait and see. The second season of the series was also created by Murphy and Falchuk. Several of the episodes, including “Dollhouse,” “Necro,” and “Drive,” were written by Manny Coto, who had a hand in writing and directing several of the episodes in season 1 of American Horror Stories.
Crystal Liu and Angela L. Harvey also lent their writing talents to the second season. Liu was recruited by Falchuk and Murphy as a script supervisor from their pilot of American Horror Story and into the third season. She then was promoted to staff writer for the fourth season before becoming the story editor during the fifth season. Harvey worked previously on Teen Wolf on MTV from 2013-2014 as a staff writer, to story editor in 2015, and then executive story editor from 2016-2017.
The season is executive produced by Murphy, Falchuk, Alexis Martin Woodall (9-1-1, 2018-), John J. Gray (9-1-1: Lone Star, 2020-), and Manny Coto. Not much is known about who will be directing the episodes yet.
The upcoming season hits FX on Hulu on July 21, 2022.
While many have felt that the first season of the spin-off left much to be desired, that didn’t stop viewers from tuning in. According to Deadline, “American Horror Stories marked the most successful launch of any FX on Hulu series to date.” The show probably has its anthology-based theme to thank for its high ratings. It’s not like a standard show, where the viewer watches the first episode and can discern whether or not they want to continue with the rest. With this show, every episode is new and a chance to start a different story from a different viewpoint.
These spine-chilling plot-lines mixed with camp visuals and taken from legend and lore make for an interesting mix that always seems to attract viewers.