American Horror Story: Apocalypse Premiere Review

American Horror Story made its highly-anticipated return tonight, promising a crossover of two of its finest seasons and plenty of returning characters and cast members. Titled Apocalypse, this season seems to be the most ambitious one yet. Only time will tell if they actually pull it off, but with all the talent involved, they should at least be able to give us an entertaining season, if nothing else.

The entirety of this season's premiere focused on new characters, specifically the residents of "Outpost 3," a bunker that protected its small handful residents from the nuclear apocalypse that's affecting the world. None of our beloved Murder House or Coven characters show up, but there's still plenty of interesting characters on display to make for an entertaining hour. It wasn't the most action-packed hour, which is unusual for American Horror Story, but it managed to remain interesting throughout. The returning cast was great as usual, and the new cast members (notably the legendary and always-divine Joan Collins) fit in very well. They all managed to turn an episode that was mostly just people in a bunker eating cubes into something you actually wanted to watch. But thank god things are changing quickly, because I don't think I could stand to watch them eat those cubes ever again. I'm already excited to see what comes next, especially with Michael Langdon (yes, Murder House's Michael Langdon) showing up to take some of these characters to a new location. Hopefully one that includes witches.

Sarah Paulson's Wilhemina (one of her three characters this season) was certainly the premiere's most interesting character. She's the first villain of the season, along with her equally-terrifying assistant, Miriam (Kathy Bates, making a triumphant return to the series). The two of them are already more compelling than any member of last season's clown cult, and the addition of the even-more-troublesome Michael means that we probably are in for some great conflict this season. While the mystery surrounding Wilhemina definitely makes her compelling on its own, Sarah Paulson is the reason she truly sticks out. While the rest of the cast is fantastic as always, Paulson is definitely the star of the show, at least at this point.

The part of me that values patience loved this premiere. The part of me that wants everything exciting right away is very upset that Myrtle, Madison, Misty, Zoe or any of the witches of Coven didn't appear onscreen for even a second. For that reason, it's pretty hard to answer the question of whether the premiere lived up to my (admittedly very high) expectations of quality. What I do know is that I genuinely did enjoy the premiere, more than pretty much any episode last year, the year before that, or the year before that. It set up the season very well, despite the fact that it wasn't quite what I expected, and it had a pretty creepy tone to it without going overboard on the gore. I'm sure that will come soon enough, but for now, I welcome an AHS without all the bloodshed.

Score: 8/10
Grade: B

What did you think of the premiere of AHS Apocalypse? Let me know in the comments!

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