At first glance, it appears that An American Horror Story is about a couple trying to work through their issues. If it were a book, it’d be a really heavy contemporary featuring the Harmon family: The mother (Vivien) recently miscarried, and the father (Ben) had an affair. Their daughter, Violet, has a number of issues. The entire family picks up and leaves Boston to start a new life in Los Angeles.
It’s interesting, I generally don’t read or watch horrors. I’m a giant pansy like that, the whole over active imagination. (; I still don’t like driving through woods when I’m alone in the dark. And I didn’t even think The Blair Witch Project was that scary...while I was watching it!) I’m hooked on An American Horror Story, however, because it’s just SO off the wall. There are characters who have been “introduced,” or at least appeared, that you don’t know anything about. I started considering the “romance aspect” of the show when I read a book that could probably be classified as a romantic horror.
Anyway, the show. In the show, you don’t know who is or isn’t a ghost—the ghosts, spirits, what have you, look entirely real, human, and alive. So you can understand why I’m a bit leery, then, of pairing people up currently, but I think it’s fascinating the stories that are already there.
The house itself, known as “The Murder House,” is almost a main character, with all the humans/individuals—alive or dead—circling around it.
Each group or couple who has lived in the house has some aspect of romance to it, barring one—the sorority sisters who were murdered. The house’s inhabitants include the Harmons, the gay couple, Constance and her husband (which is also where Moira comes in), the pyro man and his family, and then the doctor and his socialite wife. Everyone was either married or in a committed relationship.
Violet, the daughter, has fallen in love (or at least teenage lust) with Tate. I’d thought he was alive and kicking until this last episode. But now it seems pretty clear (but not yet confirmed) that he’s a ghost. Ben’s a psychiatrist, and Tate is one of his patients. He’s understandably upset about Violet seeing Tate. There are holes and gaps that would never fly in a book, but are a huge part of the show. Here, it’s the writers reeling us in and leaving us hanging.
The people who lived in the house right before the Harmons did was a gay couple who everyone thinks died in a murder/suicide. You learn, instead, that the PVC suit man killed them. It seems they were on the verge of reconciling right before they died, or at least reaching a critical moment. Of course we’re also pretty sure PVC suit man impregnates Vivien. (See? This show is crazy!)
Young Moira and Ben are an interesting side story as well. Ben seems really noble—at first—and great hero material. But you learn that Ben isn’t a very good person. It seems like he’s trying to be good now, and yet he still has all these secrets and lies. The question then, is his love, and the fact that he’s really trying, get him points? He does want to resist Moira and tries to put her off. Do you think he’s redeemable as a romance hero?
The fact that Ben and Vivian had been trying to work out their issues is romantic and follows along the lines of an actual romance. But until episode 5, it’s hard to see them actually splitting or staying apart for long. Perhaps the house is against (live) couples falling or staying in love? For some reason I don’t think the house will let them split up, either. At least not physically.
The original couple who lived there was a doctor who wanted to impress his wife who was a socialite. Do you think they were in love when they first moved in? He must have felt something for her to build such a show piece.
An American Horror Story is an insane blend of horror and sex, scare tactics and romantic relationships. From the start, Ben is trying, and Vivien says they still love each other. I guess the question is, does history and love carry the day —even against a house and spirits trying to kill you?
I imagine we won’t find out for a while, because the network and writers want it to go on.
I can’t help but hope though, that all the characters find someone, and get their happy endings. Maybe that’s why I, a self-declared horror wuss, can’t quit this show.