American Horror Story Roanoke : Chapter 1

Once more it is that time of year when AHS returns to the screens. With little known of the theme of the series AHS6 once again promises to be the best season yet.

If I’m honest I never go into the seasons following the hype, I’ll know the tag line and the majority of the cast but knowing that its called “Hotel” or “Freak Show” doesn’t really bother me. Therefore I was also not bothered by ASH6? the big mystery surrounding the beginning of the show where a wide variety of trailers were shown to give you a glimpse of what might be the tag line.

Turns out that the tag line is “My Roanoke Nightmare.”

I don’t know what to make of it to be honest. I think its a brave move to try a “True Story” setting with half the cast sat talking about the events and then a “Dramatic Re-Enactment” with other members of the cast. Going away from the normal setting to try something different is interesting and the first episode roped me into it.

Their normal cast members make up the main characters. Lily Rabe heads up the real life characters as Shelby Miller alongside AndrΓ© Holland as Matt whilst Sarah Paulson is joined by Cuba Gooding Jr to play Shelby and Matt in the Re-Enactment. Personally I feel I would have preferred to see Rabe as the reenactor then the talking head as I do love her. It is also strange that the two sets feel like completely different people, whilst you can imagine Paulson’s Shelby being one of those annoying Yoga people you couldn’t imagine Rabe being the same person. Later in the episode you are introduced to Matt’s sister Lee Miller, a former police officer who got fired for drugs. She’s portrayed by Adina Porter and Angela Bassett and fast becomes one of the best parts of the whole episode.

I’m not sure where it is going to go but it is nice to see the show re-invent itself once more. After 5 seasons it was hard to see what they’d come up with that would be fittingly different but the whole style of the first episode showed that it won’t be a problem at all. The creative team work hard to make sure that each season has its own unique feel and they aren’t scared to dive straight into a completely different style.

The story played out to a dramatic ending, they are still keeping a lot of the story and what is going to happen as secret as possible and it makes it hard to figure out whether it’ll be a ghost story or something a little different. Having the Talking Heads means that you feel safe in assuming that they all make it out of this alive and well but I’m not too sure that we can’t rule out a complete twist at the end.

I find the reenactors quite annoying at this point. Lee Miller is by far the most likable whilst Matt doesn’t really stand out much and Shelby is quite annoying. For me it might be the least interesting opener so far, it might be my own fault for going into the series cold and not getting excited but even if I had I doubt I’d have been too excited after the episode.

With a lot more still to come though I doubt I’ll be disappointed for long. Sarah Paulson tends to play unlikable characters that actually end up being quite interesting and if anything Angela Bassett’s Lee is going to be a character worth watching out for. The creepy people in the wood that Shelby has just found will probably be the characters I become most interested in but after watching the episode and looking for a few snippets of what we might expect I feel this series is going to turn itself around in no time.


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