November 2019 was primarily focused on apocalyptic visions of the future, past, and present on Netflix.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse [7/10]
After a very strong seventh season (see Netflix watchlist: March 2019, it’s difficult to imagine American Horror Story to get any better. Unfortunately, Apocalypse is something of an anomaly, as it has some serious pacing problems. What at first seems to be a claustrophic version of people being trapped in the aftermath of a nuclear strike soon turns into something quite different, something that needs 8 of 10 episodes to explain the background story. While it’s no surprise to see the show dabble in other genres like sci-fi, re-using material of past seasons means treading the dangerous terrain of destroying continuity. Unlike previous seasons which had a special theme and worked independently from each other, on has to have some specific knowledge about characters, especially from Seasons 1 and 3 (see Netflix watchlist: October 2017). Even if it’s great to see memorable characters make a return, trying to piece everything together that doesn’t quite fit is a tremendous task many writers have failed in. Maybe it has something to do with how one is used to watch the show for new settings, new stories, and new characters which are mostly played by the same people that this season requires some serious re-thinking. It’s still as bloody, violent, sexual, and humorous as one expects it to be, but it only works if previous instalments are fresh in one’s mind and even then it’s questionable if one accepts all the changes the individual stories have gone through.
As far as breaking genre conventions go, one can’t say that American Horror Story doesn’t succeed, but it’s also baffling to be presented with alternative story branches one thought one knew. So let’s see how the series continues with the next season that looks like a great throwback to classic slasher movies.