As American Horror Story wrapped its prolific seventh season this week, people were quick to do personal rankings of every season, make theories, find connections between the seasons and potential hints towards the eighth season. All seven seasons have been radically different, so comparing them is quite difficult, and at times, unfair. American Horror Story has never shied away from experimentation, but without further ado, here is a definitive ranking of each season:
Seventh Place: Freak Show
Sorry, Freak Show. While we must give props to Freak Show for letting a large portion of season regulars as actual actors with disabilities, thus creating arguably the most compelling characters of the entire series, Freak Show ultimately lands at the bottom of this list for how tedious it was to get through. Episodes were drawn out, the plot was just as slow, and the show wasted so much potential after the third or fourth episode. Besides a few major plot points, this season is largely forgettable and makes it hard to return to.
Sixth Place: Hotel
Hotel, at its core, was a good season. In my opinion, there is no "bad" season of American Horror Story. However, the writing of this season ultimately plagued this season. While at times, brilliant, other times it seemed bland and tacky. The plot should've been restructured significantly and more focus should've been put on other aspects of the show and not the fashion. While Gaga ultimately earned her Golden Globe for this, it felt as though the entire show was structured exclusively for her to shine. Luckily, Dennis O'Hare's Liz Taylor was able to shine through the adversity.
Fifth Place: Roanoke
Roanoke is easily the most morbid and graphic season of American Horror Story yet. It kept audiences on their toes, second-guessing and on edge until that mid-season plot twist. Even after that, stakes were ramped up 110%. This season is an adrenaline rush and has the most harrowing deaths of the series. So harrowing, in fact, that it was one of the few times in the series that you feel sick to your stomach. This could easily move up several spots on this list, but that mid-season twist ultimately made the first half of the season pointless.
Fourth Place: Asylum
Writing? Check. Crazy plot? Check. Stakes? Check. Asylum has been a fan-favorite season since it came out in 2012. While is the craziest season to date, it is heavily overstuffed and had elements that American Horror Story could spend an entire season on. Asylum ultimately paved the way for other anthology series on television, so it's legacy will always live on.
Third Place: Coven
American Horror Story delved into an all female-led season and mixed in humor more than any other season, too. Ultimately, it paid off. The chemistry of the cast was remarkable, and Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Basset gave remarkable performances. It made you love and hate characters, watch in disgust, laugh, cry and feel pure rage. Had there been more stakes and less "bring every dead character back to life."? It would've been the best season yet.
Second Place: Cult
If you noticed, the last three spots are filled with the previous three seasons prior to Cult. With three seasons that have had their fair share of criticism, it was in desperate need of a great season to put American Horror Story back on its feet. Needless to say, it delivered. Cult was a tense, political and crazy season. Plot twists were a plenty, but with concise and brilliant writing, the plot twists made sense. This was the first season where the dead stayed ... dead. The stakes were incredibly high and you were always left questioning motives of the characters. Horror at its finest. You could easily argue that Cult is the best season yet.
First Place: Murder House
Murder House is the crown jewel of the entire series. Not only did it shatter TV standards by revitalizing the anthology format and horror, the season is intense, dark and insane. The writing is impeccable, thoughtful and every character holds their own in this series. Its twists and turns ultimately set the standard for subsequent seasons to come, and its the easiest to return to time and time again. With an alleged season focusing on Murder House again, here is to hoping the 'sequel' is as good as the first incarceration.