'American Horror Story: Roanoke'
(Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett, et al / 3-Disc Blu-ray / R / 2017 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Life imitates grisly reality TV in one of television’s edgiest and most acclaimed shows ever!
Told in gripping true-crime documentary style, “My Roanoke Nightmare” — this season’s show within the show — chronicles shocking paranormal events.
Blu-ray Verdict: The best of 'American Horror Story' are among my favorite television experiences in the past twenty years.
The writing, the production, and the acting combine great shocks, surprising twists, and likable, down-to-earth characters with an over-the-top morbidity.
The most recent season ('Roanoke') is by far one of the weakest. Like the 'Freak Show' season, it takes an effective method so far that it becomes a joke. In 'Freak Show', the writers made the mistake of piling on oddity after oddity until the weirdness of it had become a gimmick.
The same is true of 'Roanoke': the writers embraced the gruesome killing aesthetic, so that, by the eighth episode, I could no longer find any enjoyment in it. That said, I stuck with it, as one should always, if not in the vain hope that it can salvage a mesmerizing climax, but because, well, I just can't watch a series and not finish it (ie: OCD).
The setup is a documentary series, one of those cable shows in which people tell true ("true") stories of the paranormal as viewers watch cheesy re-enactments.
Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. (Marcia Clark and O.J. Simpson from "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J.") are Shelby and Matt Miller, Los Angeles newlyweds who, after a violent crime, move to North Carolina and buy a stately old farmhouse for a stupidly low knock down price.
The premiere episode was stylish and scary enough to make horror fans think this season could be a strong one, especially if it turns out to cover several first-person horror yarns, not just this first.
For those following along with me here, feeling what I'm laying down about this sixth season, you'll realize that they had already revealed in the sixth episode that everyone died except for one! So the only thing left is torture porn as they play out the inevitable deaths of the entire crew.
This is further destroyed by the depiction of the rural monster family, who have committed every possible sin expected of outcast rural weirdos: incest, cannibalism, drug addiction and production, and a Faustian deal with a group of sadistic spirits.
In closing, and with all this said, 'American Horror Story' isn't for everyone and even the fan base seems to have varying opinions on which season is the best/worst, but I'd certainly give it a try. Even 'Roanoke', as it does has its AHS suspense moments, but it just seems like the pot is running dry there in the AHS writers room, that's all.
Again though, 'American Horror Story' is most-always fresh, new, and exciting and there isn't anything like it out there, that's for damn sure. It can go on, it can fight its way out of this slump, sure, I believe that to be true, and with 'AHS: Cult' now on our TVs, we'll just have to cross our fingers that the slump has indeed been beaten.
Personally, I've always felt that AHS, at its worst, is still better than any other show at its best and that still holds true even after binge-watching 'Roanoke'. The acting is still good and every recurring actor keeps showing how different they can be from a role to another, which I admire. It ruffled my feathers in seasons 2 and 3, but now I'm used to it - quite like the "family" feeling to the clan of actors, to be frank. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Paley Center for Media: Q&A with Cast and Creative Team from PaleyFest 2017
Collection of 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' Promos
The Sixth Installment of the Acclaimed American Horror Story Anthology Comes to Blu-ray and DVD October 3rd, 2017.
Blu-ray Purchase Link