The Glorious Highs & Ridiculous Lows of ‘American Horror Story’

Although F/X is endlessly promoting the mysterious sixth season of American Horror Story that begins September 14, there’s a general feeling in the air that the show has seen its best days.  In its first five seasons, it reached glorious highs and ridiculous lows, sometimes during the same season.  It’s inconsistent at best.  Looking back, here is our ranking of the first five seasons, from worst to best, including some of the aforementioned highs and lows.

5.) Coven (Season 3, 2013)

Coven takes place in New Orleans in 2013 and follows the descendants of witches who survived the Salem Witch Trials.  It features a battle between the “Supreme” witch, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) and Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett).

High = The immortal, decapitated slave-torturer Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) is forced to watch Roots, but attempts to drown it out by singing “Dixie.”

Low = Spalding invites Madison’s (Emma Roberts) corpse to his formal doll tea parties.  At one point, he accidentally rips off her arm.

4.) Hotel (Season 5, 2015)

hotelHotel takes place in Los Angeles in 2015 and follows the residents of the retro Hotel Cortez, which was built to become a torture chamber.  It features a battle between 111-year old vampire Elizabeth Johnson (Lady Gaga) and vengeful former lover Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett).

High =After having a drug-fueled threesome, Sally (Sarah Paulson) sews herself to a couple to stop them from ever leaving her.  (When the pair overdoses, she’s stuck to them for days.)

Low = The Hotel Cortez hosts a dinner party for deceased serial killers, including Richard Ramierez, Aileen Wuornos, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer and the Zodiac Killer.

3.) Freak Show (Season 4, 2014)

Freak Show takes place in Jupiter, Florida in 1952 and follows a struggling freak show.  It features a battle between Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) and, well… everyone else, when they turn on her.

High = Twisty the Clown!

Low = Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters) charges housewives for the pleasures of “flipper sex.”

2.) Murder House (Season 1, 2011)

murder-houseMurder House takes place in Los Angeles in 2011 and follows the Harmon family when they move into a home haunted by the ghosts of anyone who has died there.  It features frequent battles between psychiatrist Ben (Dylan McDermott) and his wife Vivien (Connie Britton) as they’re pushed to their emotional limits.

High = Tate (Evan Peters) shoots up the school before being killed by a S.W.A.T. team.

Low = Rubber Man rapes and impregnates Vivien so that a ghost can have her baby.

1.) Asylum (Season 2, 2012)

AMERICAN HORROR STORY -- Pictured: (Clockwise from bottom) Cloe Sevigny as Shelley, Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice, James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden, Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters, Clea Duvall as Wendy, Zachary Quinto as Dr. Oliver Thredson, Jessica Lange as Sister Jude, Evan Peters as Kit Walker, Lizzie Brochere as Grace, Adam Levine as Leo, Joseph Fiennes as Monsignor Timothy Howard -- CR. Frank Ockenfels/FX Network

AMERICAN HORROR STORY — Pictured: (Clockwise from bottom) Cloe Sevigny as Shelley, Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice, James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden, Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters, Clea Duvall as Wendy, Zachary Quinto as Dr. Oliver Thredson, Jessica Lange as Sister Jude, Evan Peters as Kit Walker, Lizzie Brochere as Grace, Adam Levine as Leo, Joseph Fiennes as Monsignor Timothy Howard — CR. Frank Ockenfels/FX Network

Asylum takes place in Massachusetts in 1964 and follows the patients, doctors and nuns who occupy the Briarcliff Mental Institution.  It features a battle between Sister Jude Martin (Jessica Lange) and Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) when the latter becomes possessed.

High = Sister Jude Martin leads a fully choreographed production number for “The Name Game.”

Low = Aliens.

What will season six bring to the table?  And, when it’s all said and done, where will it rank on our list?  We can begin making educated guesses after September 14…

Thanks to TV Guide for information used in this article.