‘American Horror Story’ Season 6: ‘My Roanoke Nightmare’ Takes A Very Different Path

Was all the mystery surrounding American Horror Story Season 6 worth it? That can be debated, but there is no debate over the very different path that My Roanoke Nightmare has taken for fans.

Caution: There are spoilers of the American Horror Story Season 6 premiere. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know what happened.

In previous seasons, the credits have hinted at some of the creepy storylines in American Horror Story. That didn’t happen with My Roanoke Nightmare. The show jumped straight into the storytelling, and that wasn’t the only difference this year.

AHS Season 6 has a documentary style to it. Lily Rabe and Andre Holland play the “real” Shelby and Matt Miller, as they share their story and how they felt. A “re-enactment” shows the viewers just what happened, with Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. playing the “actors” for the sake of the documentary.

As the story unfolds, more characters are introduced. Adina Porter, better known for her role of Indra in The 100, plays the “real” Lee, as Angela Bassett plays the actor portraying the story. So far, they are the only three characters with “real” counterparts, but it is possible that this will grow with time.

With each commercial, it feels more and more like a documentary. The show has My Roanoke Nightmare title screens to cut off the episode. Watching that on DVD later is going to be very interesting indeed.

Along with this new feel, another difference is the slowly growing cast. So far, only three main characters have been introduced. There are mentions of others and glances of a few, but there are still plenty more to come.

The credits didn’t roll until the end, but fans now know that Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Denis O’Hare, Cheyenne Jackson, and Wes Bentley are still to come into the show. It looks like Lady Gaga will remain as a guest character as she wasn’t mentioned at all but will appear very soon.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that American Horror Story Season 6 is taking a very different path this season. Ryan Murphy decided to make it clear that was going to happen during the summer break. No announcement for the theme was made, and various fake trailers were released to misdirect fans. It was only as Season 6 aired that it was clear it would be about the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

This documentary-style storyline looks to remain throughout the season. The titles for the episodes are just chapter numbers, making it clear that this is someone’s story to tell. It’s another difference to other seasons of American Horror Story and prevents anything being given away for future episodes.

The use of the documentary-style filming has helped to dial back the horror and blood from American Horror Story, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Each season just seems to have gotten bigger and gorier. There has been the focus on the overall storytelling, and not on the here-and-now. It looks like AHS Season 6 is going to focus more on the current, easier-to-follow story than anything else.

Has it all been worth it? It really is unclear, and Coming Soon admits that it may not have been for American Horror Story Season 6. There has been nothing surprising or shocking about the theme, especially with the reports that it would be about the Lost Colony of Roanoke. The only surprise is the theme.

Maybe the surprise theme has helped. It drew in viewers without tons of speculation over what a theme means. Viewers were more entranced in the storytelling, rather than looking for clues over what would happen next.

American Horror Story Season 6 continues with the My Roanoke Nightmare storytelling on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

[Featured Image by FX]

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