Today I am going to be reviewing American Horror Story NYC – Season 11. I previously ranked the entire franchise before this installment began. You can check that out here. I’ve also reviewed Season 1 and 2 of American Horror Stories. You can read those here and here. I have a lot to say about this one so, without further ado, let’s get into it!
THE PREMISE OF AHS – NYC
Set in 1980’s New York City, a masked serial killer begins targeting and killing gay men. One by one, homosexuals are picked off in leather bars and same-sex clubs. At the same time, a scientist/doctor (played by Billie Lourd), investigates a deadly new virus that is linked to the emerging AIDS epidemic.
I have very interesting thoughts about this season. It took several episodes for me to truly get into it and understand the intended message. In short, I interpreted NYC as a horror story about the AIDS epidemic and lack of awareness about the disease. As the episodes progressed, it became less about the serial killer and more about the importance of prevention. I appreciated the underlying narrative that came full circle at the end. Furthermore, I really liked the casting. I’m a huge fan of Zachary Quinto and I believe he played the narcissistic, shallow socialite, Sam, perfectly. There were some very touching relationships that developed throughout the story, which – without spoiling anything – made the ending hit much harder. In terms of the horror elements, I believe they were effective. It’s worth noting that this particular installment is not overtly supernatural. The scares lie in the reality of our time on this Earth; what the world has endured and had to live through, prior to the intervention of medicine. I think it’s fair to state that a gay person living in 2022 is much more likely to survive AIDS than somebody in the 1980’s. It gives one plenty of perspective.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
To be perfectly honest, if I had to rank NYC compared to the rest of the franchise, it would be placed quite low down. Despite all of the positives I mentioned above, I wasn’t overly engaged this season. I felt it was quite disjoined at times. There were storylines introduced that weren’t revisited and a few plot points that didn’t make sense. For example, Sandra Bernhard’s character Fran, becomes a tarot reader with supernatural abilities. I really liked watching her tell people’s fortunes and the horror elements that emerged when she was no longer in control of the cards. However, that didn’t progress any further. It wasn’t clear why we were given those particular scenes in the first place, as they didn’t add to the main story. I wanted this installment to be more streamlined and less chaotic. It had an important message to tell that could have been executed smoothly. I think this is an issue with Ryan Murphy’s works overall. He starts strong but stumbles along the way. Sorry!
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave it a 3/5 stars. I do recommend it but, in my opinion, it pales in comparison to some of the other seasons.
Thank you so much for reading! What did you think of NYC? Where do you think it sits in relation to the others?
Peace & Love xoxo